Article Review 3

Article: Can Personality Be Changed, Carol S. Dweck, Standford University

http://www.business.unr.edu/faculty/simmonsb/badm720/personalitychange.pdf

According to Dweck, there is an “in-between” part of personality that is contrasted with the broad-based personality traits of individuals. This in-between part relates to goals, construals, strivings and coping strategies. Dweck focuses on the impact of beliefs on the in-between part of personality and how a change in belief can lead to a change in personality. This article is a challenge to those who believe that personality cannot be changed.

Dweck’s focus on belief is a very interesting approach. Her assertion that beliefs can be precisely defined and deliberately changed through intervention makes a lot of sense. I have concluded over time that one’s view of the nature of God impacts everything they do. An atheist will base their behavior on more humanist philosophies and one who believes in the supernatural entities will behave as if they are being watched. The key with beliefs is they determine to what a person feels accountable for their behavior.

Article: Bob Sutton blog post, commenting on Dweck’s research

http://www.business.unr.edu/faculty/simmonsb/badm720/dweck%20research.doc

Bob Sutton talks about the difference between people who continue to get smarter throughout their lives and those who stagnate. The reason cited has to do with whether individuals believe intelligence is an unchangeable attribute or intelligence is malleable. Sutton concludes that intelligence can improve over time and teaching otherwise will place students at a disadvantage.

A couple of things come to mind when reading this article. In a problem solving class, I learned that increasing one’s knowledge and ability is affected by their present level of knowlege and ability. The assumption up until then was that learning rates decrease as people get older. It is true that learning rate is detrimentally affected by age, however research showed that the rate of learning is determined by age plus the current knowlege and ability held by the learner. In other words, the more you know, the easier it is to know more. The good news from the class is that, even if the increase of the learning rate slows down, one’s learning rate can continue to increase well into life if they keep learning new things continuously.

Besides learning rates, this article makes me think of how passionate people are about their lives. Those who are passionate or committed to a course will likely complete it eventually. Parents often watch their children vigorously attempt to do something without succeeding. A parent will have one of two reactions: they will step in and help the child or wait and watch the child figure it out for themselves. For those parents who have the patience to watch, they will be amazed at how the child accomplishes their goal. The key is that the child has set their mind to the task and no one had convinced the child that they could not achieve. Another example is that the difference between A students and C students is about one year. In other words, the C student may need two years to learn a topic, but after the two years there is little difference between the knowledge and ability of the two students.

In an organization, it is important to convince people that they can continue to learn and to allow them to recognize their potential for learning. Then, provide learning opportunities and never say something cannot be done.

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Explore posts in the same categories: BADM 720 - Organizational Behavior

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