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Education Report Roundup

Self-Discipline Seen As More Important Than Raw Intelligence

By Laura Greifner — January 24, 2006 1 min read

Self-discipline may be the most influential factor in determining a child’s academic success—even more so than raw intelligence, concludes a study.

An abstract of “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents” is available from Psychological Science.

Published in the December issue of Psychological Science, the study evaluated two groups of 8th graders on such factors as grades, standardized test scores, and I.Q. test scores. The students’ amount of self-discipline was also measured, based on student self-reports, parent reports, teacher reports, and a delay-of-gratification task.

The research showed that self-discipline was the most important factor in predicting the students’ academic success, suggesting that a failure to exercise self-discipline could be a crucial reason for students falling short of their academic potential.