Fixed mindsets and/ or a lack of experienced agency

  • Cieco’s second ambition is to challenge fixed mindsets and/ or a lack of experienced agency.
  • A mindset, according to Carol Dweck, is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves. Carol Dweck: “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.”
  • Fixed mindsets cause people to see challenges as fundamental threats to their identity since a failure in dealing with them would establish a lack in their basic qualities. The alternative is to attribute the failure to external forces. Growth mindsets cause people to see challenges as learning opportunities.
  • Since failure will occur in any life, fixed mindsets cause defensive lifestyles, low self-esteem and often a lack of experienced agency.
  • Agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
  • A lack of experienced agency causes learned helplessness: forces outside one’s control seem to steer one’s life.