This conversation is closed.

Does Grit differ from social status, gender, or ethnicity?

Is there a difference between dropping out or trying hard which she called "Grit", between boys and girls, kids with wealthy kids or kids from impoverish homes, or do different ethnicities show higher levels or "Grit".

  • thumb
    Nov 18 2013: For research evidence rather than casual impressions, you might want to try a search on Google Scholar.

    One area I would consider is the relationship between stress and both grit and resilience. My conjecture is that a certain amount of practice with stress re-enforces grit and builds resilience but that stress above a certain threshold may reduce both.
    • Nov 20 2013: Fritzie, you are spot on! Recent research on the impact of poverty on childhood development illustrate this...there are also finding on stressors in the environment that when they reach overload levels, inhibit the ability to concentrate and learn. Think of the brain as constantly setting priorities, it simply won't divert energy if its focus is survival. This doesn't even begin to factor in the role of sleep, nutrition, epigenetics on the ability to persevere on what biologically is a luxury...one may have a lifetime of experience on preserving on the level of daily survival, but that does not easily transfer to the ability to tolerant discomfort and dissonance in academic learning, it more likely would inhibit the ability to endure further assault on a tenuous self-efficacy.
  • Nov 22 2013: Well, I'm just a student, but I would like to share my opinions on this topic.
    Like there is a clear difference between kids from educational family and the others, there is a diffrence in grit. It's kind of sad and unfair, but how smart childrens are until middle school depends on the knowlege they have gained. It might be true for only South Koreans like me, but kids from educational family read a lot of good books and improve their talent. Well, since wisdom of life depend on the experience, kids from educational families do have a higer advantage of being smart in real life because they gained lots of indirect experience through books. I belive that learning how to self-control and try hard for one's long-term goal('grit') is included in wisdom we need to live successfully.
    Therefore, I belive that children who are raised by educational parents and have gained wisdom by reading books have diffrence between children from not educational families in controlling one's grit.
  • Nov 21 2013: I think some cultures emphasize grit while others do not.
  • Nov 20 2013: I agree with Fritzie's conjecture. I think that failure, and repeated failure in particular, prior to gaining the confidence that perseverance will pay off, will reduce grit.

    I think those immersed in a sea of adversity and forced to survive will fare better in grit gain than those who only occasionally face adversity and overcome it. You have to build a tolerance to persevere in adverse conditions in order to develop grit. You need to listen to your own inner voice and tune out the nay sayers, focusing on what you know to be true and what you believe is necessary for survival.

    I do not think grit will help achieve excellence, but grit may keep someone working to avoid failure and grit will get the work done.

    I think the higher the bar in general, and the further the bar from the normal operating level of a person, the more determination will determine achievement and excellence, with hard work. Grit sort of presupposes adversity. Excellence, and extreme excellence might be more associated with developing extreme skills and operating at a very high level. To the extend where just hard work will carry you through a situation and provide you the experience, grit is of great importance. However, where passion, extreme curiosity, or extreme talent are the motivators, it is more just hard work and honing a skill set, and not grit.

    We all face adversity. We all need some grit to survive.

    I think socioeconomic circumstance is one condition that influences the amount of grit needed to survive.

    I think boys may be more prone to develop a physical grit, or toughness. I think girls may be more prone to develop and emotional grit, or strength.

    I do not think ethnicity plays a role in it, within an ethnic group. However, in mixed ethnic or cultural groups, the relative ethnic and cultural demographic percentages to your own ethnicity and culture, do influence the amount of adversity you are constantly immersed in and therefore your ability to, and need to, develop grit.
    • Nov 21 2013: Robert,

      Let me disagree slightly:
      1 My thesis adviser said, " the difference between a phd and a bs is the level of masochism in the individual." -8>))
      2. read somewhere not sure where, the average iq of phd's ia 125 and there are some people who got phd's with iq's less than 125.

      Think in point 2 grit got them through.
      • Nov 22 2013: No argument, grad school requires some grit.

        I was trying to make the point that sustained excellence, superior performance, and overachieving is less about grit and more about some other drive or motivator. Grit is still needed. Grit is more about performance over time (work), whereas excellent can be some combination of talent, natural ability, some work ethic, etc. ,but need not have a similar duration, just an occasional high point on the performance curve.

        When I think of grit, I think of needed to get a degree in a foreign country, with courses taught in a second language, without much money and where people do not like you. I think of trying to work a 40 hour a week job and pay your own way through school. I think of overcoming some physical or mental condition and still competing successfully with sustained extra effort.

        I am sure the National scholar with a full ride to an Ivy league school also has grit, but the stress and hardship that such a person would face is more about what they ask of themselves, not about what others demand of them.

        Another example might be a student that fails a class in school and chooses to switch majors to something that takes less effort, but yields better grades, compared to a student that fails the class and retakes the class until they pass it, focusing on the desired end game rather than the grades. I would say the latter shows a lot of academic grit.
        • Nov 22 2013: Unfortunately, I agree with you. A colleague of mine picked the easiest course taught by the easiest professors so that he could graduate as quickly as possible. Do not get me wrong, he is smart and talented and learnt a lot on the job but just wanted to get out of college as soon as possible. I was thought it was a misuse of education but that was my opinion while others admired him for doing it that way.