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Research on Success: Grit, growth mindset, and the marshmallow test



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This professional development workshop takes 3 research studies (grit, growth vs fixed mindset, and the marshmallow test) and translates them into practical suggestions for students. This workshop was presented to incoming business school students at UC Davis' Graduate School of Management on Aug 29, 2014.

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Research on Success: Grit, growth mindset, and the marshmallow test

  1. 1. Research on Success: Grit, the Growth Mindset, and the Marshmallow Test Steve Lee, PhD Graduate Diversity Officer for the STEM Disciplines UC Davis Graduate School of Management Orientation August 29, 2014
  2. 2. Discuss within groups: Discuss a recent situation where you (or a friend) overcame a difficult challenge. What internal characteristics helped you to overcome the obstacle? Compare this to similar situations when you failed to overcome the challenge. What internal characteristics hindered your success? 2
  3. 3. Angela Lee Duckworth talks about grit 3 What did you think of her TED talk?
  4. 4. How do you respond to failure? 4 Carol Dweck proposes 2 different responses: I’d look at what was wrong and resolve to do better. I’d start thinking about working in a different way. stay in bed get drunk I’m a total failure I wouldn’t bother trying hard next time Fixed mindset Grow h mindset
  5. 5. Summary of Dweck’s Mindset Fixed vs Grow h ability is static avoids challenges gives up easily sees effort as fruitless ignores useful criticism threatened by others ability is developed embraces challenges persists in obstacles sees effort as necessary learns from criticism inspired by others’ success 5
  6. 6. Examples of Different Mindsets 6 Losing equals death You get better when you lose
  7. 7. Dweck reveals a false dichotomy you have ability or you expend effort effort is for those without ability Fixed mindset: Grow h mindset: we all need to expend effort to improve 7
  8. 8. What are the consequences of the different mindsets? 8
  9. 9. What are the consequences of the different mindsets? Those who were praised for their: intelligence effort to reinforce a: fixed mindset growth mindset chose to work on: easier problems more challenging problems 9
  10. 10. What are the benefits of a grow h mindset? Those with a growth mindset: achieved higher grades in a General Chemistry course had a more accurate sense of their strengths and weaknesses had lower levels of depression 10
  11. 11. The Marshmallow Test Walter Mischel (Stanford psychology faculty) children were offered a marshmallow, but if they waited (~15 min), they were given 2 treats children who waited longer for greater rewards tended to have better life outcomes – SAT scores – educational attainment – body mass index similar to grit(!) 11
  12. 12. Summary: Success correlates with: 12 grit growth mindset (vs fixed mindset) patience (delayed gratification) Question: How do I apply these? Do I have these attributes? Do I assess myself accurately? Do I have good metacognitive skills?
  13. 13. Why is self-assessment so important? Don’t I know myself? employers alumni faculty students 13 In a national study, people rated student’s preparedness in professional skills from 1 to 7. 4.27 4.73 5.16 4.41 Because we often don’t assess ourselves accurately.
  14. 14. Marshall Goldsmith points out … 14 How will you grow to get from here to there?
  15. 15. Practical Suggestions 15 Assess: Apply: Are you responding to challenges with a fixed or growth mindset? How is this context different than past situations? Apply your assessment to new contexts, using a growth mindset Try new approaches when faced with challenges
  16. 16. Try these practical exercises: Journal about past challenges: do you think you responded with grit, a fixed or growth mindset, and patience? Ask close friends mentors for honest feedback if you have these attributes. Learn how this program context is different from your past experiences. Try new approaches using the growth mindset when you encounter challenges. 16
  17. 17. If you wish to read further: 17 to understand mindsets to learn how to change
  18. 18. 18 Take-Home Message Assess: Apply: Are you responding to challenges with a fixed or grow h mindset? Apply your assessment to new contexts, using a grow h mindset
  19. 19. Thanks for your participation! Any questions? 19 ? ? ? Survey and slides/handout at: goo.gl/J9u7Bh
  20. 20. Research on Success Grit, the Growth Mindset, and the Marshmallow Test Steve Lee, PhD Graduate Diversity Officer for the STEM Disciplines stnlee@ucdavis.edu 1 UC Davis Graduate School of Management – Orientation August 29, 2014 Summary In this professional development workshop, my goal is to take research studies that relate to student success and translating them into practical suggestions that will help you succeed. In other words, my goal is to go from “papers to practice”. In this workshop, we will discuss three, interconnected research studies that relate to student success: • Grit – from Professor Angela Lee Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania • Growth vs fixed mindsets – from Professor Carol Dweck at Stanford University • Marshmallow test – from Professor Walter Mischel at Stanford University After presenting these research studies, I hope to provide practical suggestions that will relate to your start at UC Davis. These practical suggestions involve the importance of accurately assessing yourself and strategically applying them into new challenges. It’s critical to first honestly assess yourself (in terms of grit, a growth or fixed mindset, and ability to wait for delayed gratification), and then you can work on developing and applying these attributes into your personal life. These simple steps of assessing yourself and applying your assessment form a cyclical process to help you determine how you define success and achieving your personal and professional goals. References and Notes ● Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk “The key to success? Grit” on April 2013 ○ http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit ○ “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is stick with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” ● Grit test on Lee Duckworth’s website: ○ https://sasupenn.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_06f6QSOS2pZW9qR ● NPR (National Public Radio) story ○ “ On The Syllabus: Lessons In Grit” by Tovia Smith on March 17, 2014 ○ http://www.npr.org/2014/03/17/290894364/on-the-syllabus-lessons-in-grit ● Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset: The new psychology of success” ○ This book provides a useful analysis to help you understand the differences between a fixed and growth mindsets, and the benefits from having a growth mindset. ● Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Switch: How to change things when change is hard” ○ This book provides evidence-based approaches in how to change from a fixed to a growth mindset, along with other practical suggestions on how to change yourself and organizations. ● “Comparative Analysis of Soft Skills: What is important for new graduates? Perceptions of Employers, Alum, Faculty and Students” by Pat Crawford, Suzanne Lang, Wendy Fink, Robert Dalton, Laura Fielitz
  21. 21. ○ Michigan State University, College of Agriculture Natural Resources, 2011 ○ http://www.aplu.org/document.doc?id=3414 ● Classic publications of research studies on our lack of metacognitive skills ○ Kruger, J. and Dunning, D. 1999. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77 (6): 1121–34. ○ Dunning, D; Johnson K; Ehrlinger, J; Kruger, J. “Why people fail to recognize their own incompetence” Curr Directions Psychol Sci . 2003, 12, 83–87. ● Marshall Goldsmith’s book “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” ● Walter Mischel’s Marshmallow test ○ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment ○ Mischel describes his experiment on Charlie Rose ─ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b3SWsjWzdA Summary of Carol Dweck’s Mindset Fixed Mindset Grow h Mindset ability is static ability is developed avoids challenges embraces challenges gives up easily persists in obstacles sees effort as fruitless sees effort as necessary ignores useful criticism learns from criticism threatened by others inspired by others’ success • Thanks for listening and contributing to the workshop! I hope that it was helpful. • I would greatly appreciate your feedback to help me evaluate this new workshop and improve. You can provide feedback, and also access a pdf of the slides and handout here: goo.gl/J9u7Bh 2