| Self-Discipline Predicts GPA Better Than IQ Among Adolescents
Getting good grades may be a primary concern of both parents and teenagers. Grades may reflect learning and the likelihood of getting into a good college or university. What predicts and determines GPA is an important issue. Although intelligence would clearly play some role in achieving a high GPA, there may other personal factors that could possibly play a larger role.
Duckworth and Seligman (2005) investigated relations between IQ, self-discipline, and academic performance among eighth-grade students. In their second study, the correlation between their composite self-discipline measure and final GPA (r = .67) was significantly stronger than the correlation between IQ and final GPA (r = .32). In their second study, they also found that homework hours was significantly and positively correlated with self-discipline. On the other hand, the correlation between IQ and homework hours was not statistically significant. Thus, it is possible that self-discipline is a better predictor of final GPA because it is associated to a greater degree with the amount of time spent on homework.(1) However, these correlational findings do not allow us to make conclusions about cause and effect. Nonetheless, because of the possible importance of self-discipline, it may be good for students to take a course on self-discipline. For example, the course on self-discipline could involve avoiding watching television until the homework is completed.
1. See their article for other findings.
Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes
IQ in predicting academic peformance of adolescents. Psychological
Science, 16, 939-944.