Learning vs Performing

Among the tiny epiphanies from volunteering to work overnight at an ultramarathon aid station:

  1. Some people really are different than others — there's a huge range of personal abilities in any topic (and one's own abilities change over time)
  2. Everybody can strive to improve, to learn, to maximize their potential

That latter is the "Growth Mindset" that Carol Dweck's work on "self-theories" emphasized, and that features prominently in Phil Tetlock and Dan Gardner's recent book Superforecasting among the "Characteristics of Superforecasters". Adapted from various sources including their work:

Learning Orientation Performing Orientation
Belief that effort leads to success Belief that ability leads to success
Trust in one's potential to improve and to learn Concern about being judged as able and performing well
Preference for challenging tasks Preference for doing better than others or succeeding with little effort
Satisfaction from personal success at difficult tasks Satisfaction from interpersonal comparison and public evaluation
Problem-solving and self-instruction when task is difficult Helplessness and self-criticism when task is difficult

(cf. Self-Standardization (2002-04-06), Hardest Possible (2003-03-02), Solve the Problem (2007-05-24), ...) - ^z - 2016-02-08