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Neuroskeptic: Political neuroscience: "Growth mindsets" and disability

Seems that pyschobabble is everywhere - not that we will be surprised by that I'm sure.
Political Neuroscience: “Growth Mindsets” and Disability
By Neuroskeptic | July 10, 2017 3:06 pm

On Twitter, I learned that the British government is citing neuroscience studies as part of a new welfare initiative.

The “Health and Work Conversation” (HWC) is a newly-introduced procedure for welfare claimants receiving support because sickness or disability impairs their ability to work. The one hour “conversation” is mandatory in most cases and it seems intended to encourage people to seek whatever work they are able to do.

A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed documents relating to the HWC, including a set of training Powerpoint slides aimed at the “work coaches” whose job it is to administer the HWC.

The training material refers heavily to “growth mindsets”. This psychological model, which Neuroskeptic readers may be familar with, originated from research on schoolchildren. According to mindset theorists, children who believe that success is a product of effort have a “growth mindset”, and these children try harder and perform better than those who believe talent determines success (“fixed mindset”).

Whether it’s appropriate to apply this educational model to a disability context I’ll leave to the psychologists. Two of the HWC slides explicitly refer to neuroscience, though, and these I will comment on. Here’s the first one:

This slide is talking about a 2008 study by Driemeyer et al. The juggling training period was actually three weeks, not three months, and the brain growth Driemeyer et al. found was transient: it had vanished by three months after training, in fact if anything the brain shrank. Oh, and no multiple comparisons correction was used, so the results might be due to chance.


The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
My Dilbert post from another thread applies here


Senior Member
The growth mindset stuff has actually helped me a bit with studying etc. Not getting frustrated or giving up when things don't work straight away, but soldiering on. It did fuck all for my M.E. though. In fact, if I wouldn't know how important pacing is, it's something that might push me into P.E.M, the soldiering on.