Cognitive and noncognitive predictors of success.


Journal Article

When predicting success, how important are personal attributes other than cognitive ability? To address this question, we capitalized on a full decade of prospective, longitudinal data from n = 11,258 cadets entering training at the US Military Academy at West Point. Prior to training, cognitive ability was negatively correlated with both physical ability and grit. Cognitive ability emerged as the strongest predictor of academic and military grades, but noncognitive attributes were more prognostic of other achievement outcomes, including successful completion of initiation training and 4-y graduation. We conclude that noncognitive aspects of human capital deserve greater attention from both scientists and practitioners interested in predicting real-world success.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Duckworth, AL; Quirk, A; Gallop, R; Hoyle, RH; Kelly, DR; Matthews, MD

Published Date

  • November 4, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 116 / 47

Start / End Page

  • 23499 - 23504

PubMed ID

  • 31685624

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31685624

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1910510116


  • eng