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Friday, May 6, 2016

How Not to Explain Success

By Christopher Chabris and Joshua Hart
The New York Times - Gray Matter
Originally posted April 8, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

This finding is exactly what you would expect from accepted social science. Long before “The Triple Package,” researchers determined that the personality trait of conscientiousness, which encompasses the triple package’s impulse control component, was an important predictor of success — but that a person’s intelligence and socioeconomic background were equally or even more important.

Our second finding was that the more successful participants did not possess greater feelings of ethnocentrism or personal insecurity. In fact, for insecurity, the opposite was true: Emotional stability was related to greater success.

Finally, we found no special “synergy” among the triple package traits. According to Professors Chua and Rubenfeld, the three traits have to work together to create success — a sense of group superiority creates drive only in people who also view themselves as not good enough, for example, and drive is useless without impulse control. But in our data, people scoring in the top half on all three traits were no more successful than everyone else.

The article is here.

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