Thursday, May 19, 2016

True grit may be overrated

Are there other roads to success?
An Iowa State University psychologist named Marcus Crede and his colleagues studied the role of "grit" in performance.

Grit is defined as perseverance and commitment to long-term goals.

A Univ of Pennsylvania researcher named Angela Duckworth first studied grit--but Crede says grit is really no different than conscientiousness. Crede calls it a repackaging of conscientiousness.

The most well-known grit study was of West Point cadets. Those with above average grit scores were said to be 99% more likely to complete training than cadets with average grit.

Crede says this is a misinterpretation--that should be 3% not 99%.

But it has led to the encouragement of grit, the teaching of grit, even at the Dept of Education level.

Grit is easy to understand, Crede says--think of someone who gives up easily compared with someone who sticks with it even if it's hard--it makes sense the first one would succeed more often.

But this isn't true. Nobody, Crede says, wants to think life is made up of many factors that add up--your education, how hard you work, your conscientiousness, your creativity.

Adjustment, study habits, test anxiety, class attendance--all are more strongly related to performance than grit.

Well, durn, Pilgrim. (Like my John Wayne?)

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