(WSJ) Over the past 25 years, social scientists have produced some key insights into how successful people overcome their unsuccessful moments—and they have found that attitudes toward learning play a large role from a young age.
Most of the students went into the sessions generally believing that intelligence was fixed for life, but the group that read about the brain's growth emerged from the experience with much stronger notions about improving intelligence with effort. That group generally showed greater motivation to do well in math class in the weeks and months after the experience.
As the researchers noted, someone's theory about intelligence may not make much difference when times are easy. But when failures accumulate, those who believe that they can improve their basic abilities are far more likely to weather the storm.