Feb.8 2017 Zia0


Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

AngelaLee Duckworth Self-disciplineoutdoes IQ in predicting acadtgemic performance of adolescents



What is Grit?

Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint

Grit Scale - that you choose to do a particular thing in life and choose to give up a lot of other things in order to do it. And you stick with those interests and goals over the long term

Let's take a look :

A conversation with AngelaLee Duckworth

Resilience and Learning." How are grit and resilience related? Is there a difference between the two?

What all those definitions of resilience have in common is the idea of a positive response to failure or adversity. Grit is related because part of what it means to be gritty is to be resilient in the face of failure or adversity. But that's not the only trait you need to be gritty.

Tell us about one of your studies that showed the relationship between grit and high achievement.

Studies :

One of the first studies that we did was at West Point Military Academy, which graduates about 25 percent of the officers in the U.S. Army. Admission to West Point depends heavily on the Whole Candidate Score, which includes SAT scores, class rank, demonstrated leadership ability, and physical aptitude. Even with such a rigorous admissions process, about 1 in 20 cadets drops out during the summer of training before their first academic year.

We've seen echoes of our West Point findings in studies of many other groups, such as National Spelling Bee contestants and first-year teachers in tough schools. Grit predicts success over and beyond talent. When you consider individuals of equal talent, the grittier ones do better.

What research finding on grit has been most surprising to you?

Grit and talent either aren't related at all or are actually inversely related.

That was surprising because rationally speaking, if you're good at things, one would think that you would invest more time in them. You're basically getting more return on your investment per hour than someone who's struggling. If every time you practice piano you improve a lot, wouldn't you be more likely to practice a lot?

Studies :

When it's raining, everybody wants a taxi, and taxi drivers pick up a lot of fares. So if you're a taxi driver, the rational thing to do is to work more hours on a rainy day than on a sunny day because you're always busy so you're making more money per hour. But it turns out that on rainy days, taxi drivers work the fewest hours.

It's a similar thing with grit and talent. In terms of academics, if you're just trying to get an A or an A−, just trying to make it to some threshold, and you're a really talented kid, you may do your homework in a few minutes, whereas other kids might take much longer. You get to a certain level of proficiency, and then you stop. So you actually work less hard.

If, on the other hand, you are not just trying to reach a certain cut point but are trying to maximize your outcomes—you want to do as well as you possibly can—then there's no limit, ceiling, or threshold. Your goal is,

"How can I get the most out of my day?" Then you're like the taxi driver who drives all day whether it's rainy or not.

When I look at people whom I really respect and admire, like psychology professor Walter Mischel or economist Jim Heckman, these people are extremely talented. For every hour that they put into research, they're getting a lot out of it. Still, they work 17 hours a day. Jim Heckman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000, and if he were working to get to a cut point, he should now be coasting. But he's not.

The people who are, for lack of a better word, "ambitious"—the kids who are not satisfied with an A or even an A+, who have no limit to how much they want to understand, learn, or succeed—those are the people who are both talented and gritty.

Being gifted is no guarantee of being hardworking or passionate about something.

Grit depends on having focused, long-term passions.

I was a good fourth-year math teacher relative to other fourth-year math teachers. But I was not nearly as good as the master teachers who had been doing it for 25 years. And I would never be that good, unless I decided to spend 20 more years working really hard at it. I realized that just shifting, shifting, shifting every two or three years was not going to add up to what I wanted. I thought, "I'm very ambitious. I want to be world-class at something. And this is not a recipe for it."

Thing that happened was not so much finding my passion as recognizing or rediscovering my passion.

A lot of young people never get to experience that—being into something for enough years with enough depth so that they really know it. Master teachers know what I'm talking about. So do people who are seriously committed to whatever vocation they have, even people who have a really serious hobby that they've worked at for years. They reach a level of appreciation and experience that novices can never understand.

Students need to hear that message, because so much of today's conversation is about the changing economy—how you're going to have all these different jobs and you have to be flexible. But you know, you also have to be good at something.

Created By
Juo-Hsin Chang


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