Unpacking grit: Motivational correlates of perseverance and passion for long-term goals
Katherine R. Von Culina, Eli Tsukayamab and Angela L. Duckworthb
In two cross-sectional studies, we explored the motivational orientations correlates of the character strength of grit and its two component facets: perseverance of effort and consistency of interests over time. Specifically, we examined how individual differences in grit are explained by distinct approaches to pursuing happiness in life: pleasure in immediately hedonically positive activities, meaning in activities that serve a higher, altruistic purpose, and engagement in attention- absorbing activities. In both samples, grit demonstrated medium-sized associations with an orientation toward engagement, small-to-medium associations with an orientation toward meaning, and small-to-medium (inverse) associations with an orientation toward pleasure. These motivational orientations differentially related to the two facets of grit: pursuing engagement was more strongly associated with perseverance of effort, whereas pursuing pleasure was more strongly (inversely) associated with consistency of interests over time. Collectively, findings suggest that individual differences in grit may derive in part from differences in what makes people happy.