Grit and conscientiousness: Another jangle fallacy

Annette Ponnock, Katherine Muenks, Monica Morell, Ji Seung Yang, Jessica R. Gladstone, Allan Wigfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When grit was first introduced, it gained popularity before basic psychometric questions were fully explored. One critical issue is how distinct grit is from the Big Five personality trait conscientiousness. Most studies have examined correlations between grit and conscientiousness, rather than conducting item-level factor analysis. This study examined the extent to which grit and conscientiousness are empirically distinct, and which predict students’ grades. A diverse sample of adolescents completed measures of grit and conscientiousness. MIRT-based confirmatory factor analyses showed that grit and conscientiousness’ factor structures strongly overlap. Structural equation modeling showed that conscientiousness and the perseverance of effort component of grit predicted students’ grades more strongly than consistency of interest. These findings indicate that grit and conscientiousness are not unique constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104021
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Advanced quantitative methods
  • Motivation/goals
  • Personality
  • Personality assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Grit and conscientiousness: Another jangle fallacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this