Thursday, January 25, 2007


I found the note below in my e-mail queue this morning:

Dear Kimberly,

Beginning in April 2006, we collected online data from you and over 600 other participants. The study you completed helped us learn more about grit, defined as passion and perseverance for long term goals. Gritty individuals have consistent interests over time and pursue goals even in the face of failure. Individuals who score lower on the grit scale are less persistent and more likely to move frequently from interest to interest. Though individual questionnaire scores will not be reported, these results, obtained from the entire sample, may be of interest to you as a participant.

As expected, gritty individuals were more conscientious. Grit was also associated with an agreeable disposition and extraversion. Grittier people were more satisfied with their lives. Grit was highest among participants aged 65 and older and lowest among participants aged 25-34. Ratings of grit by self-report closely matched those of friends and family members. That is, our conception of our own level of grit seems largely aligned with the conceptions of our intimates.

Unfortunately, we are not able to answer individual queries about this study at this time. However, we do appreciate your participation-thank you!

Angela Lee Duckworth, PhD
Positive Psychology Center
3701 Market St. Suite 209
Philadelphia, PA 19104

215/898-1339 (office)
215/573-2188 (fax) (email)


I have a vague recollection of reading some pop-psych article on happiness a while ago, online, and clicking through to some survey. I'm slightly disappointed that the researchers won't provide my own personal score on their scale of grittiness. But mostly I'm curious about a couple of things. If grit was highest among older participants, isn't that likely because older folks have had more time to be persistent over time, or have learned that it takes time to achieve long term goals, or that people in general grow more concerned with what they make of their lives as they grow older and therefore may work harder as they age to guarantee acheivement? And nothing in the summary about correlations of gender with grit?

Stay tuned. I may just work up enough grit to look into these and other grit-related questions.

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