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In this pithy TED Talk, management consultant turned schoolteacher turned psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth explores the value of diligence. She asks, “What if doing well in school and in life depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly and easily?” Indeed, “grit,” and not IQ or talent, is the best predictor of success, says Duckworth. Science offers few ideas for how to develop or foster this quality, so she makes a compelling case for further research. Whatever your personal or professional goals, grit will propel you toward, and across, the finish line, so getAbstract recommends devoting a few minutes of your time to this essential lesson on staying power.


Educators often rely on IQ to predict success among students, but what if that’s the wrong metric? Seventh-grade math teacher Angela Lee Duckworth observed that her high achievers did not always have stellar IQs. Moreover, some of her smartest pupils lagged behind their classmates. She knew the math lessons were not beyond any child’s grasp, so some other factor was influencing learning. Duckworth concluded that schools should better understand the psychology of learning. She became a psychologist and researched what types of people overcome great challenges and

About the Speaker

Formerly a seventh-grade teacher, Angela Lee Duckworth is an assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania.

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