An exploratory look at grit's differential relationships with facets of conscientiousness




Hancock, Dale Gregston

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It is important to identify and understand predictors of academic achievement (GPA) that are not related to general cognitive ability (g). Two such predictors are the personality traits of grit (persevering in the face of adversity) and conscientiousness (a sense of dutifulness and diligence). Both traits can be examined at a broad level, or divided into facets. While many studies have looked at grit and trait-level conscientiousness, none have looked at grit's relationship with facets of conscientiousness. This study fills that gap. In general, grit and its perseverance of effort facet were more strongly related to the perseverance-related facets of conscientiousness than to the perseverance-unrelated facets of conscientiousness; however, the differences between the correlations were merely marginally significant. Grit demonstrated little to no relationship with g, and was unable to predict GPA when g and conscientiousness were controlled. The results are discussed in terms of non-g predictors of academic achievement and the conceptual and empirical overlap between grit and conscientiousness.


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academic achievement, cognitive ability, conscientiousness, facets, g, grit