‘Grit’ – perseverance and passion for long term goals – is a stronger predicator of success than IQ.
‘Grit’ is defined as working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course for specified goals and interests, and does not swerve from them, even in the absence of positive feedback.
This US study develops a ‘grit scale’ to test the hypothesis that grit, more than self-control or conscientiousness, is essential to high achievement, and presents evidence on the impact of grit in different settings.
Duckworth, Angela L., Christopher Peterson, Michael D. Matthews, and Dennis R. Kelly. 2007. “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92 (6): 1087. http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/Grit%20JPSP.pdf.