So if IQ is only a minor factor in success, what is it that separates the low earners from the high ones?
But another key factor is personality, according to a paper Heckman co-authored in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last month.
He found financial success was correlated with conscientiousness, a personality trait marked by diligence, perseverance and self-discipline.
The study found that grades and achievement-test results were markedly better predictors of adult success than raw IQ scores.
A newer study published this month in the journal Nature Human Behaviour focused on the flip side of success: hardship.
Her results also suggested that helping people improve certain kinds of skills before they’re out of diapers would benefit everyone.
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