Questions for Consideration
To what extent does grit act as an index of empowerment?
What do the discourse, and the narrative, of grit emphasize? What do they obscure?
Would you say that Daniel Kish in the Batman podcast from This American Life is "gritty?"
Selected Reading Notes
Duckworth, et al.
Immediate focus on IQ and prediction. Is it important to situate and question the centrality of these?
Footnote (p. 1087): "In this article, we are concerned with objective accomplishments. That is, we are interested in vocational and avocational achievements that are recognized by other people, in contrast to those that are primarily of subjective value to the individual. We do not examine success in other important domains of life, such as parenting, citizenship, friendship, and so on. Thus, we use terms like success and achievement to refer to the accomplishment of widely valued goals."
This bears analyzing. Are "objective" and "subjective" the most accurate distinguishers here? What about the distinction between "cognitive" and "noncongnitive skills or strengths?
Key words: stamina, strenuous, marathon, "star performers,"
1088: "As context for the current research, we briefly review more recent research on individual differences that bear on success. We leave aside for the moment questions about how goals are set and maintained, how values and expectancies affect goal attainment, and so on. We also omit from our review situational factors and social and cultural variables that influence achievement. For a broader review than is possible here, we refer the reader to Simonton (1994) and Latham and Pinder (2005). "
Can and should these questions, factors, and variables be left "aside for the moment?"
1090: "Our overarching goal for scale development was to capture the attitudes and behaviors characteristic of the high-achieving individuals described to us in early, exploratory interviews with lawyers, businesspeople, aca- demics, and other professionals." What do we make of the social class bias here? Of the use of the Web as access to subjects?
1091: "As we predicted, more educated adults were higher in grit than were less educated adults of equal age." What do you make of this?
UPenn undergrads; West Point; spelling bee . . . what do you make of these contexts for the studies?
1098: "In our view, achievement is the product of talent and effort, the latter a function of the intensity, direction, and duration of one’s exertions toward a goal." Is there any need to attend to conditions outside of individual talent and effort?
Grit v the Grit Narrative
"Saved by grit! What observers are now calling the "Grit Narrative"--that anyone can succeed if they just work hard enough, try hard enough, keep their nose to the grindstone and endure whatever travails life throws at them--provides a perfect solution. The poor who stay poor lack grit! The students in underperforming schools lack grit! Their parents lack grit! Even their teachers are shiftless, gritless slugs, protected by unions when they're not taking long vacations. No need to worry about poverty and racism--those are just excuses. The real problem is an endemic lack of grit, individual failure writ large across whole populations."
What do you make of this critique?
What is the place of emotions and more broadly emotional history, development, and pressure in the grit narrative?
What is grit a tool for? What is it not a tool for (i.e. not good as part of kids' grades)?
Fit, not grit -- Is Warner talking about a flow state? Alignment with context? Process that is less self-willed, more intuitive?
"When I am focused on long term goals, all I can see is my failure to achieve them. When I stop worrying about the payoff and get busy in the moment, I have success. I become mindful, aware and alive."