Last time, you figured out how gritty you are. This time, you’re gonna learn a bit about grit and human behavior. Simply, all human behavior is determined by genetics and environment. Each continue to interact and influence each other over time.
Talents are even genetically influenced, giving some people an advantage in certain fields from finger length making guitar playing a bit easier (I have small hands, so I am not so lucky) or long legs for for distance running (I have short legs. Everyone has a longer stride).
But how do we know this information for a fact? Science. Good ol’ science.
Specifically, identical and fraternal twin studies. Angela Duckworth refers to one study in particular which used her Grit Scale on more than 2,000 pairs (a fantastic sample size) of teenage twins to study heritability of perseverance and passion. According to the study, the estimated heritability of perseverance is 37% while passion is 20%. What does this mean?
- Indeed, the variability in grit possesses genetic factors.
- Psychological traits relevant to success (being a Rockstar) are also influenced by experiences (environment).
- The environment in which we grow matters.
- Heritability estimates explain why people differ from the average. However, these estimates say nothing about the average itself.
“Brie, you lost me.” Don’t worry. Keep listening.
In any given population, some people are taller and some are shorter…but, this information does nothing to tell us how the average height within the population changed over time. Now, we come to the Flynn effect, named after the social scientist, Jim Flynn.
So, the Flynn effect refers to IQ score gains over the past century. Get this: gains in IQ have average more than 15 points in the last 50 years in over 30 countries. If you took a look at your sosh meed today, it may not seem like it, but humans’ abstract reasoning skills have improved over generations. Takeaway? The average of a population may change.
Similarly, Duckworth analyzed Grit Scale scores by age. She found grit increases with age. Her findings follow the trends already revealed by other studies. Most people become more conscientious, confident, caring, and calm with life experience. People adapt.
As you can see, you are not limited by your genes or your childhood. You can grow some grit. How?
Are you as gritty as you strive to be? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments!