Archive for October 10, 2011
Interesting cross-disciplinary (connecting education and psychology to neuroscience) study that shows how beliefs about intelligence (whether it’s fixed or can be grown) influence EEG measurements after making mistakes. People learn faster who make more mistakes and learn from them quicker. I particularly liked the quote from Niels Bohr in this piece: “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”
It turned out that those subjects with a growth mindset were significantly better at learning from their mistakes. As a result, they showed a spike in accuracy immediately following an error. Most interesting, though, was the EEG data, which demonstrated that those with a growth mindset generated a much larger Pe signal, indicating increased attention to their mistakes. (While those with an extremely fixed mindset generated a Pe amplitude around five, those with a growth mindset were closer to fifteen.) What’s more, this increased Pe signal was nicely correlated with improvement after error, implying that the extra awareness was paying dividends in performance. Because the subjects were thinking about what they got wrong, they learned how to get it right.