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  • Writer's pictureLiz W.

Review of "Mindset" by Carol S. Dweck

Intro to the Review

We have all had the experience of enthusiastically starting a new book only to realize that it is not what were expecting. The purpose of the following review is not to express my opinion on whether the book is "good" or "bad." I expect most of the books I read to be "good," Whether or not it is the right book for you is another question entirely. My goal for this and every review I write is to help you decide whether this book would be a good fit for you.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Does it seem like the content covered in this book aligns with what I was expecting to find?

  • Is the main problem addressed in this book similar to my own goal for what I would like to get from reading it?

  • Is the style and format written in a way that will not hinder my ability to get the most value from this book?

  • Am I the intended audience for this book?

If after reading the review, you can answer yes to all these questions, there's a pretty good chance this book is the right fit for you. If not, well, there are plenty more books out there just waiting for you to read them.


The New Psychology of Success

Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

Ⓒ 2007 Baltimore Books

320 pages

“Real self-confidence is not reflected in a title, an expensive suit, a fancy car, or a series of acquisitions. It is reflected in your mindset: your readiness to grow.”


Book Review

Author Background

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world's leading researchers in developmental, social and personality psychology. She is a professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

All her publications can be found here. TED Talk: The power of believing that you can improve (2014)

What Problem Does This Book Attempt To Address?

Mindset is based upon the premise that there are two mindsets that people use to frame themselves and their lives. Dweck argues that one of these mindsets, the fixed mindset, holds people back and has many negative consequences on wellbeing and potential for growth for both children and adults. The purpose of the book is to lay out how each mindset differs and demonstrate the negative consequences of having a fixed mindset and the positive consequences of having a growth mindset. She also addresses how to help ourselves, children and employees obtain and maintain a growth mindset, especially when life gets challenging.


· Concept explanation: Clear

· Related stories: Many

· Data references and studies: Many

· Charts and graphics: One

· Practical application: Strong

The book starts by introducing the two mindsets and describing what it feels like to be a person in each mindset. The second chapter goes into great depth about the differences between the two mindsets in a wide range of situations. The following chapters delve into specific situations - work, relationships, parenting, etc. While the information can seem to be repeated from chapter to chapter, the purpose of repeating it in the context of people in different situations keeps it from feeling repetitive. The stories are used in a constructive manner to demonstrate different ways the mindsets can manifest both as thoughts and as actions. The last chapter is dedicated to helping readers make the shift from a fixed to a growth mindset for themselves.

Writing Style & Presentation

· Tone: Professional, but very readable

· Organization: Excellent

· Flow: Excellent

There is nothing I would have like to seen differently in regards to writing style or presentation. The breakdown of information into chapters based on context was ideal and the bullet points summarizing the main points from each chapter are very helpful.

Bringing It all Together

One thing done really well is the balance between stories of people with either the fixed or growth mindset, the results of studies, and the narration of the book. The other thing I thought was done really well was the addition of relevant information based on the section. It never felt like the same chapter repeated over and over with “teacher” swapped out for “boss”, for example. One main thing I took away from this book was that everyone has a fixed mindset, but in what situations and how often it shows up depends on the person.

Overall Recommendation

Who I would recommend this book for: Everyone, to be quite honest. I can’t think of a situation where this information wouldn’t be valuable to know either for yourself or for those you interact with on a regular basis.

If you enjoyed this book, Dweck also has another academic book titled “ Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology) " which may be of interest to you as well.


Enhance Your Reading by Using a Workbook

If you have decided this book is a good fit for you, I have created a workbook to help you get the most value from reading it. Here is a small sample of the material contained in the workbook.

Your workbook includes:

  • Pre-reading questions

  • Chapter discussion questions with space for writing answers

  • Space to write your own summary for each chapter

  • Vocabulary words with space to write definitions and add words

  • Key terms with space to write definitions and add words

  • Chapter reflection questions

  • Final reflection questions

  • A condensed list of all discussion questions and vocabulary for reference

  • Reflection pages for writing thoughts and ideas

Discussion Question Preview

Below you will find a small sample of the discussion questions provided for every chapter of this book.

Key Terms Preview

  • CEO disease

  • Character

  • Culture of development

Vocabulary List Preview

Effuse: (v.) To make a great or excessive display of enthusiasm

Histrionic: (adj.) Deliberately affected; overly dramatic or emotional

Mete: (v.) To give out by measure

. . . download the workbook for the full lists!

Where to Find the Workbook

All available workbooks can be found on Amazon and are free to Kindle Unlimited members.

You can find this particular workbook by clicking here.

Your Feedback is Appreciated!

Are you a student? A teacher? A manager? A parent? Why did you decide to use a workbook and did it help you get more from the book you were reading? Please share your experience so I can continue to make these workbooks a valuable resource to you and others.

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