“Find your passion” is bad advice, say Yale and Stanford psychologists
Your passion isn’t out there, waiting to be discovered. It’s not a mysterious force that will—when found—remove all obstacles from your path. In fact, psychologists argue in a new study that the pithy mantra “find your passion” may be a dangerous distraction.
In a study (pdf) by researchers from Stanford and Yale-NUS college in Singapore—a collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore—soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers examined “implicit theories of interest.” Administering five tests, they measured the effects of fixed versus growth mindsets—belief in inherent interests as opposed to those that are developed—to determine how our convictions influence learning and resilience. “Are interests there all along, waiting to be revealed?” the researchers ask. “Or must a spark of interest be cultivated through investment and persistence?”
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