When kids learn from their mistakes, a new study finds that they can become smarter than their peers who think their intelligence is already set.
“The main implication here is that we should pay close attention to our mistakes and use them as opportunities to learn,” rather than ignoring or minimizing mistakes, said researcher Hans Schroder, a doctoral student in psychology at Michigan State University.
Researchers from Michigan State interviewed 123 children whose average age was 7, to discover if they had a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Children were asked “imagine a kid who thinks that you can get smarter and smarter all the time…how much do you agree with this kid?”
Researchers monitored brain waves when children performed a simple task on the computer. They then analyzed the brain responses from within a half a second after the children made a mistake. A bigger response from the brain means that the person is paying attention to the mistake.
The results showed that children with a growth mindset were more likely to have a bigger brain response after a mistake when compared with children in the fixed mindset group.