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What is the correlation between grit and Big 5 conscientiousness?

What is the correlation between grit and Big 5 conscientiousness?

There's been quite a bit of talk about "grit", lately. And the first response of many was to ponder whether it is different from big 5 conscientiousness.

Thus, I was wondering what the correlation is between "grit" and Big 5 conscientiousness?


There is some discussion on Wikipedia

A meta-analysis [by Crede et al] found that the grit was functionally a measure of conscientiousness

A study by Mayer and Skimmyhorn (2017) using two large military cadet samples (i.e., samples of approximately 1000 in each) obtained measures of Grit (12 item measure, Duckworth, et al 2007) and IPIP 20 item conscientiousness. They obtained correlations between conscientiousness and grit of .75 and .74 in the two samples. The reliability of conscientiousness was close around .90 for conscientiousness and .80 for grit. Thus, the correlations suggest that almost all of the meaningful individual differences are shared across the two scales.

References

Mayer, J. D., & Skimmyhorn, W. (2017). Personality attributes that predict cadet performance at West Point. Journal of Research in Personality, 66, 14-26.

Crede, Marcus; Tynan, Michael; Harms, Peter. "Much Ado About Grit: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of the Grit Literature.". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi:10.1037/pspp0000102. PMID 27845531


Research Paper: The Psychology of Grit

This paper discusses the potential psychological price of grit for students, and how it affects their mental and emotional health via happiness and life satisfaction markers. Even college students with grit can still experience study burnout, due to their determined nature and inability to set realistic goals. Happiness and life satisfaction levels can be determined and scored via, surveys and questionnaires that were given to numerous college students over the course of the study. On a whole, grit appears to have a positive correlation between both happiness and life satisfaction, but more research should be conducted before a definitive answer can be given about logistics of grit’s standardization in classroom settings.

Keywords: psychological, grit, mental and emotional health, happiness, life satisfaction, study burnout

Introduction

Grit has a multitude of meaning everything from the texture of sandpaper to a type of bran used in meals throughout history. However, over time the word became a personality trait that meant a person had “firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger” (Grit, n.d.). The concept of grit and one’s ability to preserver in the face of long odd and with no end in sight, became of great interest to psychologists around the world. Many wanted to know if grit could be used to define someone’s success in academics or even in their lives. Others wanted to study the effects of grit and to see if it might be a learnable trait rather than inherent after all “every human quality that has been studied has proven to be affected at least in part by a person’s environment — even intelligence” (Hanford, 2012). On the other hand, the environments that cause a person or student to develop grit could have more adverse psychological complications that continue to affect a student for the rest of his or her life. By studying and understanding the psychological ramifications of grit, specifically in students, we can determine the whether grit is detrimental to the emotional and mental welfare of students by impinging upon their overall happiness and life satisfaction.

The Psychology of Grit

Grit is often times classified as one of “The Big Five traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness)” and has “been related to a wide range of behaviors including academic achievement and job performance” (Komarraju, et al., 2008, p. 47). Over years of research grit began to have its own classification that was “distinct from dependability aspects of conscientiousness, including self-control” and “need for achievement, described …as a drive to complete manageable goals that allow for immediate feedback on performance” (Duckworth et al., 2007, p. 1089). Dr. Angela Duckworth, professor at University of Pennsylvania, and her fellow researchers (2007) state that individuals with grit are both aware they have it and that, unlike persons with a need for achievement, do not need to have an explicitly rewarding goal. However, the need and cause of grit’s development in students could prove to be very harmful to the future mental health of students, due the enormous burden of stress that students must undergo to develop this “unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger” (Grit, n.d.).

Emotional and Mental Welfare of Students

College students are under a lot of pressure from academics, semi self-sufficiency, and the burden of planning a future. Colleges and Universities are trying to help students cope with the fiscal and emotional pressure placed upon them, so determining new ways to either eliminate certain stressors, or to help teach students new ways to cope with the pressure are very important. Potentially, grit could be a causal factor in the in ability of young adults to handle and deal with new stress, due to ‘burning out’ during the school year. “Study burnout results from emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress” and can be induced by stressful activities such as “school work, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, concurrent family demands, limited or no physical exercise, poor time management and unrealistic goals” (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, n.d.). Grit and the drive it causes in students’ might cause them to both reduce sleeping hours and increase their work load by setting unrealistic goals because it gives them a sense of false security in their own abilities and the amount of work they feel they should be able to push through. One UC Davis student said that “People who have grit are people who push everything and test their limits constantly they don’t know when to stop before they burnout” (J.L., personal communication, May 26, 2015). Grit could be potentially hazardous to students because they are unable to see their own limitation. Prolonged feelings of study burnout in college students could leave them feeling unhappy with their current prospects, which might reduce their willingness to continue to succeed academically due to the emotional discomfort they are experiencing.

Grit’s effect on Happiness

Happiness, as defined by Kamlesh Singh and Shanlini Jha (2008), is “the average level of satisfaction over a specific period” without experiencing negative the negative affect. They used “Lyubomirsky and Lepper’s (1999) General (Subjective) Happiness Scale” to measure the general and relative happiness of her sample (p. 41). Her research was focused around the correlation of happiness, life satisfaction, positive and negative affects, and grit. The happiness scale and survey used in Singh’s research may have skewed her data and the numerical size of happy students due the scales age. It may no longer be a viable way to measure the happiness of students because of the new advancement in psychology and the study of the human mind thus, making the scale obsolete. She concluded that there was a significant positive correlation between grit and happiness, but that “Grit accounts for 7% of the total variance [with respect to happiness]” (p. 42 &43). This means that the grit of a student can only account for 7% of the difference in happiness levels between students who have grit and those who do not. However, correlation does not mean causation, perhaps with a larger study and more research about the happiness in relation to having grit as a personality trait will show different results. On the other hand, this study does demonstrate that the grit of a student has an actual and relevant effect on their happiness levels, and by extension the overall mental welfare of the student. This correlation could be very useful to universities and colleges because they might be able to observe students mental welfare through the presence or absence of grit in their student body. Happiness was not the only marker researchers used to measure and rate the students’ overall metal health and stability life satisfaction levels were also recorded and compared with the grit level of students.

Grit’s effect on Life Satisfaction

Again, Singh’s and Jha’s (2008) research about the correlation of grit and happiness also delves into the correlation of grit and life satisfaction. She goes one to describe life satisfaction in her research as one’s personal perception of how satisfied he or she is with his or her life. “The SWLS [Satisfaction with Life Scale] is a 5-item self-report questionnaire that measures one’s evaluation of satisfaction with life in general” (p. 41). It was created by Ed Diener, et al., (1985) to serve as “a multi-item scale to measure life satisfaction as a cognitive-judgmental process” (p.71). In Singh’s and Jha’s (2008) research, grit and life satisfaction showed a significant positive correlation and that grit accounts for 2% of the variation with respect to life satisfaction. Here their study shows that the grit of a student accounts for 2% of difference in life satisfaction levels between students who have grit and those who do not. More research and studies need to be conducted about grit and how it relates to life satisfaction, and about how Diener’s life satisfaction scale measures up to today’s standards for psychological surveys. However, both Diener’s and Singh’s research could present mental health centers on college campuses other methods to test for study burnout and mental stress levels in their students. Despite both happiness’ and life satisfactions’ positive correlation with grit, the other more long-term psychological effects of grit might not have been detected or observable to the researchers. Collegiate facilities might be able monitoring the mental health and burnout reports from their students via the workload and known stressor a student with grit might be experiencing. With this information actions could be taken on a larger scale to benefit all of the students before peak burnout periods not during them.

The Outcome of Grit

The research conducted about grit has demonstrated a positive relationship between both happiness and life satisfaction when compared to grit levels, and both of these are indicators of mental and emotional health. This does not necessarily mean that the environments that foster and facilitate the development of grit are good for the mental welfare of students. Further research is still required before institutionalizing the development of grit within students can occur. The level of persistence and unyielding courage required of college student, especially in competitive and impacted majors, can be very demanding it could result in the inability to continue pursuing a higher level of education, despite their self-control and need for achievement. In these cases, have grit might be the only way for them to achieve success, but others who are unable to handle the burden are often shunned by society for not trying to pursue their goals. Some college students believe that grit should be taught to students at early ages so they can “learn how to have it and how to let go of it” without burning out (J.L., personal communication, May 26, 2015). In many ways, grit can be a double edged sword that acts to facilitates growth academically while potentially endangering the mental health and stability of the user by misjudging the amount of stress he or she can handle. The continual force exerted on students by parents and schools might help develop grit in some students, but it might do equal amounts of damage to others who are unable to keep up and to the students are forced into a gritty lifestyle. Parents and schools should encourage the metal health of their student and children in a case by case manner, generalizing the situation might cause more problems, to determine the level of grit they should have. Then teaching and explaining the limitations and side effects of grit to student to help make the more aware of what burnout symptoms are, would help round out their academic skill and better prepare them for the rapid number of stressors experienced in college.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Office of Academic Support & Counseling. (n.d.) Dealing with study burnout. (May 21, 2015). Retrieved from https://www.einstein.yu.edu/education/student-affairs/academic-support-counseling/medical-school-challenges/study-burnout.aspx

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75. Retrieved from: http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/

Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (January 2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 1087-1100. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087

Grit. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. (May 21, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grit

Hanford, E., & American RadioWorks. (2012, October 2). How important is grit in student achievement. Mind Shift. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/10/02/how-important-is-grit-in-student-achievement/

Komarraju, M., Karau, S. J., & Schmeck, R. R. (July 2008). Role of big five personality traits in predicting college student’s academic motivation and achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 47-52. Retrieved from https://vpn.lib.ucdavis.edu/S1041608008000587/,DanaInfo=ac.els-cdn.com+1-s2.0-S1041608008000587-main.pdf?_tid=31e5eeba-ffea-11e4-bc96-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1432234385_62b97aef6c77c2afcd23219603d3ccdc

Singh, K., & Jah, S. D. (April 2008). Positive and negative affect, and grit as predictors of happiness and life satisfaction. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology. 34, 40-45. Retrieved from http://medind.nic.in/jak/t08/s1/jakt08s1p40.pdf

Interview Appendix
Recorded Interview Session on May 26, 2015.

Q: State your name, please?
A: J. L.

Q: What is your major?
A: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Q: Do you know what the term grit means, with respect to a personality trait?
A: Perseverance through everything

Q: Do you know what burning out is, specifically pertaining to studying?
A: Yes

Q: How would you describe burning out?
A: The inability to continue, because you’re just too tired or too broken. You’ve lost hope.

Q: Would you say that people who have grit are more likely to burnout faster in college?
A: Yes

Q: How so?
A: Because people who have grit are people who push through everything and they test their limits constantly and they don’t know when to stop before they burnout.

Q: Would you define yourself as someone with grit?
A: At certain times, yes

Q: Do you think grit is major dependent?
A: No

Q: Would you say that UC Davis is more likely to have higher burnout rates than another UC college?
A: To a certain degree, yes.

Q: Why do you think so?
A: It’s not exactly a town where you can relax. UC Davis is one of the top UC schools and on top of that there is a lot of pressure to do well. And there is like… The bay area is fun but it’s far away. You have Vallejo Six Flags but it’s also far away so it’s like you’re stuck in a college town and you’re just sort of pushed to keep doing well and not rest as much

Q: Do you think grit is a valuable resource and should be taught to students at young ages, despite the fact that it could potential lead to burning out?
A: Yes. You have to learn how to have it and how to let go of it.


How Conscientiousness Can Predict Success

W e’ve been brought up in a culture that emphasizes the importance of hard work. There’s even the cliché: hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. It seems obvious, but I’m sure we’ve all had experiences that showed us this wasn’t always true.

There was the student that studied for hours and hours b u t could never beat you in any exam. Or the genius who never studied but somehow always topped the class. These archetypes are anecdotal indicators that hard work doesn’t always beat talent. Maybe we’re just kidding ourselves by trying harder when the less conscientiousness will beat us by doing nothing.

In those times, I look at larger sample sizes, to see if I’m really kidding myself.

The Big Five personality traits is a personality model widely used by psychologists to describe human personality. The five factors are:

  • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
  • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
  • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)

But which of these factors can determine success?

There’s an abundance of literature on how grit — the passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals — predicts success. A 2007 study by Angela Duckworth (author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) found Grit to be a significant contributor to the success metrics: GPA of Ivy league undergraduates, retention at the United States Military Academy, and ranking in the National Spelling Bee. How does this relate to the Big Five personality traits? Duckworth’s study didn’t find a correlation between Grit and IQ but found a strong correlation between grit and Conscientiousness — the personality trait of being careful and diligent (implying the desire to do a task well).

A 2016 study on the etiology of Grit found that Grit and Conscientiousness are to a large extent the same trait in both observable behavior and genetics. It suggests that Conscientiousness can be used to predict academic success, with Grit adding little to this prediction.

Conscientiousness extends from academic success into workplace success. This study tested employees’ Big Five personality traits and measured how well employees with different traits performed, what types of traits employers wanted, and what types of traits were rated as important for performance. It found the two most important traits to be Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, with differing relative importance of Neuroticism and Extraversion. This suggests how well you manage emotions and how outgoing you are doesn’t have as much of an impact on workplace success as your duty to your work and how you fit into the workplace.

Resilience, an important factor in coming back from setbacks, is higher in conscientious people. This study tested undergraduates on resilience by measuring the success of their adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances Out of the Big Five personality traits, Conscientiousness accounted for the most variance in resilience.

Beyond academics and workplace, the Big Five personality traits were used to measure objective success (income and wealth) and subjective success (life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect) in this 2012 study. Conscientiousness was the only personality trait found to have consistently beneficial associations across all factors. This suggests that a desire to do good work doesn’t only increase someone’s success measured by income, but also their happiness with life.

This isn’t to say that conscientious people are better than those who aren’t. There are advantages to not being conscientious such as being more easy-going and relaxed. These studies show how being more conscientiousness can be beneficial, but don’t show us how the less conscientiousness benefit from their personality.


Results

Table 1 presents the means, standard deviations, sample size, and Pearson product moment correlations for the study variables. Tables 2 and 3 present the results of the multiple linear regression analyses for testing our hypotheses, analyzing the effect of the Big 5 personality characteristics and narcissism beyond overall self-ratings and director ratings of LDEB, respectively. This analysis is used to explore and quantify the relationship between the dependent variable and several independent or predictor variables, as well as to develop a linear equation with a predictive objective.

TABLE 2. Results of the regression model (LDP Self Rating Total).


Personality Testing May Identify Applicants Who Will Become Successful in General Surgery Residency

Identification of successful general surgical residents remains a challenging endeavor for program directors with a national attrition of approximately 20% per year. The Big 5 personality traits and the Grit Scale have been extensively studied in many industries, and certain traits are associated with professional or academic success. However, their utility in surgery resident selection is unknown.

Methods

We performed a retrospective review of all categorical surgery residents (n = 34) at the University of Texas Medical Branch from 2015 to 2017. Current residents were classified into low performing (n = 12) or non-low performing (n = 22) based on residency performance and standardized test scores. Groups were assessed for differences in both conventional metrics used for selection and Big 5 and grit scores using bivariate analysis and Pearson's correlation coefficient. Personality testing was administered to recent resident applicants (n = 81). Applicants were ranked using conventional application information. We then examined the applicants' personalities and their rank position with personality characteristics of non–low-performing residents to determine if there was any correlation.

Results

The Big 5 personality test identified significantly higher extroversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability scores in those residents classified as non–low performers. There was no significant difference in conventional metrics or in grit scores between non–low performers and low performers. Our final rank does not correlate well with personality traits of non–low performers.

Conclusions

The Big 5 test may prove to be a useful adjunct to the traditional residency application in identifying applicants who may become successful in general surgery residency.


What is the correlation between grit and Big 5 conscientiousness? - Psychology

Professor Angela Duckworth, aka the Queen of “Grit”, has built a very successful brand. In this article about Duckworth she defines grit as a skill: something that can be built through determination and focus. She suggests three ways to improve your grit.

Find Your Calling: People with high levels of grit are as motivated by the pursuit of pleasure as much as anyone else, but what marks them out is their greater interest in meaningful activities that serve a higher purpose.

Practice smart: Once you know what your passion is, you need to hone your craft through deliberate and unrelenting practice.

Think like an optimist: Gritty people tend to respond to setbacks with an optimistic mindset and see failure as a chance to learn. Gritty optimists tend to have a growth mindset, believing that traits like intelligence can be nurtured. Pessimists instead see such things as fixed.

As a 7MTF/Humm practitioner, when I read this article I immediately thought of the Engineer temperament component. Engineers are driven to complete projects. Process, detail and method are characteristics of the strong E. This person makes lists of lists! The great thing about the strong E is that they can form a plan as soon as look at something. And what’s more they can make it happen. On the Big 5 scale these are people high in Conscientiousness.

And I am not alone. This article claims “Grit” is an example of redundant labelling in personality psychology and an example of the Jangle Fallacy. It describes a German study of two groups who were given a “Grit” test and “Conscientiousness” test. The researchers found the perseverance facet of Grit (which past studies have suggested is responsible for most of the links between Grit and later success) shared 95 per cent of its variance with trait Conscientiousness and with its “pro-active” facets.

I worked in venture capital for 25 years and one thing we did in screening potential investment was to psych test the entrepreneur. Originally, we were looking for ‘natural leaders’ people with high Mover, Hustler and Politician temperament components. However after several years we realised we were looking for the wrong people. Our successful entrepreneurs had a combination of Hustler & Engineer Components combined with high numerical IQ.

Our role model became Peter Farrell, the entrepreneur behind ResMed, one of Australia’s very successful technology companies. No matter what the conversation – politics, restaurants, golf – Peter would soon turn the conversation to sleep apnoea. He was a monomaniac on the topic.

Most entrepreneurs have high verbal IQ and are good talkers. However, if you are going to join or invest in a start-up, make sure the entrepreneur has a very high level of Engineer, grit or conscientiousness. Otherwise you could be making a fatal decision, either for your career or for your wealth.


Passion, grit and mindset in football players

The main aim of the study was to explore the relationship between passion, grit and mindset in a group of football players in Norway. The sample had 63 participants. In three different groups in relation to age and level. Sogndal elite team (N = 25) (Elite), Sogndal Junior team (N = 17) (Junior 18) and young talents in Sogn-og Fjordane (N = 21) (Junior 15).

To assess the level of passion the passion scale was used, an eight-item scale. To measure grit the Grit-S scale was used. The scale has 8 items. Mindset was measured with the Theories of Intelligence Scale (TIS). The scale has 8-items. Trainers in each group ranked the players football competence. The results show that the elite team did have the highest score in all factors. Significant difference between elite and Junior 15 in the factor grit. The results indicate significant correlations between the variables passion-grit (r = 0.576, p < .001) and grit-mindset (r = 0.271, p < .05. The correlation was not significant for passion-mindset (r = 0.121). Elite: a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.474, p < .001) only. The correlation passion-mindset (r = 0.049) grit-mindset (r = 0.215) and trainers ranking was not significant. However, it is interesting to note the moderate correlation between passion and trainers ranking (r = −0.326) and grit and trainers ranking (r = −0.268) in this group. Junior 18: a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.679, p < .001) only. The correlation between passion-mindset (r = 0.146) grit-mindset (r = 0.381) and trainers ranking was not significant. Junior 15: the results indicate a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.665, p < .001) and passion-trainers ranking (r = −0.545, p < .05 large correlation) only. The correlation between passion-mindset (r = 0.181) and grit-mindset (r = 0.227) was not significant. In sum, despite associations magnitudes between variables (grit, mindset, and passion) are different among groups, only significant differences between groups were found in grit.


Which Personality Traits Are Most Predictive of Well-Being?

We all want more well-being in our lives. But which traits are most likely to be associated with well-being? This is an important question because it can help inform our decision to cultivate some aspects of our being over others, and can even inform culture-wide interventions to increase societal levels of well-being.

But in answering this question there are some important considerations. For one, what aspect of well-being are we talking about? In recent years, multiple aspects of well-being have been studied that go beyond the stereotypical smiling and positive vibes associated with happiness (see here for a review). Here are 11 dimensions of well-being that have been systematically investigated based on three prominent models of well-being (Subjective Well-Being, Psychological Well-Being, and PERMA):

11 Dimensions of well-being:

  1. High Positive emotions (high frequency and intensity of positive moods and emotions)
  2. Low negative emotions (low frequency and intensity of negative moods and emotions)
  3. Life satisfaction (a positive subjective evaluation of one's life, using any information the person considers relevant)
  4. Autonomy (Being independent and able to resist social pressures)
  5. Environmental mastery (Ability to shape environments to suit one's needs and desires)
  6. Personal growth (Continuing to develop, rather than achieving a fixed state)
  7. Positive relations (Having warm and trusting interpersonal relationships)
  8. Self-acceptance (Positive attitudes toward oneself)
  9. Purpose and meaning in life (A clear sense of direction and meaning in one's efforts, or a connection to something greater than oneself)
  10. Engagement in life (being absorbed, interested, and involved in activities and life)
  11. Accomplishment (goal progress and attainment, and feelings of mastery, efficacy, and competence)

Another major consideration is: what aspect of personality are we talking about? The standard "Big Five" model of personality consists of 5 major dimensions of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience. It has been shown over and over again that the two major personality traits most predictive of well-being in the Big Five model are high extraversion and low neuroticism. But is that it? If you're not extraverted or are a neurotic mess, there's no path to well-being--besides changing who you are?!

Well, a new study led by rising superstar Jessie Sun and in collaboration with me and Luke Smillie (from the University of Melbourne), suggests there's much more to the story. Across two samples (totaling over 700 participants), we analyzed the link between multiple aspects of well-being and a broader array of personality dispositions. We based our analysis on a new model of personality that breaks each Big Five trait down into two separate aspects. We found that this more finely grained personality analysis was really helpful in understanding the link to well-being. We also found it was helpful to broaden the measures of well-being. As Carol Ryff and her colleagues have noted, broadening the different ways someone can have well-being allows a broader range of personality profiles to be recognized.

So which personality traits are most predictive of well-being? The findings from both independent samples (one which I collected in collaboration with Susan Cain's Quiet Revolution) was strikingly similar. Out of the 10 personality aspects we looked at, 5 were broadly related to well-being, 2 showed more limited links to well-being, and 3 aspects of personality were just not predictive of well-being. Here are the findings (drum roll, please):

The 5 Personal Paths to Well-Being

Each of these 5 personality traits were independently related to a wide range of well-being measures. In other words, these are 5 different personal paths to well-being. If you score high in any of these 5 personality aspects, you are probabilistically more likely to have high well-being across multiple aspects of your life.

People who score high in enthusiasm are friendly, sociable, emotionally expressive, and tend to have lots of fun in life. Enthusiasm independently predicted life satisfaction, positive emotions, less negative emotions, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations, self-acceptance, purpose in life, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and achievement.

People who score high in withdrawal are easily discouraged and overwhelmed, and tend to ruminate and be highly self-conscious. As a result, they are susceptible to depression and anxiety. Lower levels of withdrawal predicted greater life satisfaction, positive emotions, and less negative emotions. Lower levels of withdrawal also predicted greater autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, relationships, and achievement.

People who are industrious are achievement-oriented, self-disciplined, efficient, purposeful, and competent. Industriousness is strongly correlated with "grit"- passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Industriousness was correlated with life satisfaction, positive emotions, less negative emotions, and more autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, engagement, and achievement.

People who are compassionate feel and care about others' emotions and well-being. Compassion was correlated with more positive emotions, and more environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, engagement, and achievement.

People who score high in intellectual curiosity are open to new ideas, enjoy thinking deeply and complexly, and tend to reflect a lot on their experiences. Intellectual curiosity predicted autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, self-acceptance, purpose, and accomplishment. Interestingly, intellectual curiosity was not predictive of the more 'emotional' variables, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, positive relationships, and engagement with life.

Two More Limited Predictors of Well-Being

While the 5 traits above were the clear winners when it came to predicting a large swath of well-being, these two traits were still predictive of certain aspects of well-being.

People who score high in assertiveness are socially dominant, motivated to attain social status and leadership positions, and tend to be provocative. We found that assertiveness was positively related to autonomy in life (being independent and able to resist social pressures) but was also related to greater negative emotions. This makes sense considering that being autonomous often requires nonconformity and standing up for what you believe in, which can make us feel less happy in the moment. Interestingly, enthusiasm predicted LOWER levels of autonomy, as well as less negative emotions. As we note in the our paper, enthusiastic people may be less likely to go against social consensus if this makes social interactions less enjoyable, whereas assertive individuals may be comfortable with boldly voicing their opinions if this helps them to attain rewards such as status, even to the possible detriment of other forms of adjustment.

People who score high in creative openness need a creative outlet, and appreciate beauty, daydreaming, imagination, fantasy, and feelings. We found that both creative openness and intellectual curiosity had independent associations with personal growth and engagement. Therefore, while intellectual curiosity appears to be more widely predictive of well-being, creative openness is still a path to two key elements of well-being: personal growth and engagement. This is consistent with prior research on the link between living the creative life and certain forms of well-being.

The 3 Traits Not Predictive of Well-Being

These three traits were just not predictive of well-being, no matter what measure of well-being we looked at. These findings may be surprising to some people (especially those raised with certain values).

People who score high in politeness tend to be fair and considerate, respect others' needs and wants, and cooperate easily. Politeness was not correlated with any form of well-being! That's right. Being polite all the time doesn't seem to be related to well-being. Remember, assertiveness is different than politeness.

People who score high in orderliness have a preference for tidiness and routine, and tend to be perfectionistic. Like politeness, orderliness was not correlated with any of our measures of well-being. Well, except for one variable: Orderliness predicted lower levels of personal growth! So being super obsessed with orderliness in your life really isn't doing you any favors when it comes to well-being.

People who score high in volatility are susceptible to mood instability and irritability, and have difficulties with impulse control. Interestingly, once we took into account withdrawal (see above), volatility was not predictive of any any measure of well-being. Therefore, if you tend to be a really moody, impulsive person, as long as that doesn't also make you anxious and fearful, then you are not lowering your probabilities of having higher well-being!

Can You Be Happier By Changing Your Personality?

These findings show that there are certain traits you can capitalize on more if you want to increase well-being in your life. There are multiple personal paths to well-being.

But what if your personality profile seems really detrimental to well-being? Relax! Personality can be changed. A large number of scientific studies are piling up now showing that interventions exist to change personality, and that a change in personality has a direct effect on changes in happiness. What's more, a makeover in happiness can also affect our personality!

If anything, I think these findings are optimistic (maybe it's because of my high levels of enthusiasm). For one, it highlights that there are multiple routes to well-being. But less well recognized, it also highlights that there are multiple personality profiles that can get you there. The standard story is that well-being is all about extraversion and emotional stability. But these findings show the importance of including a broader array of personality traits, and leaving open possibilities for individual changes in personality as well as cultural interventions that can help all people increase their happiness by influencing their patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Note: If you are interested in the character strengths most predictive of well-being, see my prior post, in which I conducted an analysis showing that the two character strengths that are most predictive of well-being are gratitude and love of learning.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Susan Cain, Mike Erwin, Jeff Bryan, Spencer Greenberg, and Aislinn Pluta for their invaluable assistance in collecting and preparing the Sample 2 data for analysis.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


Discussion

Personality traits and emotion regulation strategies are potential protective factors against the distress from psychotic experiences. This study was conducted in a large non-clinical sample of youth and provides some of the first evidence linking personality traits, emotion regulation and psychotic experiences. As hypothesized, neuroticism was found to be significantly positively correlated with psychotic experiences, while extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be significantly negatively correlated. These findings are comparable with the conclusions of previous studies (39�). High neuroticism and low extraversion, low agreeableness, low openness as well as low conscientiousness might be unfavorably related to psychotic experience. These FFM traits perhaps, in part, represent structural tendencies in affect, cognition, and behavior in individuals that might elicit higher levels of stress, contribute to social isolation and reduce opportunities for disconfirmation of psychotic interpretation. However, in the previous studies a positive association was found between openness and the frequency of psychotic symptoms while in the current study openness was found to be negatively correlated with the distress of psychotic experiences. The potential reasons are as follows: First, individuals who exhibit openness may possess extensive and deep cognitive contents as well as genuine and complex life experiences. Their openness to emotional situations in general makes them optimistic and enables them to cope with negative emotion (43). In addition, the personality traits, such as openness, of psychotic patients change during the different stages of psychosis. Xu et al. (44) found that the level of openness in the patients was obviously higher than the level of openness before onset and while in remission, so the association between personality traits and psychotic experience for the clinical and non-clinical population could be different. Another potential explanation is that there are mediators of the relationship between the personality traits and psychotic symptoms, a finding that needs to be explored further.

In addition, we found that extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are significantly positively related to the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and negatively related to the use frequency of the suppression strategy neuroticism is significantly negatively associated with the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and positively related to the use frequency of the suppression strategy These results are consistent with previous studies (15, 45�). This study indicates that individuals with high levels of neuroticism tend to be pessimistic in adopting any strategy for regulating their emotions. Other personality traits may enable individuals to make cognitive responses in the emotional regulation strategies.

The findings also suggest that the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy is significantly negatively correlated with psychotic experiences the use frequency of the suppression strategy is significantly positively correlated with psychotic experiences. The observed pattern of habitual usage of emotion regulation strategies, such as greater use of suppression in individuals reporting greater psychotic experience, is in line with what has been found in previous studies [e.g., (51, 52)]. This suggests a maladaptive pattern of emotion regulation, in which individuals with greater distress from psychotic experiences repress the outward expression of their emotions rather than dealing with the emotional experience in a non-judgmental way. However, the inverse association between the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and psychotic experiences was not confirmed in previous studies but in this study. This finding indicates that individuals who tend to use more often the reappraisal strategy report less distress from psychotic experiences. The individuals with the reappraisal pattern could change the cognitive meaning of the events, and therefore reduce the negative emotional responses (49, 53). This finding suggests that the reappraisal strategy could be a potential protective factor from psychotic experience.

We also confirmed the second hypothesis, that both strategies of emotion regulation mediated the relationship between personality traits and psychotic experiences. In the present study it was found that the reappraisal strategy significantly mediated the relationship between all five personality traits and psychotic experiences. The suppression strategy significantly mediated the relationship between such personality traits as neuroticism, extraversion, openness and agreeableness, and psychotic experiences. The construction of the personality traits manifests in groups of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive responses. The individuals with different personality traits (i.e., neuroticism and extraversion) employ emotion regulation strategies differently, which in turn influences the experiences of their emotions (54). These findings suggest that individuals with such personality traits as extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness tend to use the reappraisal strategy, which may help to relieve the distress of psychotic experiences. On another hand, individuals with extraversion, openness, and agreeableness tend to reduce the use of the suppression strategy, which could also help to decrease the distress of psychotic experience, while individuals with neuroticism tend to use the suppression strategy and hence increase the distress of psychotic experience.

The current findings in this study suggest that certain emotion regulation styles and personality traits can function as protective factors against the psychotic experiences. This is particularly significant for suggesting interventions for non-clinical individuals with psychotic experiences. Although these experiences are distressing, they alone are not sufficient to warrant the use of anti-psychotic medication (55). Therefore, it is important to identify emotional and cognitive impact factors on psychotic experiences, which could function as potential targets of psychosocial intervention. The findings of the present study indicate that psychotherapy approaches that target improvement of emotion regulation skills could be particularly effective. Reappraisal was especially related to less distress from psychotic experiences, and it could be a potentially significant early intervention target in non-clinical individuals.

Implication and Limitation

The results of this study should be interpreted in the context of several limitations. First, this study was implemented in a sample of college students, and to some extent it limits the feasibility of generalizing the conclusions. Second, we assessed distress of psychotic experiences via a self-reported instrument. It may lead to an overestimation of the prevalence of psychotic experiences due to the possible misinterpretation of the questions. Finally, the cross-sectional design of this study does not warrant causal inferences about the direction of the relationship between personality traits, emotion regulation and psychotic experiences. Whether adaptive emotion regulation can decrease the distress of psychotic experiences or, conversely, distress from psychotic experiences may promote maladaptive patterns of emotion regulation strategy use, needs to be further examined. Future research should seek to figure out these possibilities through a longitudinal, cross-lagged design.

Despite these limitations, the present findings emphasize the importance of personality traits and emotion regulation strategies for the mental health of youth in the general population and provide evidence connecting emotion regulation to the personality traits and psychotic experiences in the general population. These results suggest emotion regulation strategies as an important target for early intervention of psychotic and other psychiatric disorders.


Results

Table 1 presents the means, standard deviations, sample size, and Pearson product moment correlations for the study variables. Tables 2 and 3 present the results of the multiple linear regression analyses for testing our hypotheses, analyzing the effect of the Big 5 personality characteristics and narcissism beyond overall self-ratings and director ratings of LDEB, respectively. This analysis is used to explore and quantify the relationship between the dependent variable and several independent or predictor variables, as well as to develop a linear equation with a predictive objective.

TABLE 2. Results of the regression model (LDP Self Rating Total).


Which Personality Traits Are Most Predictive of Well-Being?

We all want more well-being in our lives. But which traits are most likely to be associated with well-being? This is an important question because it can help inform our decision to cultivate some aspects of our being over others, and can even inform culture-wide interventions to increase societal levels of well-being.

But in answering this question there are some important considerations. For one, what aspect of well-being are we talking about? In recent years, multiple aspects of well-being have been studied that go beyond the stereotypical smiling and positive vibes associated with happiness (see here for a review). Here are 11 dimensions of well-being that have been systematically investigated based on three prominent models of well-being (Subjective Well-Being, Psychological Well-Being, and PERMA):

11 Dimensions of well-being:

  1. High Positive emotions (high frequency and intensity of positive moods and emotions)
  2. Low negative emotions (low frequency and intensity of negative moods and emotions)
  3. Life satisfaction (a positive subjective evaluation of one's life, using any information the person considers relevant)
  4. Autonomy (Being independent and able to resist social pressures)
  5. Environmental mastery (Ability to shape environments to suit one's needs and desires)
  6. Personal growth (Continuing to develop, rather than achieving a fixed state)
  7. Positive relations (Having warm and trusting interpersonal relationships)
  8. Self-acceptance (Positive attitudes toward oneself)
  9. Purpose and meaning in life (A clear sense of direction and meaning in one's efforts, or a connection to something greater than oneself)
  10. Engagement in life (being absorbed, interested, and involved in activities and life)
  11. Accomplishment (goal progress and attainment, and feelings of mastery, efficacy, and competence)

Another major consideration is: what aspect of personality are we talking about? The standard "Big Five" model of personality consists of 5 major dimensions of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience. It has been shown over and over again that the two major personality traits most predictive of well-being in the Big Five model are high extraversion and low neuroticism. But is that it? If you're not extraverted or are a neurotic mess, there's no path to well-being--besides changing who you are?!

Well, a new study led by rising superstar Jessie Sun and in collaboration with me and Luke Smillie (from the University of Melbourne), suggests there's much more to the story. Across two samples (totaling over 700 participants), we analyzed the link between multiple aspects of well-being and a broader array of personality dispositions. We based our analysis on a new model of personality that breaks each Big Five trait down into two separate aspects. We found that this more finely grained personality analysis was really helpful in understanding the link to well-being. We also found it was helpful to broaden the measures of well-being. As Carol Ryff and her colleagues have noted, broadening the different ways someone can have well-being allows a broader range of personality profiles to be recognized.

So which personality traits are most predictive of well-being? The findings from both independent samples (one which I collected in collaboration with Susan Cain's Quiet Revolution) was strikingly similar. Out of the 10 personality aspects we looked at, 5 were broadly related to well-being, 2 showed more limited links to well-being, and 3 aspects of personality were just not predictive of well-being. Here are the findings (drum roll, please):

The 5 Personal Paths to Well-Being

Each of these 5 personality traits were independently related to a wide range of well-being measures. In other words, these are 5 different personal paths to well-being. If you score high in any of these 5 personality aspects, you are probabilistically more likely to have high well-being across multiple aspects of your life.

People who score high in enthusiasm are friendly, sociable, emotionally expressive, and tend to have lots of fun in life. Enthusiasm independently predicted life satisfaction, positive emotions, less negative emotions, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations, self-acceptance, purpose in life, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and achievement.

People who score high in withdrawal are easily discouraged and overwhelmed, and tend to ruminate and be highly self-conscious. As a result, they are susceptible to depression and anxiety. Lower levels of withdrawal predicted greater life satisfaction, positive emotions, and less negative emotions. Lower levels of withdrawal also predicted greater autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, relationships, and achievement.

People who are industrious are achievement-oriented, self-disciplined, efficient, purposeful, and competent. Industriousness is strongly correlated with "grit"- passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Industriousness was correlated with life satisfaction, positive emotions, less negative emotions, and more autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, engagement, and achievement.

People who are compassionate feel and care about others' emotions and well-being. Compassion was correlated with more positive emotions, and more environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, self-acceptance, meaning and purpose, engagement, and achievement.

People who score high in intellectual curiosity are open to new ideas, enjoy thinking deeply and complexly, and tend to reflect a lot on their experiences. Intellectual curiosity predicted autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, self-acceptance, purpose, and accomplishment. Interestingly, intellectual curiosity was not predictive of the more 'emotional' variables, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, positive relationships, and engagement with life.

Two More Limited Predictors of Well-Being

While the 5 traits above were the clear winners when it came to predicting a large swath of well-being, these two traits were still predictive of certain aspects of well-being.

People who score high in assertiveness are socially dominant, motivated to attain social status and leadership positions, and tend to be provocative. We found that assertiveness was positively related to autonomy in life (being independent and able to resist social pressures) but was also related to greater negative emotions. This makes sense considering that being autonomous often requires nonconformity and standing up for what you believe in, which can make us feel less happy in the moment. Interestingly, enthusiasm predicted LOWER levels of autonomy, as well as less negative emotions. As we note in the our paper, enthusiastic people may be less likely to go against social consensus if this makes social interactions less enjoyable, whereas assertive individuals may be comfortable with boldly voicing their opinions if this helps them to attain rewards such as status, even to the possible detriment of other forms of adjustment.

People who score high in creative openness need a creative outlet, and appreciate beauty, daydreaming, imagination, fantasy, and feelings. We found that both creative openness and intellectual curiosity had independent associations with personal growth and engagement. Therefore, while intellectual curiosity appears to be more widely predictive of well-being, creative openness is still a path to two key elements of well-being: personal growth and engagement. This is consistent with prior research on the link between living the creative life and certain forms of well-being.

The 3 Traits Not Predictive of Well-Being

These three traits were just not predictive of well-being, no matter what measure of well-being we looked at. These findings may be surprising to some people (especially those raised with certain values).

People who score high in politeness tend to be fair and considerate, respect others' needs and wants, and cooperate easily. Politeness was not correlated with any form of well-being! That's right. Being polite all the time doesn't seem to be related to well-being. Remember, assertiveness is different than politeness.

People who score high in orderliness have a preference for tidiness and routine, and tend to be perfectionistic. Like politeness, orderliness was not correlated with any of our measures of well-being. Well, except for one variable: Orderliness predicted lower levels of personal growth! So being super obsessed with orderliness in your life really isn't doing you any favors when it comes to well-being.

People who score high in volatility are susceptible to mood instability and irritability, and have difficulties with impulse control. Interestingly, once we took into account withdrawal (see above), volatility was not predictive of any any measure of well-being. Therefore, if you tend to be a really moody, impulsive person, as long as that doesn't also make you anxious and fearful, then you are not lowering your probabilities of having higher well-being!

Can You Be Happier By Changing Your Personality?

These findings show that there are certain traits you can capitalize on more if you want to increase well-being in your life. There are multiple personal paths to well-being.

But what if your personality profile seems really detrimental to well-being? Relax! Personality can be changed. A large number of scientific studies are piling up now showing that interventions exist to change personality, and that a change in personality has a direct effect on changes in happiness. What's more, a makeover in happiness can also affect our personality!

If anything, I think these findings are optimistic (maybe it's because of my high levels of enthusiasm). For one, it highlights that there are multiple routes to well-being. But less well recognized, it also highlights that there are multiple personality profiles that can get you there. The standard story is that well-being is all about extraversion and emotional stability. But these findings show the importance of including a broader array of personality traits, and leaving open possibilities for individual changes in personality as well as cultural interventions that can help all people increase their happiness by influencing their patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Note: If you are interested in the character strengths most predictive of well-being, see my prior post, in which I conducted an analysis showing that the two character strengths that are most predictive of well-being are gratitude and love of learning.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Susan Cain, Mike Erwin, Jeff Bryan, Spencer Greenberg, and Aislinn Pluta for their invaluable assistance in collecting and preparing the Sample 2 data for analysis.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


Research Paper: The Psychology of Grit

This paper discusses the potential psychological price of grit for students, and how it affects their mental and emotional health via happiness and life satisfaction markers. Even college students with grit can still experience study burnout, due to their determined nature and inability to set realistic goals. Happiness and life satisfaction levels can be determined and scored via, surveys and questionnaires that were given to numerous college students over the course of the study. On a whole, grit appears to have a positive correlation between both happiness and life satisfaction, but more research should be conducted before a definitive answer can be given about logistics of grit’s standardization in classroom settings.

Keywords: psychological, grit, mental and emotional health, happiness, life satisfaction, study burnout

Introduction

Grit has a multitude of meaning everything from the texture of sandpaper to a type of bran used in meals throughout history. However, over time the word became a personality trait that meant a person had “firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger” (Grit, n.d.). The concept of grit and one’s ability to preserver in the face of long odd and with no end in sight, became of great interest to psychologists around the world. Many wanted to know if grit could be used to define someone’s success in academics or even in their lives. Others wanted to study the effects of grit and to see if it might be a learnable trait rather than inherent after all “every human quality that has been studied has proven to be affected at least in part by a person’s environment — even intelligence” (Hanford, 2012). On the other hand, the environments that cause a person or student to develop grit could have more adverse psychological complications that continue to affect a student for the rest of his or her life. By studying and understanding the psychological ramifications of grit, specifically in students, we can determine the whether grit is detrimental to the emotional and mental welfare of students by impinging upon their overall happiness and life satisfaction.

The Psychology of Grit

Grit is often times classified as one of “The Big Five traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness)” and has “been related to a wide range of behaviors including academic achievement and job performance” (Komarraju, et al., 2008, p. 47). Over years of research grit began to have its own classification that was “distinct from dependability aspects of conscientiousness, including self-control” and “need for achievement, described …as a drive to complete manageable goals that allow for immediate feedback on performance” (Duckworth et al., 2007, p. 1089). Dr. Angela Duckworth, professor at University of Pennsylvania, and her fellow researchers (2007) state that individuals with grit are both aware they have it and that, unlike persons with a need for achievement, do not need to have an explicitly rewarding goal. However, the need and cause of grit’s development in students could prove to be very harmful to the future mental health of students, due the enormous burden of stress that students must undergo to develop this “unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger” (Grit, n.d.).

Emotional and Mental Welfare of Students

College students are under a lot of pressure from academics, semi self-sufficiency, and the burden of planning a future. Colleges and Universities are trying to help students cope with the fiscal and emotional pressure placed upon them, so determining new ways to either eliminate certain stressors, or to help teach students new ways to cope with the pressure are very important. Potentially, grit could be a causal factor in the in ability of young adults to handle and deal with new stress, due to ‘burning out’ during the school year. “Study burnout results from emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress” and can be induced by stressful activities such as “school work, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, concurrent family demands, limited or no physical exercise, poor time management and unrealistic goals” (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, n.d.). Grit and the drive it causes in students’ might cause them to both reduce sleeping hours and increase their work load by setting unrealistic goals because it gives them a sense of false security in their own abilities and the amount of work they feel they should be able to push through. One UC Davis student said that “People who have grit are people who push everything and test their limits constantly they don’t know when to stop before they burnout” (J.L., personal communication, May 26, 2015). Grit could be potentially hazardous to students because they are unable to see their own limitation. Prolonged feelings of study burnout in college students could leave them feeling unhappy with their current prospects, which might reduce their willingness to continue to succeed academically due to the emotional discomfort they are experiencing.

Grit’s effect on Happiness

Happiness, as defined by Kamlesh Singh and Shanlini Jha (2008), is “the average level of satisfaction over a specific period” without experiencing negative the negative affect. They used “Lyubomirsky and Lepper’s (1999) General (Subjective) Happiness Scale” to measure the general and relative happiness of her sample (p. 41). Her research was focused around the correlation of happiness, life satisfaction, positive and negative affects, and grit. The happiness scale and survey used in Singh’s research may have skewed her data and the numerical size of happy students due the scales age. It may no longer be a viable way to measure the happiness of students because of the new advancement in psychology and the study of the human mind thus, making the scale obsolete. She concluded that there was a significant positive correlation between grit and happiness, but that “Grit accounts for 7% of the total variance [with respect to happiness]” (p. 42 &43). This means that the grit of a student can only account for 7% of the difference in happiness levels between students who have grit and those who do not. However, correlation does not mean causation, perhaps with a larger study and more research about the happiness in relation to having grit as a personality trait will show different results. On the other hand, this study does demonstrate that the grit of a student has an actual and relevant effect on their happiness levels, and by extension the overall mental welfare of the student. This correlation could be very useful to universities and colleges because they might be able to observe students mental welfare through the presence or absence of grit in their student body. Happiness was not the only marker researchers used to measure and rate the students’ overall metal health and stability life satisfaction levels were also recorded and compared with the grit level of students.

Grit’s effect on Life Satisfaction

Again, Singh’s and Jha’s (2008) research about the correlation of grit and happiness also delves into the correlation of grit and life satisfaction. She goes one to describe life satisfaction in her research as one’s personal perception of how satisfied he or she is with his or her life. “The SWLS [Satisfaction with Life Scale] is a 5-item self-report questionnaire that measures one’s evaluation of satisfaction with life in general” (p. 41). It was created by Ed Diener, et al., (1985) to serve as “a multi-item scale to measure life satisfaction as a cognitive-judgmental process” (p.71). In Singh’s and Jha’s (2008) research, grit and life satisfaction showed a significant positive correlation and that grit accounts for 2% of the variation with respect to life satisfaction. Here their study shows that the grit of a student accounts for 2% of difference in life satisfaction levels between students who have grit and those who do not. More research and studies need to be conducted about grit and how it relates to life satisfaction, and about how Diener’s life satisfaction scale measures up to today’s standards for psychological surveys. However, both Diener’s and Singh’s research could present mental health centers on college campuses other methods to test for study burnout and mental stress levels in their students. Despite both happiness’ and life satisfactions’ positive correlation with grit, the other more long-term psychological effects of grit might not have been detected or observable to the researchers. Collegiate facilities might be able monitoring the mental health and burnout reports from their students via the workload and known stressor a student with grit might be experiencing. With this information actions could be taken on a larger scale to benefit all of the students before peak burnout periods not during them.

The Outcome of Grit

The research conducted about grit has demonstrated a positive relationship between both happiness and life satisfaction when compared to grit levels, and both of these are indicators of mental and emotional health. This does not necessarily mean that the environments that foster and facilitate the development of grit are good for the mental welfare of students. Further research is still required before institutionalizing the development of grit within students can occur. The level of persistence and unyielding courage required of college student, especially in competitive and impacted majors, can be very demanding it could result in the inability to continue pursuing a higher level of education, despite their self-control and need for achievement. In these cases, have grit might be the only way for them to achieve success, but others who are unable to handle the burden are often shunned by society for not trying to pursue their goals. Some college students believe that grit should be taught to students at early ages so they can “learn how to have it and how to let go of it” without burning out (J.L., personal communication, May 26, 2015). In many ways, grit can be a double edged sword that acts to facilitates growth academically while potentially endangering the mental health and stability of the user by misjudging the amount of stress he or she can handle. The continual force exerted on students by parents and schools might help develop grit in some students, but it might do equal amounts of damage to others who are unable to keep up and to the students are forced into a gritty lifestyle. Parents and schools should encourage the metal health of their student and children in a case by case manner, generalizing the situation might cause more problems, to determine the level of grit they should have. Then teaching and explaining the limitations and side effects of grit to student to help make the more aware of what burnout symptoms are, would help round out their academic skill and better prepare them for the rapid number of stressors experienced in college.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Office of Academic Support & Counseling. (n.d.) Dealing with study burnout. (May 21, 2015). Retrieved from https://www.einstein.yu.edu/education/student-affairs/academic-support-counseling/medical-school-challenges/study-burnout.aspx

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75. Retrieved from: http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/

Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (January 2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 1087-1100. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087

Grit. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. (May 21, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grit

Hanford, E., & American RadioWorks. (2012, October 2). How important is grit in student achievement. Mind Shift. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/10/02/how-important-is-grit-in-student-achievement/

Komarraju, M., Karau, S. J., & Schmeck, R. R. (July 2008). Role of big five personality traits in predicting college student’s academic motivation and achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 47-52. Retrieved from https://vpn.lib.ucdavis.edu/S1041608008000587/,DanaInfo=ac.els-cdn.com+1-s2.0-S1041608008000587-main.pdf?_tid=31e5eeba-ffea-11e4-bc96-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1432234385_62b97aef6c77c2afcd23219603d3ccdc

Singh, K., & Jah, S. D. (April 2008). Positive and negative affect, and grit as predictors of happiness and life satisfaction. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology. 34, 40-45. Retrieved from http://medind.nic.in/jak/t08/s1/jakt08s1p40.pdf

Interview Appendix
Recorded Interview Session on May 26, 2015.

Q: State your name, please?
A: J. L.

Q: What is your major?
A: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Q: Do you know what the term grit means, with respect to a personality trait?
A: Perseverance through everything

Q: Do you know what burning out is, specifically pertaining to studying?
A: Yes

Q: How would you describe burning out?
A: The inability to continue, because you’re just too tired or too broken. You’ve lost hope.

Q: Would you say that people who have grit are more likely to burnout faster in college?
A: Yes

Q: How so?
A: Because people who have grit are people who push through everything and they test their limits constantly and they don’t know when to stop before they burnout.

Q: Would you define yourself as someone with grit?
A: At certain times, yes

Q: Do you think grit is major dependent?
A: No

Q: Would you say that UC Davis is more likely to have higher burnout rates than another UC college?
A: To a certain degree, yes.

Q: Why do you think so?
A: It’s not exactly a town where you can relax. UC Davis is one of the top UC schools and on top of that there is a lot of pressure to do well. And there is like… The bay area is fun but it’s far away. You have Vallejo Six Flags but it’s also far away so it’s like you’re stuck in a college town and you’re just sort of pushed to keep doing well and not rest as much

Q: Do you think grit is a valuable resource and should be taught to students at young ages, despite the fact that it could potential lead to burning out?
A: Yes. You have to learn how to have it and how to let go of it.


Personality Testing May Identify Applicants Who Will Become Successful in General Surgery Residency

Identification of successful general surgical residents remains a challenging endeavor for program directors with a national attrition of approximately 20% per year. The Big 5 personality traits and the Grit Scale have been extensively studied in many industries, and certain traits are associated with professional or academic success. However, their utility in surgery resident selection is unknown.

Methods

We performed a retrospective review of all categorical surgery residents (n = 34) at the University of Texas Medical Branch from 2015 to 2017. Current residents were classified into low performing (n = 12) or non-low performing (n = 22) based on residency performance and standardized test scores. Groups were assessed for differences in both conventional metrics used for selection and Big 5 and grit scores using bivariate analysis and Pearson's correlation coefficient. Personality testing was administered to recent resident applicants (n = 81). Applicants were ranked using conventional application information. We then examined the applicants' personalities and their rank position with personality characteristics of non–low-performing residents to determine if there was any correlation.

Results

The Big 5 personality test identified significantly higher extroversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability scores in those residents classified as non–low performers. There was no significant difference in conventional metrics or in grit scores between non–low performers and low performers. Our final rank does not correlate well with personality traits of non–low performers.

Conclusions

The Big 5 test may prove to be a useful adjunct to the traditional residency application in identifying applicants who may become successful in general surgery residency.


What is the correlation between grit and Big 5 conscientiousness? - Psychology

Professor Angela Duckworth, aka the Queen of “Grit”, has built a very successful brand. In this article about Duckworth she defines grit as a skill: something that can be built through determination and focus. She suggests three ways to improve your grit.

Find Your Calling: People with high levels of grit are as motivated by the pursuit of pleasure as much as anyone else, but what marks them out is their greater interest in meaningful activities that serve a higher purpose.

Practice smart: Once you know what your passion is, you need to hone your craft through deliberate and unrelenting practice.

Think like an optimist: Gritty people tend to respond to setbacks with an optimistic mindset and see failure as a chance to learn. Gritty optimists tend to have a growth mindset, believing that traits like intelligence can be nurtured. Pessimists instead see such things as fixed.

As a 7MTF/Humm practitioner, when I read this article I immediately thought of the Engineer temperament component. Engineers are driven to complete projects. Process, detail and method are characteristics of the strong E. This person makes lists of lists! The great thing about the strong E is that they can form a plan as soon as look at something. And what’s more they can make it happen. On the Big 5 scale these are people high in Conscientiousness.

And I am not alone. This article claims “Grit” is an example of redundant labelling in personality psychology and an example of the Jangle Fallacy. It describes a German study of two groups who were given a “Grit” test and “Conscientiousness” test. The researchers found the perseverance facet of Grit (which past studies have suggested is responsible for most of the links between Grit and later success) shared 95 per cent of its variance with trait Conscientiousness and with its “pro-active” facets.

I worked in venture capital for 25 years and one thing we did in screening potential investment was to psych test the entrepreneur. Originally, we were looking for ‘natural leaders’ people with high Mover, Hustler and Politician temperament components. However after several years we realised we were looking for the wrong people. Our successful entrepreneurs had a combination of Hustler & Engineer Components combined with high numerical IQ.

Our role model became Peter Farrell, the entrepreneur behind ResMed, one of Australia’s very successful technology companies. No matter what the conversation – politics, restaurants, golf – Peter would soon turn the conversation to sleep apnoea. He was a monomaniac on the topic.

Most entrepreneurs have high verbal IQ and are good talkers. However, if you are going to join or invest in a start-up, make sure the entrepreneur has a very high level of Engineer, grit or conscientiousness. Otherwise you could be making a fatal decision, either for your career or for your wealth.


Discussion

Personality traits and emotion regulation strategies are potential protective factors against the distress from psychotic experiences. This study was conducted in a large non-clinical sample of youth and provides some of the first evidence linking personality traits, emotion regulation and psychotic experiences. As hypothesized, neuroticism was found to be significantly positively correlated with psychotic experiences, while extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be significantly negatively correlated. These findings are comparable with the conclusions of previous studies (39�). High neuroticism and low extraversion, low agreeableness, low openness as well as low conscientiousness might be unfavorably related to psychotic experience. These FFM traits perhaps, in part, represent structural tendencies in affect, cognition, and behavior in individuals that might elicit higher levels of stress, contribute to social isolation and reduce opportunities for disconfirmation of psychotic interpretation. However, in the previous studies a positive association was found between openness and the frequency of psychotic symptoms while in the current study openness was found to be negatively correlated with the distress of psychotic experiences. The potential reasons are as follows: First, individuals who exhibit openness may possess extensive and deep cognitive contents as well as genuine and complex life experiences. Their openness to emotional situations in general makes them optimistic and enables them to cope with negative emotion (43). In addition, the personality traits, such as openness, of psychotic patients change during the different stages of psychosis. Xu et al. (44) found that the level of openness in the patients was obviously higher than the level of openness before onset and while in remission, so the association between personality traits and psychotic experience for the clinical and non-clinical population could be different. Another potential explanation is that there are mediators of the relationship between the personality traits and psychotic symptoms, a finding that needs to be explored further.

In addition, we found that extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are significantly positively related to the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and negatively related to the use frequency of the suppression strategy neuroticism is significantly negatively associated with the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and positively related to the use frequency of the suppression strategy These results are consistent with previous studies (15, 45�). This study indicates that individuals with high levels of neuroticism tend to be pessimistic in adopting any strategy for regulating their emotions. Other personality traits may enable individuals to make cognitive responses in the emotional regulation strategies.

The findings also suggest that the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy is significantly negatively correlated with psychotic experiences the use frequency of the suppression strategy is significantly positively correlated with psychotic experiences. The observed pattern of habitual usage of emotion regulation strategies, such as greater use of suppression in individuals reporting greater psychotic experience, is in line with what has been found in previous studies [e.g., (51, 52)]. This suggests a maladaptive pattern of emotion regulation, in which individuals with greater distress from psychotic experiences repress the outward expression of their emotions rather than dealing with the emotional experience in a non-judgmental way. However, the inverse association between the use frequency of the reappraisal strategy and psychotic experiences was not confirmed in previous studies but in this study. This finding indicates that individuals who tend to use more often the reappraisal strategy report less distress from psychotic experiences. The individuals with the reappraisal pattern could change the cognitive meaning of the events, and therefore reduce the negative emotional responses (49, 53). This finding suggests that the reappraisal strategy could be a potential protective factor from psychotic experience.

We also confirmed the second hypothesis, that both strategies of emotion regulation mediated the relationship between personality traits and psychotic experiences. In the present study it was found that the reappraisal strategy significantly mediated the relationship between all five personality traits and psychotic experiences. The suppression strategy significantly mediated the relationship between such personality traits as neuroticism, extraversion, openness and agreeableness, and psychotic experiences. The construction of the personality traits manifests in groups of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive responses. The individuals with different personality traits (i.e., neuroticism and extraversion) employ emotion regulation strategies differently, which in turn influences the experiences of their emotions (54). These findings suggest that individuals with such personality traits as extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness tend to use the reappraisal strategy, which may help to relieve the distress of psychotic experiences. On another hand, individuals with extraversion, openness, and agreeableness tend to reduce the use of the suppression strategy, which could also help to decrease the distress of psychotic experience, while individuals with neuroticism tend to use the suppression strategy and hence increase the distress of psychotic experience.

The current findings in this study suggest that certain emotion regulation styles and personality traits can function as protective factors against the psychotic experiences. This is particularly significant for suggesting interventions for non-clinical individuals with psychotic experiences. Although these experiences are distressing, they alone are not sufficient to warrant the use of anti-psychotic medication (55). Therefore, it is important to identify emotional and cognitive impact factors on psychotic experiences, which could function as potential targets of psychosocial intervention. The findings of the present study indicate that psychotherapy approaches that target improvement of emotion regulation skills could be particularly effective. Reappraisal was especially related to less distress from psychotic experiences, and it could be a potentially significant early intervention target in non-clinical individuals.

Implication and Limitation

The results of this study should be interpreted in the context of several limitations. First, this study was implemented in a sample of college students, and to some extent it limits the feasibility of generalizing the conclusions. Second, we assessed distress of psychotic experiences via a self-reported instrument. It may lead to an overestimation of the prevalence of psychotic experiences due to the possible misinterpretation of the questions. Finally, the cross-sectional design of this study does not warrant causal inferences about the direction of the relationship between personality traits, emotion regulation and psychotic experiences. Whether adaptive emotion regulation can decrease the distress of psychotic experiences or, conversely, distress from psychotic experiences may promote maladaptive patterns of emotion regulation strategy use, needs to be further examined. Future research should seek to figure out these possibilities through a longitudinal, cross-lagged design.

Despite these limitations, the present findings emphasize the importance of personality traits and emotion regulation strategies for the mental health of youth in the general population and provide evidence connecting emotion regulation to the personality traits and psychotic experiences in the general population. These results suggest emotion regulation strategies as an important target for early intervention of psychotic and other psychiatric disorders.


Passion, grit and mindset in football players

The main aim of the study was to explore the relationship between passion, grit and mindset in a group of football players in Norway. The sample had 63 participants. In three different groups in relation to age and level. Sogndal elite team (N = 25) (Elite), Sogndal Junior team (N = 17) (Junior 18) and young talents in Sogn-og Fjordane (N = 21) (Junior 15).

To assess the level of passion the passion scale was used, an eight-item scale. To measure grit the Grit-S scale was used. The scale has 8 items. Mindset was measured with the Theories of Intelligence Scale (TIS). The scale has 8-items. Trainers in each group ranked the players football competence. The results show that the elite team did have the highest score in all factors. Significant difference between elite and Junior 15 in the factor grit. The results indicate significant correlations between the variables passion-grit (r = 0.576, p < .001) and grit-mindset (r = 0.271, p < .05. The correlation was not significant for passion-mindset (r = 0.121). Elite: a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.474, p < .001) only. The correlation passion-mindset (r = 0.049) grit-mindset (r = 0.215) and trainers ranking was not significant. However, it is interesting to note the moderate correlation between passion and trainers ranking (r = −0.326) and grit and trainers ranking (r = −0.268) in this group. Junior 18: a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.679, p < .001) only. The correlation between passion-mindset (r = 0.146) grit-mindset (r = 0.381) and trainers ranking was not significant. Junior 15: the results indicate a significant correlation for the variables passion-grit (r = 0.665, p < .001) and passion-trainers ranking (r = −0.545, p < .05 large correlation) only. The correlation between passion-mindset (r = 0.181) and grit-mindset (r = 0.227) was not significant. In sum, despite associations magnitudes between variables (grit, mindset, and passion) are different among groups, only significant differences between groups were found in grit.


How Conscientiousness Can Predict Success

W e’ve been brought up in a culture that emphasizes the importance of hard work. There’s even the cliché: hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. It seems obvious, but I’m sure we’ve all had experiences that showed us this wasn’t always true.

There was the student that studied for hours and hours b u t could never beat you in any exam. Or the genius who never studied but somehow always topped the class. These archetypes are anecdotal indicators that hard work doesn’t always beat talent. Maybe we’re just kidding ourselves by trying harder when the less conscientiousness will beat us by doing nothing.

In those times, I look at larger sample sizes, to see if I’m really kidding myself.

The Big Five personality traits is a personality model widely used by psychologists to describe human personality. The five factors are:

  • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
  • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
  • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)

But which of these factors can determine success?

There’s an abundance of literature on how grit — the passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals — predicts success. A 2007 study by Angela Duckworth (author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) found Grit to be a significant contributor to the success metrics: GPA of Ivy league undergraduates, retention at the United States Military Academy, and ranking in the National Spelling Bee. How does this relate to the Big Five personality traits? Duckworth’s study didn’t find a correlation between Grit and IQ but found a strong correlation between grit and Conscientiousness — the personality trait of being careful and diligent (implying the desire to do a task well).

A 2016 study on the etiology of Grit found that Grit and Conscientiousness are to a large extent the same trait in both observable behavior and genetics. It suggests that Conscientiousness can be used to predict academic success, with Grit adding little to this prediction.

Conscientiousness extends from academic success into workplace success. This study tested employees’ Big Five personality traits and measured how well employees with different traits performed, what types of traits employers wanted, and what types of traits were rated as important for performance. It found the two most important traits to be Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, with differing relative importance of Neuroticism and Extraversion. This suggests how well you manage emotions and how outgoing you are doesn’t have as much of an impact on workplace success as your duty to your work and how you fit into the workplace.

Resilience, an important factor in coming back from setbacks, is higher in conscientious people. This study tested undergraduates on resilience by measuring the success of their adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances Out of the Big Five personality traits, Conscientiousness accounted for the most variance in resilience.

Beyond academics and workplace, the Big Five personality traits were used to measure objective success (income and wealth) and subjective success (life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect) in this 2012 study. Conscientiousness was the only personality trait found to have consistently beneficial associations across all factors. This suggests that a desire to do good work doesn’t only increase someone’s success measured by income, but also their happiness with life.

This isn’t to say that conscientious people are better than those who aren’t. There are advantages to not being conscientious such as being more easy-going and relaxed. These studies show how being more conscientiousness can be beneficial, but don’t show us how the less conscientiousness benefit from their personality.


Watch the video: How to BUILD Conscientiousness. Tips to improve your habits. The Big Five Personality Traits (January 2022).