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Against expectations, people with more egalitarian political views were more open to the idea that intelligence is fixed

06 March 2018

A growth mindset – believing your capabilities can grow over time – can help us set self-improvement goals, consider mistakes as a step towards mastery, and remain upbeat when facing tribulation.

Psychologists are excited by the ways we can help develop such mindsets, particularly towards creativity and intelligence, but some studies have found the impact less impressive than earlier research had suggested.

Now researchers are hungry to understand the individual characteristics that might prevent these interventions making an impact on some people.

New research in the British Journal of Social Psychology has investigated one possible candidate – political ideology, specifically a perspective known as “social dominance orientation”.

If you are invested in preserving the status quo, perhaps that encourages you to see social relations as inevitable, as “just the way things are” – an essentialist, fixed view of the world that seems to carry over to how you view human capability.

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