Thursday, May 20, 2010

Self-Discipline more Important for Success than IQ

These findings probably won't surprise most teachers, but I wonder if the findings might start interesting classroom conversations. This LifeHacker blog post summarizes research coming out of Seligman's Positive Psychology Center regarding the relative impact of high levels of self-discipline vs. IQ as predictors of success. As teachers, I bet we would have predicted the outcome: Self-discipline wins. But it might be interesting to hear what students would predict, and whether these findings match their experiences/perceptions? The original research article is also available in full text.

It also might be interesting to bring Dweck's research about "ability vs. effort" attributions into this conversation about self-discipline vs. intellectual "ability"

Posted by Rob McEntarffer


Steve said...

I like the article but I wonder why it was posted by Lifehacker as fresh news -- this study came out in 2005!

One of the co-authors of the paper is Angela Duckworth, who's done some fascinating research on grit and the human ability to persevere when given setbacks and tough times. There's a great article in the Boston Globe a few years ago by Jonah Lehrer on the grit research. You can also take the grit survey which is now part of the whole host of Authentic Happiness surveys at UPenn. There's also a PDF version here.

Rob Mc said...

Good point about the "age" of the article - I bet some blogger at Lifehacker pulled this one out of their "write about this someday" drawer?