Chapter 3 Extra Readings

After reading articles by Bob Sutton and Carol Dweck concerning cognitive ability and personality and whether or not they can be changed, I have a new perspective on the topic. The environment we live in and the situations we experience have an enormous impact on the way we act and what we believe. In these article both authors expressed that we can be taught how to act a desired way and with time we will adapt.

On the cognitive ability side, Sutton stated that when people believe they can learn more and become smarter, they truly will. When people feel they already are smart enough they will fail to learn more in new situations because they are too concerned with looking smart rather than challenging themselves to get smarter. It seems like when someone is very smart already they feel ashamed to say they don’t know something because they don’t want to be judged, instead of looking at this as an opportunity to learn and become more knowledgeable in the long run. It is those people who act as sponges and try to absorb all the knowledge they can that end up being successful, because they never miss a chance to learn something new. Sutton also raised the question that if you have to work hard at something then does that mean you aren’t smart? I think working hard for something is the first step to becoming a smart, successful person. You aren’t handed your intelligence, that is something you have to work for, and the only way to become smarter is by pushing yourself everyday to try new things. The only way to learn is to make mistakes, which is something most people aren’t comfortable doing.

When Carol Dweck was talking about individual’s personalities, she said that they aren’t fixed and can be taught by looking at a person’s beliefs. By looking at their beliefs we can see how they would act in a certain situation and around certain people, so we can then challenge those beliefs to help determine how they will act, their personality. People can believe that their personality is fixed or malleable, and those that believe it is malleable will be more open and willing to change and in turn will be more motivated to make those changes. At the end of the article Dweck stated, “Beliefs matter, beliefs can be changed, and when they are, so too is personality.” I couldn’t agree with this statement more; if you work on changing your beliefs it will definitely change your personality and the way you act and react.

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Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 5:52 PM  Leave a Comment  

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