Dweck said she identified several key differences between the two types of students.
Students with a fixed mindset had one goal in mind: "Look smart at all times and at all costs." That meant that they worked to avoid any task that might betray that they weren't as smart as they thought they were.
Students with a growth mindset, on the other hand, didn't care if their mistakes were revealed to their peers; they saw this as inevitable and nothing to be ashamed of, because their goal was to "learn at all times and at all costs."
2. Attitudes toward effort and failure.
Students with a fixed mindset viewed effort and failure as bad things, because the mere fact that someone worked hard or came up short demonstrated (to them) that the person didn't have innate ability. Growth mindset students on the other hand, believed that effort was what was required to unlock ability.
Dweck says she believes that the notion that effort is a bad thing "is one of the worst beliefs that anyone can have."
3. Boredom and difficulty.
Students who demonstrated a fixed mindset were far more likely to complain of being bored in school, Dweck found. The seem to get into a cycle in which they used boredom as a cover to suggest a reason why they wouldn't try things that they found difficult; in the process they actually became bored.
Growth mindset students on the other hand, looked at schoolwork as a series of challenges and puzzles to figure out. They were also less likely to complain that a teacher, or a course, or another external factor, was responsible if they had difficulty.
..... This is really what this research is all about--teaching kids to develop growth mindsets over fixed mindsets......