About this Research Topic
As a hot research theme in the field of positive psychology over the past 10+ years, abundant evidence has shown that grit, which refers to a person’s trait-level perseverance and passion for long-term goals, is a stable predictor for achievement in a wide range of contexts. This includes student academic performance, final rank in the US National Spelling Bee competition, performance outcomes in novice teachers, and retention in summer training at West Point, college, work, and marriage. Furthermore, grit has been found to be linked with individuals’ health and well-being. In sum, grit is a crucial character strength contributing to personal achievement and well-being.
Although the research of grit has achieved great progress in the past decade and the concept of grit has gained significant recognition, there are some recent studies casting doubts on several fundamental questions on grit, such as the theoretical factor structure of grit, its association with other similar constructs, and its predictive ability for outcome variables. Indeed, more works are needed to resolve these questions and there is still lacuna in our understanding of grit in different research fields. In this Research Topic, we aim to address the major controversies on grit and extend grit research to previously under-studied fields from a multidisciplinary perspective. We recommend, but not limit the contributions in the fields to, as follows:
• Theoretical perspectives on grit. What are the conceptual foundations of grit? Are there alternative theoretical models on grit?
• The measurement of grit. How are the psychometric properties of grit scales among different populations? Beyond the self-reported scales, more sensitive and objective measures are needed to be developed.
• The antecedents, process and consequences of grit. How are the antecedents and consequences of grit in the different research fields? What are the underlying psychological mechanisms of antecedents-grit and grit-consequences associations?
• The biological mechanism of grit. Exploring the biological mechanism of grit (e.g., neural correlates and genetic basis) may increase understanding of grit as a construct and broaden our views for future studies in grit.
• Cultural differences. To date, the majority of studies on grit is based on Western participants. Are there cultural and national differences in grit and its effects?
• Group-level grit. Grit is generally considered an individual trait, but is it possible that groups or subcultures may share values that can affect grit at the group-level?
• Intervention and education. Can we develop some invention procedure or training program to improve grit? Are there any specific educational practices that may be helpful?
• The dark side of grit. It is necessary and valuable to explore the negative effects of grit on performance and well-being, and the specific contextual conditions that may enlarge or reduce these effects.
• Grit and mental disorders. Most previous studies have focused on the enhancement effect of grit on positive outcomes, neglecting the protective role of grit in negative outcomes. For example, can grit protect against the onset and development of mental disorders or reduce the corresponding symptoms?
Keywords: grit, positive psychology, performance, well-being, measurement, individual differences
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