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Home » Carol S Dweck: The Power of Yet at TEDxNorrköping (Transcript)

Carol S Dweck: The Power of Yet at TEDxNorrköping (Transcript)

Carol S Dweck

Here is the full transcript of Stanford University psychologist Carol S Dweck’s TEDx Talk: The Power of Yet at TEDxNorrköping conference. This event took place on September 1, 2014.

Carol S Dweck – Stanford University psychologist

The power of yet. I heard about a high school in Chicago where students had to pass a certain number of courses to graduate, and if they didn’t pass a course, they got the grade “Not Yet.”

And I thought that was fantastic, because if you get a failing grade, you think, I’m nothing, I’m nowhere. But if you get the grade “Not Yet”, you understand that you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path into the future.

“Not Yet” also gave me insight into a critical event early in my career, a real turning point I wanted to see how children coped with challenge and difficulty, so I gave 10-year-olds problems that were slightly too hard for them.

Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way. They said things like, “I love a challenge,” or, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative.” They understood that their abilities could be developed. They had what I call a growth mindset. But other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic.

From their more fixed mindset perspective, their intelligence had been up for judgment and they failed. Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet, they were gripped in the tyranny of now.

So what do they do next? I’ll tell you what they do next. In one study, they told us they would probably cheat the next time instead of studying more if they failed a test. In another study, after a failure, they looked for someone who did worse than they did, so they could feel really good about themselves.

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