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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(1 star). See all 390 reviews
on 8 September 2017
"Adopt a growth mindset."

If you understand that sentence, you don't need to read this book.

If you don't understand it... you still don't need to read this book, because it can be summarised in a paragraph:

Some people have a "fixed mindset", which means they think their skills and abilities are fixed and can't be improved. Other people have a "growth mindset", meaning they believe that they can improve and succeed if they try. Either mindset becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, so adopt a "growth mindset" if you want to succeed.

It's like the old saying "whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." - good advice but not very deep. Maybe it's possible to go deep and expand this idea into something that's worthy of 320 pages - but Dweck doesn't.

I've read a lot of books that I felt were unnecessarily long, but I don't think I've read anything that felt as padded as Mindset. Dweck waffles on and on, repeating herself again and again and again: "Growth mindset, good. Fixed mindset, bad. Growth mindset, good. Fixed mindset, bad." Convinced yet? The one-paragraph summary I gave above is, as far as I could tell, the entire book.

There's very little science or data - just an endless stream of repetitive anecdotes. I gave up after a few chapters and started skimming; nothing I spotted in the parts I skimmed made me feel like any new ideas had been introduced. Judging by the other negative reviews on here my impression was correct.

I'm sure there are people out there who will benefit from the "growth vs. fixed mindset" advice. It's one of those things that seems obvious once you already know it, but isn't necessarily obvious to a newcomer. But even if you are a newcomer, don't waste your time with this book. Start with Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina. It'll help you with your growth mindset - plus the other 300 pages are actually worth the paper they're printed on.

By the way, have I mentioned that a growth mindset is better than a fixed mindset?
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on 1 October 2009
You probably don't need to buy the book - it's mostly pop-psych waffle. Read any of the reviews and you get the idea: if you think your intelligence is fixed it limits you; if you think it can be grown you can develop. If you judge people you limit them; if you give them constructive feedback you help them. True, but that's all you get in this short paperback.

All the examples given seem to say: this man (for example John McEnroe) didn't fulfil his potential because he had a 'fixed' mindset; this man (for example Jack Welch) did fulfil it because he had a 'growth' mindset. Lots of anecdotes and very little science, apart from some interesting numbers from a study quoted on page 138 (but without any indication of how many people were in the study).

Also very little practical help, although there are some interesting pointers for managers on page 140 of the paperback, and a description of a workshop on pages 218-221. Other than that, it's mostly hot air. You know you're in la-la land when the author starts selling you a 'Brainology' program.

I agree with the premise, but this is very thin on useful material.
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on 8 July 2016
I don't often give one star reviews but will do on this occasion. This is the most unconvincing book I have read for a long time. One does not need a PhD to understand the basic idea. People with fixed minds are closed to new ideas, experiences and learning whilst those with growth minders are receptive. Unfortunately the book takes 278 pages to say this. It lacks evidence and it lacks rigour or any serious content of any sort. Anecdotes are stories to illustrate things - nothing more. This is a popular book dumbed down to near banality.

No doubt those who disagree with me will conclude that I have a fixed mindset which is why I don't like this book. Perhaps I do, but then again my actions are those of someone with a growth mindset.

Whilst I am sure that the author is academically accomplished, this book can sadly only be described as waffle.
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on 1 September 2016
I had high hopes for this book from the predominantly 4 and 5 star reviews it has received. However it is a basic, simplistic, clichéd description of fixed and growth mindsets repeatedly applied to scenarios through the book. It is repetitive and patronising. A very disappointing purchase.
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on 13 October 2014
This is a critique of the poor writing style rather than the important subject matter (see Baird for a fine review). My slightly facetious hypothesis is that the author was not in the right 'Mindset' and therefore, by a distance, has not 'fulfilled her potential' of writing an interesting and readable psychology book for the layperson.
As a voracious consumer of general and popular science books, I'm fascinated with how scientists attempt to disseminate their knowledge and ideas in a book for the non-specialist. Some are especially gifted (e.g. Richard Dawkins, Stephen Pinker, Jared Diamond) who have a flow to their writing style, avoid unnecessary repetition, credit the reader with a modicum of intelligence and are skilled in using analogies and metaphors to help explain difficult concepts. Carol Dweck seems to have no such abilities.
As a studying psychologist I wasn't expecting to come across many new concepts and I didn't. What I was hoping for was a good exposition, to the layperson, of the importance of one's mindset (i.e. 'growth') and beliefs (e.g. intelligence and ability are not genetically pre-determined) and their effects on a person's motivation, choices and subjective well-being: I was distinctly disappointed. This book reads like a self-help book written by an uneducated and unqualified 'pseudo-guru' and not a respected academic and researcher (After only a few pages I actually found myself checking Dr. Carol Dweck's credentials).
It must be assumed that the high rating this book has (i.e. 4.5 stars) is because of the important and potentially life-changing ideas within and certainly not for the writing style and elucidation. A wasted opportunity.
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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2012
I love business books. They have their faults. We can all spot success in retrospect, and see it as inevitable when it arrives. So to think that if you do what others do, you'll get the same results, is seductive, but actually it is unlikely.

The message of this book can be summed up in a sentence. Some people are rigid in their thinking and see individual experiences as definitive, others have a more flexible attitude. It's probably better to have a more flexible attitude.

This book takes the American penchant for labeling to the extreme. 50 years ago you could replace 'fixed mindset' with Communist, and 'growth mindset' with the American way of life. Page after page of this book describes the 'fixed mindset' as the root of all evil. Actually all human beings are complex and they react in different ways according to the circumstances. Dweck can identify what makes people unhappy in organisations, but if you join any institution you will experience conflicts.

Take Steve Jobs. He was a great leader, but his biography says he often wasn't a very pleasant man.

The book is just a tedious repetition of examples of why virtue is virtuous and wickedness is wicked.
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on 24 December 2016
Boring, presumptious and poorly written. She has tried to 'dumb it down' for non-specialists but it makes it unclear and patronising. I had to read it before my teacher training and should have refused. I hated every minute of it.

Speedy delivery though!
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on 30 January 2016
concept is alright. but basically same opinion what self-help books say. wasted money. do not buy a book because famous figure recommend
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on 9 August 2017
Need less bright write
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on 19 March 2015
A tiresome, repetitive book which has very little in the way of substance. The best advice I can offer is that you don't buy it.
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