These Psychological/Personality Factors Predict Success

Yale Professor Amy Chua made big waves in academia with her 2014 book The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. Her theory that three traits–belief in superiority of one’s group, feelings of insecurity, and impulse control–explain the greater success of cultural groups such as Mormons, Nigerians, Persians, East Asians and Jews was denounced widely (particularly among Asian americans) for perpetuating the “model minority” stereotype.

In 2016, two researchers, Joshua Hart and Chris Chabris, decided to put Chua’s hypothesis to the test. Using regression analysis to determine the strength of the relationship between the three personality traits and self-reported success across 1200 participants, the researchers concluded that cognitive ability and parental education were the two biggest predictors of success. Respecting Chua’s factors, they found that insecurity actually had the opposite effect (less success) while the other two did have mild to significant correlations with success.

This humble author hypothesizes that the answer to Chua/Chabris/Hart’s question can be answered by determining whether the cultural groups identified have a higher incidence of the two predictors of success than the general population. An update to this blog entry will be provided once Mental Mojo consumption becomes prevalent enough in academia for them to realize this and gather the necessary data.

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