Think you have what it takes to succeed? You better hope you have a little ‘grit’, finds new research.
According to a study conducted on West Point military cadets, perseverance is a good indicator of entrants successfully completing their initiation process and graduating on time.
Interestingly, college entrance exam scores and athletic ability did not play a part in excelling at the academy.
Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania suggest that grit is more important than IQ because the trait is crucial to overcoming setbacks and failure.
“From my perspective as a military psychologist, it’s pretty apparent that looking at…SAT scores, while useful in looking at who will excel and flourish, a lot of variables are left unexplained,’ Dr Michael Matthews from the US Military Academy at West Point, told DailyMail.com.
“The concept of grit resonates among military circles because it gets at that attribute of someone who is willing to pursue a long-term difficult goal relentlessly – things that take months and years to accomplish.”
Analysing data on more than 11,200 cadets over a decade-long period, scientists took into account three measures: questionnaires on first arrival, a six-week initiation training program and military, academic, and physical grades during their time at West point.
For the questionnaire, early on in their initiation training, they were asked to measure their ‘grit’ or willingness to stick it out when the going gets tough.
They were also asked to answer how much ‘setbacks don’t discourage me’ applied to them on a scale of one to five (strongly agree).
Results found that those with high levels of ‘grit’ were more likely to complete the Beast Barracks training and graduate from the academy than their peers.
“Everyone has their own challenges,” adds Dr Matthews.
“But the thing is grit is involved just as much in the single mother or father working 40 hours a week and earning a community college degree at night as in the cadet training at West Point.”