Angela Duckworth on Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

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Angela Duckworth on Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Summary:
– same title as the book – published on 3 May 2016
– she has studied neuroscience & academic enrichment
– has a PhD in psychology
– learning occurs all the time (in & out of class; effort is also important, but it is more than just discipline & effort)
– she is also a big believer in Positive Psychology (Marty Seligman’s work on learned helplessness – the opposite of effort & perservering)
– her worked has been picked up by CEOs & professional sport across multiple domains
– the psychology of effort & achievement
– achievement is more than just luck & talent:
– great effort in consistent & enduring way
– the overarching goal does not change over time
– she has also developed the “grit scale”

– definition of grit: sustained self-regulation in the service of super-ordinate goals
– super-ordinate goals are not just likes such as liking going to movies or reading the New York Times
– what she means is that in 10, 20 or 30 years time she will still be working in, & being highly interested in, the field of human behaviour & psychology

– human beings are goal-directed
– to take goals “higher”, keep asking yourself: Why?
& these goals are often “nested” within other goals
– she notes goals take active effort
– there can be many ways to reach goals | to have a hierarchy of goals (stepped, with multiple “how’s”
– there are many paths to the same superordinate goals

– she notes there is a lot of stubbornness in human beings – to not do them, but to also to persevere | judgment – needed for when it is ok to accept/let go (particularly lower-level goals)
– grit is not just being a robot & persisting
– but grit is an enduring & abiding interest

– self-control: a person’s ability to adjudicate between two conflicting impulses (one that is easy & feels good right away, compared with one that it is better in the long-run) & too make the decision yourself – this is self-initiated rather than compliance with a parental direction
– these conflicts are the essence of the human condition

– grit is to do with long-term control

Big 5 Personality theory: OCEAN (spectrum of personality domains)
O – openness
C – conscientiousness – grit & self-control pertain to this domain
E – extraversion
A – agreeableness
N – neuroticism

She has developed a Formula for achievement:
– achievement = skill x cumulative effort [holding luck & opportunity as a constant]
– Skill = talent x effort

Therefore,
– Achievement = talent x effort squared [i.e. effort helps build skill, & then more reward is achieved through more effort

– humans differ in terms of talent & ability to pick up
– she believes genes have a role to play
– all aspects of human life have some genetic influence
– there are genetic interactions as a result of environment
– & genes & environments are malleable
– genetics is not destiny
– all different aspects matter

– she notes too that every psychological aspect has a highly heritable basis, & this pertains to grit as well she notes

– self-control: is very important to achieving at school – I.e. doing homework, studying for tests

– intelligence tests – test which is similar to a standardised achievement test
– intelligence: is the aptitude to learn new things

Interventions:
– Work harder
– Do more deliberate practice (practice beyond your current ability & to reflect on constructive criticism)
– hours per day – struggling each day – it is not fun, failure feedback is received, high frustration
– & then repeat the next day (for years)

[studies – yes, there is potential to achieve on a sustained basis even for low-grit kids]

Source: The Psychology Podcast | Podcast date: 24.02.02016

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