5) Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Two different mindsets facing away from each other. Growth and fixed mindset at Givent, idaho's networking event

5) Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Purpose statement

GIVENT is the place where givers gather. It fosters the trust between its members that is necessary for growth and prosperity. A growth mindset is key to the development of a healthy and trusting business community.


Mindsets refer to implicit beliefs about the malleability of personal attributes.

When faced with a problem, many people develop what is known as a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that things about us, such as our intelligence and personality, are unchangeable.

The opposite of fixed mindset is a growth mindset, which holds on to the belief that personal attributes can change. A person’s mindset in a particular situation largely influences how they will react to challenges and setbacks.

Research study


In 2017, a group of researchers published in a peer-reviewed psychology journal a study that examined how ta growth or fixed mindset would influence their distress or adjustment following a history of stressful life events.


The hypothesis was simple: The relationship between a history of stressful life events and psychological distress/maladaptive coping would be stronger for those with a fixed mindset than for those with a growth mindset.


1254 participants were involved in this research. Participants responded to 4 different surveys.

The first survey assessed the fixed or growth mindset of the participants with questions such as “Your anxiety is something about you that you cannot change very much.” Responses ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree).

The second survey examined stressful life events with a list of stressful life events including: natural disaster, physical assault, sexual assault, and sudden unexpected death of someone close to you.

Participants responded to each event with “happened to me,” “witnessed,” “learned about,” “not sure” or “not applicable.”

The final two surveys related to psychological distress, which asked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and maladaptive coping.


In support of the hypothesis, the results showed that there was a stronger relationship between history of stressful life events and psychological distress/maladaptive coping for fixed mindset.

A growth mindset may help to reduce psychological distress and maladaptive coping that can come from a history of stressful events.

“The general finding that a growth mindset buffers the negative con- sequences of challenging and demanding environments has implications for clinical psychology, given that stressful life circumstances are risk factors for developing psychological distress”


Schroder, H., Yalch, M, Dawood, S., Callahan, C., Donnellan, M., & Moser, J. (2017). Growth mindset of anxiety buffers the link between stressful life events and psychological distress and coping strategies. Personality and individual Differences, 110, 23-26.


Grow opportunities for your small business with Givent. Find upcoming networking events near you.