A mindset is the established set of attitudes held by a person.

A lot of focus in education has been on the benefits of having a growth mindset. Our research confirmed its importance, but highlighted the positive impacts that gratitude and realistic optimism also have on the brain. This module looks at some of the key healthy mindsets that lead to student success.

The three mindsets we have considered in this module are:

Growth mindset, Realistic optimism, and Gratitude.


Growth Mindset

According to Carol Dweck, “in a fixed mindset students believe that their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are fixed. That one has a certain amount and that’s it. In a growth mindset, however, students understand that their talents and abilities can be through abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence.”

 Explore the benefits and scientific effect positive mindsets have on our brains.

Realistic Optimism

Realistic Optimism is a way of seeing life hopefully and having an expectation of success through effort and perseverance. It is not simply positive thinking or wishful thinking, it’s choosing how to respond and being practical and working hard to get desired results.Realistic optimism correlates strongly with good health and effective coping strategies. It can be learned and, if practiced, can become a way of thinking.


Modern psychology research confirms that gratitude is an important social emotion that can benefit the lives of those that practice it.

An “attitude of gratitude” has been proven to have benefits on a person’s overall well-being.



child praying

What is Gratitude and What is Its Role in Positive Psychology?

What is gratitude exactly? Gratitude is an important positive emotion that has many benefits.  Read more about it here.