The right stuff
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The Right Stuff. What Does It Take to Succeed?. Luck Talent Determination/Self-Discipline Delayed Gratification Willpower Executive Functioning Belief in Self Self-Efficacy Outcome Optimism. And Sometimes Even That Isn’t Enough. Willpower:. Man vs. Marshmallow. Delayed Gratification

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The Right Stuff

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The right stuff

The Right Stuff


The right stuff

  • What Does It Take to Succeed?


The right stuff

  • Luck

  • Talent

  • Determination/Self-Discipline

    • Delayed Gratification

    • Willpower

    • Executive Functioning

  • Belief in Self

    • Self-Efficacy

    • Outcome Optimism


The right stuff

  • And Sometimes Even That Isn’t Enough


Willpower

Willpower:

Man vs. Marshmallow


The right stuff

  • Delayed Gratification

    • Children Differ in Their Abilities to Delay Gratification

    • Importantly, This Predicted Long-Term Success:

      • SAT Verbal & Quant Scores

        • About 210 Points Higher (15-Min Waiters vs. 30 Sec. Waiters)

        • This Is ~15 Years Later! (Shoda, Mischel, & Peake, 1990)

      • Also Perhaps Coping, Planning, Motivation, & Intelligence


The right stuff

  • Self-Discipline Twice as Effective as IQ in Predicting:

    • Final Grades

    • As Well as:

      • High School Selection

      • School Attendance

      • Hours Spent

        • Doing Homework

        • Watching Television (Inversely)

      • Time of Day Students Began Their Homework

    • (from Duckworth & Seligman, 2005)


The right stuff

  • Note: Long-Term Strategies Are Not Always Best

    • Broken Promises

    • Kidd, Palmeri, & Aslin (2013)


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  • Nonetheless, Ayduk et al. (2000) Found Delayed Gratification Among Low-Income Middle School Children Buffered Against:

    • “Positive Functioning,” i.e., Ratings of:

      • Self-Worth & Self-Reliant

      • High Aspirations

      • Drug Use

    • Aggression & Peer Acceptance in “Rejection Sensitive” People


The right stuff

  • Delayed Gratification Is Also Related to:

    • Ability to Focus on Tasks

      • An Inhibit Competing Behaviors

    • Shift Between Tasks

    • “Meta-Memory”

      • Knowing When and

        How to Remember Things


The right stuff

  • Etiology of Willpower

    • Differences Seen as Early as 18 Months (Sethi et al., 2000)

      • Where It Is Related to Maternal Relationship

      • “Good” Relationship May Affect Development of Coping Strategies


The right stuff

  • Differences in Ability to Delay Gratification Related to “Cooling Strategies”

    • I.e., Ability to Minimize the Agony of Deprivation

      • Which Could Be Taught (ahem)


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  • But Also Probably in Part Innate

    • Related to Neural Functions That Do Not Fully Develop Until One’s 20s

      • Their Develop Is Affected by Adverse Events (Trauma, Stress, Etc.)

    • E.g., in Its Relationship with “Rejection Sensitivity” and Maybe Neuroticism)


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  • Nonetheless, “Willpower” Can Be Developed “Biomechanically”


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  • Characteristics of Willpower

    • Limited and Depletable

      • Like All Limited Resources, It Helps to Develop Strategies to Use It Wisely

        • Adults Workers Spend ~3 Hrs/Day Resisting Urges

        • But Those With Strong Self-Control Spent Less Time Resisting

      • Therefore, Easier to Relapse into Old Habits During Stressful Times

        • Or After Making Big Decisions

        • When Tired, Sad, or . . . Hungry


The right stuff

  • It Can Be Replenished

    • With Simple Sugar! (Gailliot & Baumeister, 2007)


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  • It Can Probably Be “Trained”

    • Small, Regular Acts of Will May Improve Overall Willpower

    • Pre-Empt to Avoid Exhaustion

      • "People with low willpower use it to get themselves out of crises. People with high willpower use it not to get themselves into crises."

    • More Strategies for You & Your Students


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