Praising Effort

Did you know that telling students they are smart is not as motivating as praising them for working hard?

It is really quite simple, according to Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D at Stanford University. Children who are told that they performed well because they worked hard and showed grit and determination, took greater risks and did 40% better on tests than children who were told that they performed well because they are smart.

This short, easy to watch video tells a great story. At the end, ask yourself if you’re encouraging a “growth mindset” or a “fixed mindset?”

In our computer based cognitive training programs we applaud students for their effort. Regardless of their initial abilities, students who consistently use the highest level of effort regularly show the greatest cognitive improvement.

Knowing that our native intelligence can be improved with consistent effort is very motivating, as is Carol Dweck’s twist on praise.

Ted Backes
Director of Cognitive Training

motivating students by praising effort