January 22, 2008

Trait praise and low self-esteem

Someone send me an interesting thought in response to my little article about Carol Dweck's chapter on process praise versus trait praise. This person wrote: "My own reactions to the paper were initially a wholehearted interest in process rather than trait praise. But then I got to think about young people with very low self esteem, and thinking a bit of me still sees a potential value in commenting on traits they may not know they have." I think this is an interesting and sensible hypothesis (that low self-esteem may be a special case in which trait praise indeed is valuable). I hope to write more about this later.

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