Self-theories

Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development

By Carol S. Dweck

© 2000 – Psychology Press

212 pages

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9781841690247
pub: 2000-01-01
US Dollars$43.95
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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. The author 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.

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

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. 1. What Promotes Adaptive Motivation? Four Beliefs and Four Truths about Ability, Success, Praise, and Confidence. 2. When Failure Undermines and When Failure Motivates: Helpless and Mastery-Oriented Responses. 3. Achievement Goals: Looking Smart vs. Learning. 4. Is Intelligence Fixed or Changeable? Students' Theories About Their Intelligence Foster Their Achievement Goals. 5. Theories of Intelligence Predict (and Create) Differences in Achievement. 6. Theories of Intelligence Create High and Low Effort. 7. Theories and Goals Predict Self-Esteem Loss and Depressive Reactions. 8. Why Confidence and Success Are Not Enough. 9. What Is IQ and Does It Matter? 10. Believing in Fixed Social Traits: Impact on Social Coping. 11. Judging and Labeling Others: Another Effect of Implicit Theories. 12. Belief in the Potential to Change. 13. Holding and Forming Stereotypes. 14. How Does It All Begin? Young Children's Theories about Goodness and Badness. 15. Kinds of Praise and Criticism: The Origins of Vulnerability. 16. Praising Intelligence: More Praise that Backfires. 17. Misconceptions about Self-Esteem and about How to Foster It. 18. Personality, Motivation, Development, and the Self: Theoretical Reflections. 19. Final Thoughts on Controversial Issues.

About the Series

Essays in Social Psychology

Essays in Social Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in social psychology.

Primary topics will include social cognition, interpersonal relationships, group processes, and intergroup relations, as well as applied issues.

Furthermore, the series seeks to define social psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of individual behavior and thought in social situations.

Each volume in the series will make a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

The principal aim is that authors will provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.

It is also expected that volumes will, to some extent, include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.

Each book will be a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY031000
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology