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Beating the Odds

Win More: What Bright Girls Believe

Much of what you achieve depends on what you believe. For instance, do you believe that your abilities are innate — and are therefore mere luck of the draw — or that they depend on your choices?

In this article in Psychology Today, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., explores the way fifth-graders look at difficulty. Halvorson cites research that concludes “bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”

Halvorson, author of “Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals,” says the difference most likely comes from the feedback fifth-graders receive. Girls, being better behaved than boys, are praised for “goodness,” while boys are told that if they would just pay attention and try harder, they would succeed.

Halvorson’s article is worth a read, especially if you’re a teacher, a coach or a parent.


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