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The neuroscience behind a fixed vs growth mindset

What are the mindsets that we should be chasing for our learning? And how exactly does it all work? In episode 30 of the Go1 podcast, we look at the ins and outs of what happens to our brains when we learn. And the real difference that a shift in mindset can have.
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Courtney Norton, Content Writer
2022-03-25

We've all been told about the impact that specific mindsets can have in various areas of our lives - but to what extent does mindset affect our learning? What are the mindsets that we should be chasing for our learning? And how exactly does it all work?

In episode 30 of the podcast, Go1's Craig Hamill is joined by Learning Scientist, Lauren Waldman, as they take a look at all the ins and outs of what happens to our brains when we learn. And the real difference that a shift in mindset can have.

Check out some highlights from their discussion below.

The social narrative behind learning

Whether we'd like to admit it or not, we've no doubt all fallen victim at some point to the social narrative of "I am this age, so this is how I am now." In this section of the podcast, Lauren discusses the impact that this social narrative can have on the way we learn. She then goes on to reference social psychologist Carol Dweck's rules for the fixed vs growth mindset.

The influence of our beliefs about intelligence

This section of the podcast sees Lauren discuss a study by Dr Jennifer Mangels called: 'Why Do Beliefs About Intelligence Influence Learning Success.' She goes into detail about a particular section of the study that involved brain scans that showed an increase in brain activity from learners with a growth mindset. Lauren then explains the way in which we can apply what was learned from this study in our everyday lives as learners

The neurochemistry of learning

We all share a fairly similar schooling experience of being told to sit down, open our books, and take notes on what we read. But why is it that some students are able to remain focused and some really struggle? Turns out, it could come down to the chemicals in our brain. In this section of the podcast, Lauren goes into detail about the different neurochemicals that best assist with learning focus. She also suggests that our brains are naturally lazy and always want to go back to what they know. It can trigger a stress response when we try to take a different approach, but it's important to find a balance between this in order to best utilise the growth mindset.

If you haven't already, you can listen to the full podcast here to learn more.

Want to hear more? Browse the full Learning with Go1 podcast library on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, or Spotify to help expand your knowledge of all things L&D. And hear how other organisations are navigating through this ever-evolving landscape.

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