It also hits home personally. I was often praised for being “smart”, which is like being congratulated for being “lucky.” The implication is that I didn’t have much to do with it. That approach wasn’t too “smart” it turns out. As Prof. Bain notes, for about 25 years social scientists have developed:
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.
The most important attitude is a “growth mind-set”: the idea that knowledge comes from trying, learning, and yes, failing at, new things.
Prof. Cain also references research that our brain makes more and stronger connections after exposure to novelty. While he presents the research obliquely — as part of a psychology experiment about priming learning attitudes — my understanding is that there is real neuroscience to support this insight.