Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Monica Reis-Bergan

Kethera Fogler

Philip Frana

Abstract

Grit has been identified as a promising area of research in social psychology for its association with various success outcomes. Given the connection between grit and success, researchers have begun to investigate factors associated with grit to better understand how gritty people achieve their goals. Other researchers have questioned if grit is unique from other related traits, like conscientiousness and self-control. This project sought to explore both of these questions: the factors associated with grit and the discriminant validity of grit. Specifically, this project looked at grit in relation to cognitive failures, fear of failure, and growth mindset to inquire into the associations between these factors and grit, and this project compared the grit scores of participants in the study to their conscientiousness and self-control scores to investigate grit’s discriminant validity. Participants completed several self-report surveys on these factors online. Their results indicated that grit is significantly correlated with cognitive failures (r = -0.45), but not fear of failure (r = -0.14) or growth mindset (r = 0.14). In addition, participants’ grit scores were significantly correlated with self-control (r = 0.61) and conscientiousness (r = 0.45), but their grit scores were able to explain a significant amount of variance in their GPAs last semester above and beyond self-control and conscientiousness (R-squared change = 0.03, F(1, 154) = 4.48, p ≤ 0.036). The results of this investigation indicate that grit may still be a useful concept in spite of its correlation with related factors and that grit may be more associated with cognitive ability than previously thought. Future research should look into grit in relation to the wider construct of cognitive control in order to explore grit’s connection with cognitive ability further.

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