Grit Background

Grit Background

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a 2016 self-help book by American psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth. The book was a New York Times bestseller for more than 20 weeks and integrates aspects of Duckworth's scientific background, making it an example of the "popular science" genre (in which scientific concepts are simplified and/or applied to "real world" situations to appeal to general audiences). It received critical acclaim, including praise from influential psychologist and sociologist Malcolm Gladwell.

Grit explores why natural talent is not enough to succeed if an individual does not have the "special blend of passion and persistence [Duckworth] calls 'grit.'” Duckworth draws from her research and observations of groups such as "teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee", from her own interpretations of history and of modern research on "modern experiments in peak performance", and from her interviews of "dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll."

According to Duckworth's website, she started studying grit after teaching 7th grade math in New York City public schools: "Several years in the classroom taught her that effort was tremendously important to success." She continued her research after entering the Ph.D. Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing the program, she became a professor at the University. She later became UPenn's Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology and the Senior Scientific Advisor at the Positive Psychology Center. She also founded Character Lab, a nonprofit which explores "evidence-based ways to build character in kids", of which she is still the CEO. In 2013, Duckworth was awarded a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. Grit is her first (and, as of now, only) published book.

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