Monday confidence

Washington State University researcher Joyce Ehrlinger has found that a person’s tendency to be overconfident increases if he or she thinks intelligence is fixed and unchangeable.

Such people tend to maintain their overconfidence by concentrating on the easy parts of tasks while spending as little time as possible on the hard parts of tasks, said Ehrlinger, a WSU assistant professor of psychology. But people who hold a growth mindset–meaning they think intelligence is a changeable quality–spend more time on the challenging parts of tasks, she said. Consequently, their levels of confidence are more in line with their abilities.

Ehrlinger’s research, conducted with Ainsley Mitchum of Florida State University and Carol Dweck of Stanford University, appears in the March edition of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

“A little bit of overconfidence can be helpful,” said Ehrlinger, “but larger amounts of overconfidence can lead people to make bad decisions and to miss out on opportunities to learn.” The researchers note that overconfidence is a documented problem for drivers, motorcyclists, bungee jumpers, doctors and lawyers. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. Does your character have a growth or fixed mindselt? What areas is he/she overconfident in?

Journaling Prompt: When are you overconfident?
Art Prompt: Overconfident

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about growth vs. fixed mindset and how that affect their confidence.

Photo Credit: Chris & Karen Highland on Flickr

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