Resilience, Anti-Fragility, Grit

From OptimalScience

Summary and Support

  • Given the complexities one may encounter in defining the apparently simple concept of resilience, an analysis which examines the concept from a variety of disciplinary approaches is immensely beneficial. A study[1] which employs concept analysis, consultation interviews and systematic review, indicates the following:
    • Resilience can be described as the process of effectively adapting to, negotiating, or handling significant sources of trauma or stress.
    • Resources within individuals, their environments and their lives can enhance this capacity for ‘bouncing back’ and adaptation in the face of adversity.
    • Across the span of life, from childhood to old age, the experience of resilience might vary.
  • A study on the impact of grit on various outcomes indicates the following[2]:
    • Described as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, grit accounted for an average of 4% of the variance for successful outcomes for the following:
      • GPA among Ivy League undergraduates, ranking in the National Spelling Bee, and retention in 2 West Point classes of cadets.
    • Grit was not positively correlated with IQ.
    • Grit showed incremental predictive value for success beyond IQ.
    • These discoveries suggest that the accomplishment of difficult objectives results not necessarily from talent per se, but from the focused and sustained application thereof over the long-haul.
  • A cross sectional survey study which further examined the role of engagement in the connection between academic outcomes and grit indicates the following[3]:
    • There is no significant difference in grit based on genders.
      • The significant male to female imbalance of the study’s participants, however, makes this point less conclusive.
    • Additionally, a higher level of the grit factor of ‘effort’ was positively correlated with being the first person in the family to attend university.
    • There was a positive correlation between engagement, academic productivity and grit.
    • Engagement mediated the productivity-grit relationship.
      • This means that more grit leads to greater engagement, which leads to higher academic productivity.


Ayesh Perera