I’ll make this quick because you guys know how our guest writer T rolls on these posts.
- Before you comment nobody is denying that genetic differences between races exist. If that’s going to be your comment you’re an idiot and your comment will probably be erased as waste of time/ argument
- The way T set up people in Part 2 that claimed they were object and all about research is brilliant, I wont spoil it for you but I was impressed with how he got most people to walk right into that one.
- T makes an excellent argument as to how the fixed mindset is effecting the black community and how fixed mind set connects the black community to HBDers. The man does work so I will turn it over to him now
In the last part I described Carol Dweck’s research into fixed mindsets/entity theory and growth mindsets/incremental theory. I described how the fixed mindset leads to a host of negative consequences in kids who are taught to believe that IQ is a natural gift that can’t be changed through hard work. I discussed this not just as a way to understand HBDers, but also to address core HBD beliefs head-on with actual research. The links and studies gave evidence that the fixed mindset HBDers advocate leads to stagnation, underachievement, and narcissistic, antisocial personality traits in kids, while a growth mindset of believing in the power of hard work has been shown to improve academic performance and IQ scores, including among minority students. I directly and indirectly linked to dozens (maybe even hundreds, I didn’t count) of studies showing how belief in hard work significantly increased minority academic performance, how belief in hard work raised IQ scores, how belief in fixed mindset had a negative effect on performance and motivation, and articles describing how even Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test, was an incremental theorist who developed the test not to measure fixed intelligence but to identify students whose academic needs he felt the school wasn’t addressing so they could receive extra attention.
I didn’t go overboard in summarizing these studies and spelling out the ways they refuted HBD claims for a specific reason. I wanted to test whether HBDers would actually take the initiative to investigate them, or if they would just keep talking about what they were talking about the week before. If their claims about just being a bunch of neutral guys interested in research was true, they’d eagerly devour all of it. Yet despite over 100 comments of tenacious debating, they still didn’t open a single link or seriously address any of the research in good faith. Some people still claimed my post was pure ad hominem even though based on my links it clearly wasn’t, which is more proof they didn’t actually read them. Some people pretended to read it but mischaracterized what the research said, and others openly refused to even look at it. Check the last post’s comments for yourself.
The point of that was to prove this: the constant claim by HBDers that “all” of the research, science, and statistics overwhelmingly support HBD beliefs, and therefore only political correctness, hurt feelings, or an intellectual witch hunt of scientific evidence suppression can explain any HBD opposition is blatantly false. Despite what HBDers claim, when you read all of the research, the jury is shown to still be out, with plenty of evidence showing the importance of BOTH genetics and environment and other factors, and there’s plenty of evidence against their theories about the genetic immutability of minority achievement and IQ.
The key is, don’t just blindly accept premises people hand you without examining them for yourself. Even some neutral readers fell into this trap and commented that they saw my point about the personality of HBDers, but that I did nothing to address the science and findings of HBD. Because HBDers in the comments kept ignoring my evidence and claiming over and over that I only did ad hominems, the more neutral readers started taking that claim at face value despite tons of links to the evidence. Even some anti-HBD people fell into this trap of casually accepting premises presented by saying things like “sure, it’s pure ad hominem, but it’s justified” or “sure the data is overwhelmingly in favor of HBDers, but focusing on that is ridiculous and is just mean-spirited.” Don’t fall for the okey-doke. Don’t just blindly accept premises you don’t examine for yourself. The article was not just pure ad hominem. The data is not at all overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of HBD beliefs just because they keep insisting it. Reread it and follow all the links and studies provided. As you can see by the 115+ comments, HBDers don’t read opposing research that they don’t already have talking points for or know how to debunk already. If they were seriously interested in the research, no matter where it led, they’d take the time to not only explore all research but try to figure out what parts of it may be right and what parts of it are wrong. Instead, they immediately declared that every contrary study, 40 years worth and hundreds of them, were all 100% wrong from top to bottom. Once you can see for yourself how they refuse to read or even acknowledge the existence of any evidence or science they don’t agree with and can’t address, how can you trust their characterization of what all the available research says?
Too many people just accept their premises, then jump right into arguing according to those premises, without stopping to take a step back and examine whether those premises are even valid. Two of those premises are (1) that HBDers are well-meaning objective, unbiased truthseekers who are just following the evidence no matter where it leads them, rather than advocates are less interested in the objective truth than in a personal, self-serving ego-based agenda, and (2) the evidence is an overwhelming, indisputable, one-sided landslide in their favor, any research that goes against them has already been soundly debunked, and all alternative or additional explanatons have been exhausted. Parts 1 and 2, along with the behavior of HBDers in the corresponding comment sections to both, were designed to debunk those two faulty premises and to show that not only are HBDers often lazy about questioning these premises, oftentimes HBD-neutral and anti-HBD people can be lazy about questioning them as well, just casually accepting and debating under the constraints of these faulty premises.
This installment is dedicated to further addressing the HBD faulty premise about all the evidence being in their favor and all alternative or additional explanations being thoroughly debunked and exhausted.
This week’s installment is still related to fixed mindset, but in a different way. Last installment discussed people with a positive fixed mindset, the belief intelligence is fixed and hard work doesn’t change things and that their own natural, genetically-determined intelligence is high. This installment is going to discuss peoplw with negative fixed mindset, which means people who believe intelligence is fixed and hard work does change things but that their own natural, genetically-determined intelligence is low. A major problem for many black people is that many of them, consciously or unconsciously, buy into a negative fixed mindset which causes them to have many of the same self-sabotaging, self-defeating tendencies that people like HBDers who subscribe to a positive fixed mindset have.
There is a field of psychological study related to Dweck’s work called Stereotype Threat, and just like Dweck’s Mindset research deals with how fixed mindsets affect people who buy into the legend of their own natural, innate superiority, Stereotype Threat deals with the ramifications of how fixed mindsets affect people who buy into or fear negative stereotypes that imply innate inferiority.
Allow me to provide an easy-to-read summary of some findings found in the body of fixed mindset/entity theory research:
- Fixed mindset people prefer focusing on the role of nature and unchangeable traits to explain everything and downplay the role of nurture. More likely to fall prey to fundamental attribution error.
- Fixed mindset people are much more focused on impression management (image maintenance) than on true growth.
- Fixed mindset people are more likely to avoid a challenging task that might expose their imperfections and make them seem fallible and instead choose to repeat challenges they are comfortable with and already know how to respond to.
- Fixed mindset people have less resilience and extremely aggressive, hostile reactions when faced with negative stereotypes about their own groups. They become fixated with thoughts of revenge or punishment. They are more emotionally and physically violent in either thoughts or deeds. They tend to be very high-conflict personalities, are more likely to read hostile intent into ambiguous actions that could plausibly be interpreted as friendly or hostile, and are more likely to view minor behaviors as being either excessively positive or negative.
- Fixed mindset people will often use shortcuts, cheat, or even resort to outright criminality, to protect their image of superiority. However since these shortcuts keep them from ever fully proving themselves once and for all, they never get rid of the lingering doubts about their inferiority. Also, many times the cumulative effort involved in pursuing these shortcuts is more psychically draining and labor-intensive than just accepting the challenge without resorting to shortcuts.
- Fixed mindset people think of failure or setbacks as evidence of being fundamentally, unchangeably defective, rather than just believing they’re someone who isn’t defective but maybe just had bad strategy or didn’t work hard enough. Not just that, but people with a fixed mindset have very different definitions of failure or setbacks. To a person with a fixed mindset, even just working hard, asking for help, or admitting fallibility is seen as a failure or setback, and as proof that maybe they aren’t naturally superior after all.
- Fixed mindset people, when faced by stumbling blocks or failures, instead of working twice as hard, instead work even less hard, and instead switch focus to more ego-boosting, face-saving pursuits. The idea is they start believing either “obviously I’m not naturally talented enough to excel at this, so why bother?” Also, if they sincerely try harder and still fail again, they risk discovering more evidence of their natural inferiority and getting more of a bruised ego.
- Fixed mindset people are more likely to engage in self-handicapping. They will go pursue a goal, but with an excuse in their pocket to protect their ego just in case. A popular example is the guy who prides himself on getting by on natural smarts and doesn’t study or go to class. If he doesn’t do good, he can say “Well, considering I crammed the night before, what do you expect? All things considered, I could have done far worse. If I did study, I would have totally rocked it.” If he does do good, he can say “Man, see how naturally smart I am? I did good without even studying or going to class. Imagine if I did study?” In addition to reducing effort, other examples include drug and alcohol abuse, refusal to practice, or reporting excessive symptoms. Another example is career self-sabotage, so that you can now blame your newfound controversial, pariah status for your lack of full success (you see this often in figures who actively court controversy, generate drama, and burn professional bridges, then use this controversy and blackballed status as excuses for why they’re not richer, more successful, or more celebrated).
- Fixed mindset people, when criticized, can only attack and discredit the sources of the criticism, but can’t learn from constructive parts of the criticism and useful real-world feedback. Must throw out the baby with the bathwater, due to all-or-nothing, black-and-white, rigid thinking. Flaws must be concealed or ignored, and if that’s not possible, then rationalized away or minimized.
- Fixed mindset people feel threatened by the success of others and become more interested in tearing other people down. They can only celebrate the success of others if those others can be proven to be similar to themselves, so that their success can be seen to reflect positively on them and can be piggybacked upon. Instead of judging their present selves against their old selves to see if they improved, they judge themselves by comparing themselves to other people. Fixed mindset people have increased tribalistic tendencies and are more hostile toward other groups. They have been found to constantly look for opportunities to reward themselves for being superior and mock other groups for being inferior.
- Fixed mindset people are notorious chronic blamers. Research find they’re worse at taking responsibility for their lives and are extremely, unrealistically pessimistic about the future. They react helplessly to perceived setbacks and don’t believe in their ability to do anything about it. Instead their main coping strategies are threefold: to blame, to find excuses, and stifle all critics and rivals rather than address them thoughtfully. Fixed mindset people are also found to be less likely to focus on realistic, proactive real-world solutions to problems.
- Fixed mindset people have a very adversarial, competitive, and confrontational concept of romantic relationships.
Citations and summaries for all of these findings can be found in the Dweck research materials linked to last installment. It can also be found echoed in the shame and narcissism research I linked to last installment as well, since they’re all interrelated concepts.
A key thing to realize: these studies find that fixed mindset only creates these things in the faces of perceived setbacks and failures. What this means is, so long as the fixed mindset person perceives he’s living up to his personal definition of success without experiencing frustration from a setback or failure, he will be mostly okay. The problem is twofold however: first, frustration from setbacks and failures are usually inevitable in life, and second, a fixed mindset approach to life makes your chances of encountering setbacks and failures far more likely because of the unrealistic expectations of others and yourself that the fixed mindset creates in you.
Blacks and whites both subscribe to the fixed mindset in America, but American society is constructed in such a way that blacks here often have a negative fixed mindset, where they are working with a negative label they believe may be unchangeable, and are afraid of deserving it and finding out that it’s true, while whites often have a positive fixed mindset, where they are working with a positive label they believe may be unchangeable, and finding out that they don’t deserve it and it isn’t true.
Stereotype Threat theory says that because blacks have a negative fixed mindset and often start off believing consciously or unconsciously that they have a setback or are a failure from the very beginning, just because they are black, the negative self-fulfilling prophecies and self-sabotaging effects of the fixed mindset start off immediately. White people who believe in the fixed mindset don’t suffer the negative effects of the mindset until they end up encountering significant frustration from setbacks or failures, and that’s when the negative self-fulfilling prophecies and self-sabotaging effects of the fixed mindset start to affect them. Now that our society is becoming increasingly narcissistic and short-sighted, it has embraced the fixed mindset more and has been instilling it it in both black and white children for generations, and more and more white people are beginning to fall prey to the same self-defeating behaviors as the black American community, except at later ages, and at higher income and education levels. Blogger Obsidian has long said that Black America is the “canary in the coal mine” for White America. Political thinkers like George Gilder have warned about this. Blogger Athlone McGuinness has made similar observations.
Even though American public policy often publicly embraces the opposite, in actuality it strongly endorses the fixed mindset. The negative fixed mindset of American public policy has already done a number on the black community, but now the positive fixed mindset is currently doing the same things to the white community. The negative fixed mindset was introduced into the black community by policies of the Great Society. The positive fixed mindset was introduced into the white community by the so-called “self esteem” movement that actually nurtured grandiosity rather than genuine stable self-esteem.
Whites with a fixed mindset like HBDers are more likely to avoid challenging tasks that can reveal imperfections in favor of areas they feel comfortable with. Debating the same studies over and over, mentioning the same black crime stats, searching out circle jerks to partake in, while ignoring or minimizing more challenging studies. Blacks with a fixed mindset are more likely to avoid challenging tasks that can reveal imperfections by sticking to blaming all problems on white racism, or putting their energies into entertainment and athletics and dismissing intellectual pursuits as “acting white.” Another way to avoid challenges in favor of shortcuts is by refusing to let go of affirmative action. Both groups can be seen as shying away from true growth in favor of impression management.
Dweck points out that companies like Enron had a corporate culture centered around fixed mindset. Look at the willingness to cheat, engage in criminality, search for shortcuts, bend the rules places like Enron had. This article argues that Bernie Madoff also had a fixed mindset, and was obsessed with being recognized as gifted. Can those be considered white collar versions of the criminal mindset of cheating and taking shortcuts to get respect that one sees in the black American community? Look at how HBDers read an anti-white, hostile intent into so many ambiguous behaviors, like movies and tv commercials. Is that much different than how black Americans see anti-black racism in everything? Look at how HBDers want to create a society where government gears public policy around giving their group special favorable treatment based on their race. Is asking that white people be given special favorable treatment based on being white, presumably for having high average IQ and being victimized by anti-white policies, that much different than black people asking for special favorable treatment based on being black, presumably for being victims of racism?
White people with a fixed mindset don’t like working too hard in an area where there’s a high risk of ego-bruising failure, asking for help, or admitting fallibility, because they view that as evidence of inferiority. Furthermore if they work hard and still fail, it can be viewed as proof of inferiority, so they’d rather self-handicap. Many black Americans stigmatize studying hard and practicing as “acting white”, and they will often engage in self-handicapping so as to provide excuses for underperformance and protect their egos. White fixed mindset people such as HBDers when criticized, can only attack and discredit the sources of criticism without being able to distinguish constructive criticism from useless hating. Black American people will often lump all critiques from white people under racism without trying to separate the constructive criticism from the mean-spirited hating. White HBDers are notorious blamers, blaming blacks, liberals, blank slaters, the government, feminists, schools, Democrats, Tradcons, and whoever else for their difficulties. Black Americans also are considered notorious blamers, blaming white racism and the “system” for many problems. Frustrated fixed mindset white people are increasingly viewing relationships as more adversarial, hostile, and opportunistic, and single motherhood and divorce is now rising in the white community. Black gender relationships have long been guilty of this same pattern.
Both white fixed mindset people and black fixed mindset people feel helpless to change the world, and are unable to form proactive solutions and realistic plans of actions. The white fixed mindset people act like nothing will go their way until they can get the whole world to recognize natural white genetic superiority, get blacks to voluntarily accept the idea that they are genetically destined for inferiority, and get public policy to be based on these principles. The black fixed mindset people act like nothing will go their way until they can totally eradicate all anti-black racism from the world, and until that happens, until every last bit of anti-black racism is gone from earth, they will always be screwed. Neither of these strategies are productive or realistic, and are really just self-handicapping and excuses for stagnation.
Take the challenge yourself. Look at the bullet points above describing fixed mindset traits, then figure out ways they manifest in among both white fixed mindset types and black fixed mindset people. The point is, if you look at the behavior of a frustrated fixed mindset white person, especially one as extreme as an HBDer, you will see very similar behaviors to the Black community in their actions.
I am going to make my case in the next installment for the assertion that it is actually the fixed mindset that explains black underperformance and modern white stagnation and decline rather than any supposed “blank slate” mentality in the next installment. The point is, though, that the fixed mindset is what led to many of the established problems in Black America and many of the currently developing problems in White America, and HBDers, by advocating further public commitment to the fixed mindset, will just end up exacerbating the very problems they complain about.
For more reading on the fixed mindset finding, click the links from the last installment. For a summary of stereotype threat studies, this provides a good summary.