12 Comments

  1. Good morning, Bravetta. I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment. Just because we’d use similar questions to ascertain someone’s grit as we would their conscientiousness, doesn’t reduce the value or impact of grit as a character trait. If you’re a podcast fan, I’d recommend a recent “Freakonomics” session entitled “How to Get More Grit in Your Life” which featured an interview with psychologist Angela Duckworth. Her argument – which I firmly support – is that grit (i.e., the willingness to persevere in the face of difficulty) is a more accurate predictor of success than, say, intelligence or natural aptitude. That doesn’t mean we don’t need passion for our work or some aptitude. I think she means that all things being equal, the person with more grit will be the one who succeeds in the face of almost certain setbacks.

  2. Good morning, Bravetta. I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment. Just because we’d use similar questions to ascertain someone’s grit as we would their conscientiousness, doesn’t reduce the value or impact of grit as a character trait. If you’re a podcast fan, I’d recommend a recent “Freakonomics” session entitled “How to Get More Grit in Your Life” which featured an interview with psychologist Angela Duckworth. Her argument – which I firmly support – is that grit (i.e., the willingness to persevere in the face of difficulty) is a more accurate predictor of success than, say, intelligence or natural aptitude. That doesn’t mean we don’t need passion for our work or some aptitude. I think she means that all things being equal, the person with more grit will be the one who succeeds in the face of almost certain setbacks.

  3. Soft science run amok.

  4. Soft science run amok.

  5. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of the recent “grit” literature, but it seems pervasive. It’s a welcome relief to see others offering counterpoints to the sudden tidal wave. The excitement over this concept reminds me of Gladwell’s Blink. Unfortunately, too many people deemed themselves topical experts during the “Blink” craze and we saw millions of dollars wasted on training efforts because analysis was no longer needed to determine root cause of performance issues. The result of was ill-conceived training solutions that often failed to meet the need. Thank you for offering up a competing viewpoint of the impact “grit’ has on success.

  6. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of the recent “grit” literature, but it seems pervasive. It’s a welcome relief to see others offering counterpoints to the sudden tidal wave. The excitement over this concept reminds me of Gladwell’s Blink. Unfortunately, too many people deemed themselves topical experts during the “Blink” craze and we saw millions of dollars wasted on training efforts because analysis was no longer needed to determine root cause of performance issues. The result of was ill-conceived training solutions that often failed to meet the need. Thank you for offering up a competing viewpoint of the impact “grit’ has on success.

  7. There is no single predictor for success. That’s the simple answer. As an example, I taught Computer Science at a community college where the only admission criteria was a high school diploma. At the start of a Computer 101 class I was teaching, a student told me that he was taking the course for the 3rd time, receiving F’s the first two times. To cut to the chase, he reinforced his F status with me but taking pity, I generously gave him a D and strongly suggested he find a new line of interest. He was an example of perseverance and grit – no one worked harder or took the course as serious as he. But he just didn’t have the wherewithal to succeed in his selected field of study. I read Angela Duckworth’s book and found it “quote” worthy and provided many success examples. But to attribute those successes solely to grit would be a serious mistake.

  8. There is no single predictor for success. That’s the simple answer. As an example, I taught Computer Science at a community college where the only admission criteria was a high school diploma. At the start of a Computer 101 class I was teaching, a student told me that he was taking the course for the 3rd time, receiving F’s the first two times. To cut to the chase, he reinforced his F status with me but taking pity, I generously gave him a D and strongly suggested he find a new line of interest. He was an example of perseverance and grit – no one worked harder or took the course as serious as he. But he just didn’t have the wherewithal to succeed in his selected field of study. I read Angela Duckworth’s book and found it “quote” worthy and provided many success examples. But to attribute those successes solely to grit would be a serious mistake.

  9. How can people think grit and conscientiousness are the same? Webster’s Dictionary says conscientious means “1. governed by, or made or done according to, what one knows is right; scrupulous; honest; or, 2. showing care and precision; painstaking.” Persevere means “to continue in some effort, course of action, etc. in spite of difficulty, opposition, etc.; be steadfast in purpose; persist.” While data can be misinterpreted, definitions should not be nor should psychologists score these traits nearly the same. They are entirely different traits. Psychologists who do these studies need to go back to the dictionary before they redefine words that have clear and very different meanings before they create their list of traits for studies.

  10. How can people think grit and conscientiousness are the same? Webster’s Dictionary says conscientious means “1. governed by, or made or done according to, what one knows is right; scrupulous; honest; or, 2. showing care and precision; painstaking.” Persevere means “to continue in some effort, course of action, etc. in spite of difficulty, opposition, etc.; be steadfast in purpose; persist.” While data can be misinterpreted, definitions should not be nor should psychologists score these traits nearly the same. They are entirely different traits. Psychologists who do these studies need to go back to the dictionary before they redefine words that have clear and very different meanings before they create their studies.

  11. The term “grit”, and how it leads to success, makes intuitive sense and has a lot of face validity, but it sure sounds like “resilience” to me.

  12. The term “grit”, and how it leads to success, makes intuitive sense and has a lot of face validity, but it sure sounds like “resilience” to me.


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