The Stanford-based psychologist whose work brought the idea of “mindset” into the education mainstream received the 2018 SAGE-CASBS Award. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology University and author of the 2006 bestseller Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, received the award at a March 14 ceremony at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.
Established in 2013, the SAGE-CASBS Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the behavioral and social sciences that advance our understanding of pressing social issues. The award includes a cash prize and the opportunity to deliver a public lecture. SAGE Publishing, the parent of Social Science Space, funds the award.
Dweck launched a body of research that suggests individuals possess implicit theories of intelligence that reside on a continuum from “fixed mindset” to “growth mindset.” Those with a growth, rather than fixed, mindset, believe natural abilities and innate talents do not necessarily translate to predetermined success; rather, they are starting points for further development and learning through effort, help-seeking, and trying-out new strategies, enabling improved performance over time.
A 2018 article Dweck co-authored in Psychological Science reports that people with growth mindsets are more apt to develop new interests outside their existing interests – and so are more likely to reach and make connections across disciplines in the process.
“The finding that a growth mindset is disposed to reaching across disciplinary boundaries aligns fully with our core vision and mission,” said CASBS director Margaret Levi. “Carol’s work is embedded in the Center’s DNA.”
Dweck was a CASBS consulting scholar during the 2014-15 year and while there developed a project, supported by the Raikes Foundation, to better understand students’ beliefs about learning and school. Now a thriving organization that includes Dweck, the resulting Mindset Scholars Network spun-off from CASBS in 2017. Dweck and her network colleagues recently completed a nationwide study examining where mindset interventions work best and how they can be made better.
“Thanks to Carol Dweck’s foundational and continuing research, mindset science will remain a growing field that exerts a profound impact on people’s lives – including empowerment to overcome achievement inequalities,” said Levi.
Dweck is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Political and Social Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received, among many honors, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the James McKeen Cattell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Thorndike Career Achievement Award in Educational Psychology from the American Psychological Association. Last year she received the inaugural Yidan Prize for Educational Research, which came with a $3.9 million grant to further her work.
The committee selecting Dweck consisted of Levi; SAGE founder Sara Miller McCune; Anthony Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston; Manuel Pastor, professor of sociology and American studies & ethnicity at the University of Southern California; Jennifer Crocker, a psychology professor at Ohio State University; and sociologist William Julius Wilson of Harvard University. Bryk, Crocker and Wilson are former CASBS fellows, while Wilson received the SAGE CASBS Prize in 2017. Other past winners are psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, sociologist and education rights activist Pedro Noguera, and political scientist and former U.S. Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt.