Do pwd have more grit? Take this Grit Test to find out!

Angela Duckworth talks about the Grit Test

Angela Duckworth talks about the Grit Test

Our local NPR affiliate WBEZ substituted special programming for their regular shows on Labor Day this year, and an episode of the Ted Radio Hour they aired caught my, well, my ear. The episode was about success – what the word means, and what makes us successful:

Success has become synonymous with how much money you make and how high you climb the career ladder. But in what way can we define success beyond those boundaries? In this hour, TED speakers share what makes for an accomplished life.

Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth was one of the speakers. She is an assistant professor in the psychology department at University of Pennsylvania, and after studying rookie teachers in tough areas to see which ones would last the school year; kids in spelling bees to predict who would go farthest; cadets at the West Point Military Academy to predict which would finish their training; and corporate salespeople to predict who would keep their jobs, she determined that “grit” is a better indicator of future success than factors such as IQ or family income. If that’s true, I know a lot of people with disabilities who oughta feel pretty dang successful right now, because man oh man, do they have grit.

In Angela’s TED Talk, she defined grit as:

  • having passion to complete goals
  • having perseverance for very long-term goals
  • having stamina
  • sticking with your future, day in and day out

“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon,” Angela said. “Not a sprint.”

The TED Talk emcee did mention that listeners could take the grit test at home, so I decided to use my talking computer to check it out. The quiz asks you to answer questions in relation to people in general rather than in relation to just the people you hang out with. It asks you to rank yourself (5 for “sounds just like me” or 1 for “not me at all,” for instance) on questions like how much a new idea or project distracts you from the one you’re working on now, whether you finish what you begin, whether you’d describe yourself as diligent or not, etc.

In the end the quiz calculates you on a scale from 1 (not gritty) to 5 (extremely gritty). My grit score ended up as 3.88.

“You are grittier than at least 70% of the US population,” it said.

Does that qualify me as a success? I don’t know. One thing I do know is this: people with disabilities do tend to have more grit than average people, and I don’t need a quiz to tell me that!


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