The role of noncognitive attributes in predicting success is understudied, compared with the role of cognitive ability. To address this question, researchers analyzed data on cognitive ability, physical ability, and grit—defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals of personal significance—from more than 10,000 cadets who entered the US Military Academy at West Point over a decade.
Cognitive ability, measured by college entrance exam scores, was negatively correlated with both physical ability, measured by preadmission fitness tests, and grit, measured by a self-report questionnaire completed upon arrival at West Point—findings that underscore the independence of cognitive and noncognitive attributes.
Grit was the only attribute that predicted completing West Point’s 6-week intensive initiation training, known as Beast Barracks.
Cognitive ability was a strong predictor of academic and military grades, and physical ability was a strong predictor of physical grades.
Grit and physical ability were both better than cognitive ability at predicting the probability of graduation.
According to the authors, the results suggest that noncognitive and cognitive attributes both contribute significantly to personal achievement.
Contribution of non-cognitive attributes to the success!
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