In management theory and psychological approach, a mindset is an unformed set of attitudes, techniques, or ideas held by one or a few individuals or teams of people. A single prevailing mindset can be viewed as stemming from a person’s worldview or philosophical outlook of life. The term was first used in folk psychology and is now used widely throughout business and management circles to refer to the consistent view of an individual or group of people that pervade their thought processes, behavior, and actions on a daily basis. The word has also become associated with specific characteristics, qualities, and behaviors that are shared by many people who share this viewpoint.
The term was first introduced to the world in Sir Alfred Wallace Ph.D. in 1947. His research demonstrated that personality traits, such as intelligence, are not fixed but change over time. Instead, personality traits are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. According to Wallace, this means that “the strength of any one set of personality traits, and their concomitant consequences, depend upon the combinations of forces operating through various environmental factors.”
In this new psychology, the Mindset refers to the basic qualities and traits that allow us to thrive in varying environments. The Mindset is considered to be the foundation on which we base our success in anything we do, including learning new skills. Psychology experts have found that when students come into an introductory class with only a fixed set of skills, they will most likely fail if they are required to adapt to ever-changing demands. By creating a mindset that is flexible and allows for learning to occur at a pace that is comfortable for the individual, students are able to excel in the class and gain the respect of their peers.
Creating a mindset involves accepting that our minds and bodies were developing to function in specific ways. Each of our basic qualities is intended to serve a purpose in order for us to survive and thrive. When we adapt these traits to a situation rather than focusing on our inherent ability to do something, we create a problem. On the other hand, if we focus on what we were designed to do, rather than what we are not able to do, we create an opportunity.
In the book, “The Science of Getting Smart,” author Robert Cialdini states that people who are smart are more likely to take risks and be creative than someone with a fixed mindset. Fixed mindsets constrain our ability to explore opportunities and make constructive decisions because they limit us to a certain amount of thought. On the other hand, mindsets that are flexible to enable you to think creatively and to accept new ideas. In addition to Cialdini’s theory that people with flexible mindsets are more successful than those with fixed mindsets, psychologists have conducted studies that show that highly intelligent people have a tendency to adapt to their environment.
People with a fixed mindset are usually content with what they have because they don’t feel they’re capable of doing much more. On the other hand, highly intelligent or smart people with a flexible mindset are always searching for ways to do things better, which enables them to achieve great results in areas that may seem difficult at first. Adapting your mindset to fit the needs of your current circumstances, even when it’s not natural to do so, really good intelligence can be developed by forcing yourself to be open-minded, flexible, and creative.