Thinkers50 Hall of Fame: Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck has been inducted into the
Thinkers50 Hall of Fame 2023.

Psychologist Carol Dweck has had a profound influence on our understanding of motivation, learning, intelligence, and self-belief. Formerly a professor at Columbia University, Carol is now at Stanford as the Lewis and Virginia Eaton professor of psychology.

Carol’s major books include Motivation and Self-Regulation Across the Life Span (with Jutta Heckhausen, CUP, 1998); Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Psychology Press, 2000); Handbook of Competence and Motivation (with Andrew J Elliot, Guildford Press, New York, 2005); and Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Random House, 2006). Carol can be largely credited with introducing the word mindset into the management lexicon. Her mindset theory divides people into those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset.  

People with a fixed mindset, Carol argues, believe their intelligence and abilities are innate and cannot be changed or improved. For them, this means that their potential is fixed, and success is dependent on their natural ability or talent. In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe their intelligence can change and they place no limits on their potential. With time and learning, Carol says, those with a growth mindset continue to develop their skills and abilities and nurture, rather than nature, is seen as the critical factor in determining intelligence.

Carol’s influential work has explored how to encourage the more learning-focused growth mindset in a variety of settings, including business, healthcare, parenting, and education.

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