#theconfidencecode @ClaireShipman @KattyKayBBC – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Eight Entry Three)

Point #3: “David Dunning, Cornell psychologist, [observed the following in relation to a particularly tough course on the Cornell math PhD program]: male students […] respond to their lower grades by saying, “Wow, this is a tough class.” That’s what’s known as external attribution […and is] a healthy sign of resilience. Women tend to respond differently, […where] their reaction is more likely to be, “You see, I knew I wasn’t good enough.” That’s internal attribution, and it can be debilitating.”


So, it looks like there is something to be learned here, that something has to change, and the good news is that the brain is capable of learning new things and changing in response to this new information (we’ll get to that in a bit). For now, it seems that women really need to give themselves a break – lay off the perfection goal for a while, because stuff that’s debilitating really isn’t good for you; the clue is in the name.


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