Friday, November 11, 2011

Self-Theories: Their Role In Motivation, Personality, And Development (Essays In Social Psychology) By Carol Dweck

Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology)

Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology)
By Carol Dweck

List Price: $37.50
Price: $31.24 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Ships from and sold by

54 new or used available from $21.74

Average customer review:
(10 customer reviews)

Product Description

This innovative text sheds light on how people work - why they sometimes function well and, at other times, behave in ways that are self-defeating or destructive. Dweck presents her groundbreaking research on adaptive and maladaptive cognitive-motivational patterns and shows:

*How these patterns originate in people's self-theories
*Their consequences for the person - for achievement, social relationships, and emotional well-being
*Their consequences for society, from issues of human potential to stereotyping and intergroup relations
*The experiences that create them.

This outstanding text is a must-read for researchers in social psychology, child development, and education, and is appropriate for both graduate and senior undergraduate students in these areas.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #53011 in Books
  • Published on: 2000-01-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 212 pages
Editorial Reviews

Based on extensive research with children and young adults, this book examines adaptive and maladaptive cognitive-motivational patterns and shows how these patterns originate in people's self theories; their consequences for one's achievment, social relationships, and emotional well-being; thier consequences for society; and the experiences that create these cognitive-motivational patterns. -- Resources in Education

What we have here is no ordinary scholarly psychology volume. Ever so rarely, we are offered a psychology book that is so beautifully written, lucidly organized, and elegant in its description of ideas... I see many uses for this wonderful volume. Instead of having to put together a rather large stack of reprints to introduce students to her groundbreaking work, I now can refer them to something far better -- the author's view of how her work has developed over the years. -- Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

[This book] describes pathbreaking research in a style that is accessible to many audiences. It calls into question some of the most widely-held beliefs . . . about effective practices for maximizing children's self-confidence and learning. -- Deborah Stipek, UCLA
The book is central to basic issues in social, personality, and developmental psychology. Indeed, it is like a guided tour through the scenic terrain of Carol's fascinating program of research. The writing is lively and engaging and the organization is unusually clear. The examples are well-chosen and intuitively compelling; they are easy to relate to our own lives and to the people that we know. -- Diane N. Ruble, New York University

[This book] is simply among the best book in psychology I've read during the past year or two. It's superb. . . I could hardly put [it] down. -- Robert J. Sternberg , Yale University
The book is central to basic issues in social, personality, and developmental psychology. Indeed, it is like a guided tour through the scenic terrain of Carol's fascinating program of research. The writing is lively and engaging and the organization is unusually clear. The examples are well-chosen and intuitively compelling; they are easy to relate to our own lives and to the people that we know. -- Diane N. Ruble, New York University

[T]his is an important book addressing fundamental problems of enduring interest. [W]e think Self-Theories should be read by anyone with a serious interest in children's motivation, academic achievement or social development. -- Human Development

This book does a great deal to undo the damage done by psychology books which have emphasised the importance of intelligence and of fixed stages which pupils and students cannot move out of, or work beyond... The contents of this delightful affirming book should be known to every teacher and every pupil, and most of all to every teacher trainer. -- David Turner, University of Glamorgan. -- Book Review

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful.
5Absolutely a Fascinating Read - a review of "Self-theories"
By Pam Tee
This is a fascinating book. And while I'm just a mom with no particular background in psychological research, I found I had no difficulty either understanding the procedures of the research, or finding `everyday' applications for the profound information that Carol Dweck and associates provide.

In fact I wish I had read this book earlier because it has a great deal to teach about how children devise concepts of themselves (self image) and how we might avoid the pitfalls of rearing a child who `gives up' too easily.

Five Stars. Very interesting. The other reviewers are right. This is a fast paced, good read that explains Carol Dweck's research into personality, motivation and development. As a mom of a 3 and 5 year old, I wish that I had come across this book earlier.

As Amazon's `Search inside this book' feature only lists page one of the Table of Contents, I've typed out the second page for your info.

Chapter 14 -- How Does It All Begin? Young Children's Theories About Goodness and Badness

Chapter 15 -- Kinds Of Praise And Criticism: The Origins Of Vulnerability

Chapter 16 -- Praising Intelligence: More Praise That Backfires

Chapter 17 -- Misconceptions About Self-Esteem and About How To Foster It

Chapter 18 -- Personality, Motivation, Development, and The Self: Theoretical Reflections

Chapter 19 -- Final Thoughts On Controversial Issues

Appendix: Measures Of Implicit Theories, Confidence, and Goals

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
5Carol Dweck's 3 Key Distinctions
By Michael Fletcher
Carol Dweck's work Self-Theories. She has written another book, written for a more general, less academic readership called Mindsets, in which she applies the entity/incremental construct to a broad range of domains: business, interpersonal relationships, etc. I've read both. In Self-Theories Dweck's target are academic or educational contexts in which she argues that the difference in academic performance can plausibly be explained by distinguishing between two conceptions of ability, the entity theory and the incremental theory. According to the incremental spin, the abilities you possess are of a certain quantity which is FIXED (for all time) and therefore unalterable; which is to say your abilities cannot really be altered or changed; they are not really responsive to EFFORT. On the incremental view, abilities you possess are not FIXED and ARE RESPONSIVE TO EFFORT over time. One huge payoff, which Dweck points out frequently, is that in voluntarily adopting an incremental view of ability, you put yourself in a position to be FAR less vulnerable to self-blame, helplessness patterns, and self-despair in the event of failure, which can futher undermine your ability to execute your abilities. People of a more perfectionistic turn of mind have MUCH to gain by adopting a incremental spin on ability for the reasons just mentioned. "An ability is only as good as its execution"--Bandura.

Dwecke's an exceptionally lucid writer, and even her more academic work, "Self-Theories" is not written in academese but in language so clear and informal, you almost begin to wonder whether this is a professor in psychology at Columbia University. She's that good, at least I think so. (Bandura's prose is also clear, and conceptually rigorous, but his prose bears an elegant conciseness or compactness of insight, which would not incline me to describe as informal. But I digress. Long story short, the answer to your question is, I think, 'yes', Dweck's work is closely related to Bandura's.

I'm not sure if Dweck's work should be seen as "derived" from Bandura's, however. Dweck draws three key distinctions:

a) between learning goals and performance goals,
b) between helplessness pattern and task-orientedness
c) between incremental and entity theory of ability

Dweck's claim is this: People who hold an entity view of their abilities TEND to also to be people who adopt performance goals over learning goals. A performance goals is one which is more concerned about "looking or appearing smart" than in taking steps to insure greater informedness at the cost of looking stupid or uninformed. Thus, adopting a performance goal is AT CROSS PURPOSES with a learning goal. Second, entitiy theorists, when persuaded of their own failure, have MUCH REASON TO DESPAIR over their failed performances because performance failure (for them) JUST IS a demonstration of the fact that they do not possess (and what's more NEVER can possess) the capacities required to succeed; for they believe that their abilities are FIXED structures inhering in them which are not alterable by effort. Knowing this, you'd expect that, prior to performance, entity theorists SHOULD FEEL GREAT anxiety about their future performances and ABOUT THE THREAT OF FAILURE AND WHAT IT IS DIAGNOSTIC OF. Failure is a PERMANENT DIAGNOSIS for which NATURE HOLDS NO APPELLATE COURT. If you fail at math once, twice. You're a math idiot. If you fail at a relationship; you're no good at love and romance. Period. The awareness of these prospects can't help intrude on one's performances, and keep on from doing anything which could be contrued (in your eyes) as failure, even if that means that, in the short term, you have to admit incompetence or admit nonknowledge in a subject matter, or nonunderstanding. And this is self-defeating. The situation is according to Dweck much different for those people who hold an incremental theory about ability. For these people, failure is not diagnostic of something - a wanted capability to produce desired effects in a cared-about domain of human life - which they can't EVER possess; no, failure doesn't MEAN (for them) that whatever it is in people taht allows them to produce exceptional EFFECTS in the world, in any cared-about domain of performance--that thing, call it an "ability"--is something whose possess and "size" or quantiy or magnitude is something over which you can exercise some control over and the way you can do this is through EFFORT. The entity theorist does not see personal exertion as diagnostic of LOW ability; she sees it as the MEANS to ACQUIRE greater capabilities, a means to enhance her personal causation. By contrast, the entity theorist views exertion as diagnistic of Low ability; like a doctor who sees a patient and says "Those spots mean measles," the entity theorist views exceptional effort to mean "low ability."

Bandura's view (in SE) is, similar to Dwecks, in that he thinks that it is functionally optimal to view abilities as developmentally responsive to effort. Abilities ARE things one possesses - powers one can personally exericise to produce desired effects in the environment - but for learners it is self-limiting to think of abilities as innate or in-born capabilities rather than as things which can be obtained though "acquireable means" and guided mastery. Bandura's general approach to learning seems to be that complex or difficult performances can be decomposed into simpler tasks; learners can learn and gain competence at the simpler tasks (increasing perceived self-efficacy incrementally as they go), then, once actually in possesion of those simpler skills, move on to tackle more difficult tasks, and so on until they actually possess the skills to perform the complex performances. This is what goes on in med schools, trade schools, most all graduate schools. On B's view, abilities are entities you possess, but the trick is to incrementalize your ACQUISITION OF THEM, using your skills acquired at lower and medium levels to boot youself up to higher levels. But of course, this means your conception of your ability has to be adequate to get you to the highest level of performance, or you have to locate the means and strategies which will elevate your performances to higher levels, and once these are identified you have to acquire them. And acquiring competency in the simpler tasks, lower skills, are, so far as I can tell from SE, the means to acquiring the skills to perform at higher levels; which is as much to say they are the means to acquiring greater abilities.

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
5Scary title, great book!
By A Customer
I was intimidated by the title of this book, and was afraid it was going to be highly academic. However, the book is completely accessible and fascinating. Dr. Dweck describes her remarkable studies on motivation and achievement, and shows that a fixed view of intelligence (meaning: either you're born smart or you're not) sells us short. Her work has enormous implications for both childrearing and teaching. This book should be required reading for all parents and teachers.



No comments: