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Self-Discipline Seen As More Important Than Raw Intelligence

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

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.

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