Motivation and Grit

3/13/2020 PSY105 & PSY101 – Page 7.8 – Motivation and Grit 1/2


Course Notes Motivation and Grit

On this page, take note of some additional info about achievement motivation that you will need to succeed on course assignments.

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So far we have seen how self-regulation, along with self-efficacy and mindset, can affect motivation. But how do some people manage to sustain their motivation through very difficult tasks, while others give up quickly? Psychologist Angela Duckworth studied high-achieving individuals—such as National Spelling Bee contestants, West Point cadets, and sales professionals—and identified one factor as a vital ingredient of success: grit.

Going for Grit

After examining the characteristics of those who had achieved a high level of success, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that the best predictor of success across many occupational and educational contexts wasn’t IQ, high school GPA, or social intelligence. It was grit, a personality trait that she described in her 2013 TED Talk: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality” (2013). Duckworth’s research shows that students who graduate from college are higher in grit than those who don’t, and she continues to study how grit can be developed over time (Hanford, 2012).

People with grit possess four psychological assets: deep interest, deliberate practice, a growth mindset, and a sense of purpose. A deep interest provides the optimum level of arousal necessary to engage in a task or skill over and over. It is what sustains spelling- bee contestants, professional basketball players, or paleontologists to continue their quest years after most people have given up on such interests. Deliberate practice, according to Duckworth, is more than simple repetition. It involves working on your specific weaknesses in an area so you can refine your skills, and it is the kind of practice often done alone. The spelling-bee contestant who studies Latin prefixes every night is engaging in deliberate practice, as is the golfer who spends weeks perfecting a specific swing.



3/13/2020 PSY105 & PSY101 – Page 7.8 – Motivation and Grit 2/2

As you can see, grit requires having a growth mindset, a high degree of self-efficacy, and well-developed self-regulation. Grit is the rare combination of passion and perseverance. It represents what can happen when we are truly passionate about achieving a goal—when we will do what it takes to sustain our motivation along the way, to monitor our progress, and to make choices that lead us closer to our goal.

Multiple-Choice Question

Which of the following BEST explains how self-efficacy, mindset, and self- regulation are related to grit?

Since grit and mindset are the same concept, self-efficacy and self-regulation are also different terms for the same concept. Each aspect proves that you just have to think positive thoughts and good things will happen to you. Developing a fixed mindset will lead to improved self-efficacy and give you the motivation to be able to regulate your behaviors. To develop grit, you must believe that your intelligence is not fixed and that you will succeed on a task, and you must be able to self-regulate as you persevere.

Correct. To develop passionate perseverance for a long-term goal, you need to believe that your perseverance will lead to improvement or success. You also need to have a growth mindset and a high degree of self-efficacy, as well as the self-regulation skills to actually persevere through difficulties.

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