How options are framed can dramatically influence choice preference. While salience of information plays a central role in this effect, precisely how it is mediated by attentional processes remains unknown. Current models assume a simple relationship between attention and choice, according to which preference should be uniformly biased towards the attended item over the whole time-course of a decision between similarly valued items. To test this prediction we considered how framing alters the orienting of gaze during a simple choice between two options, using eye movements as a sensitive online measure of attention. In one condition participants selected the less preferred item to discard and in the other, the more preferred item to keep. We found that gaze gravitates towards the item ultimately selected, but did not observe the effect to be uniform over time. Instead, we found evidence for distinct early and late processes that guide attention according to preference in the first case and task demands in the second. We conclude that multiple time-dependent processes govern attention during choice, and that these may contribute to framing effects in different ways.
attention; eye movements; decision making; reward processing; framing effect; decision bias; approach/avoidance
This study examined automatic number processing in adults with mathematical learning disabilities (MLDs). The performance of adults with MLD during an automatic symbolic and non-symbolic priming task was compared to gender-, age-, and IQ-matched controls. No difference in the priming distance effect was found between the adults with and without MLD, suggesting that adults with MLD have an intact magnitude representation. Moreover, the adults with MLD did not have problems in processing the numerical symbols 1–9, suggesting that this basic deficit which is experienced by children with MLD is resolved by adulthood.
mathematical learning disabilities; magnitude representation; priming task; access deficit; representation deficit
Although many responses to odorous stimuli are mediated without olfactory information being consciously processed, some olfactory behaviors require conscious information processing. I will here contrast situations in which olfactory information is processed consciously to situations in which it is processed non-consciously. This contrastive analysis reveals that conscious information processing is required when an organism is faced with tasks in which there are many behavioral options available. I therefore propose that it is the evolutionary function of conscious information processing to guide behaviors in situations in which the organism has to choose between many possible responses.
olfaction; consciousness; evolution; task-dependency; information processing
Assessing goodness of model fit is one of the key questions in structural equation modeling (SEM). Goodness of fit is the extent to which the hypothesized model reproduces the multivariate structure underlying the set of variables. During the earlier development of multilevel structural equation models, the “standard” approach was to evaluate the goodness of fit for the entire model across all levels simultaneously. The model fit statistics produced by the standard approach have a potential problem in detecting lack of fit in the higher-level model for which the effective sample size is much smaller. Also when the standard approach results in poor model fit, it is not clear at which level the model does not fit well. This article reviews two alternative approaches that have been proposed to overcome the limitations of the standard approach. One is a two-step procedure which first produces estimates of saturated covariance matrices at each level and then performs single-level analysis at each level with the estimated covariance matrices as input (Yuan and Bentler, 2007). The other level-specific approach utilizes partially saturated models to obtain test statistics and fit indices for each level separately (Ryu and West, 2009). Simulation studies (e.g., Yuan and Bentler, 2007; Ryu and West, 2009) have consistently shown that both alternative approaches performed well in detecting lack of fit at any level, whereas the standard approach failed to detect lack of fit at the higher level. It is recommended that the alternative approaches are used to assess the model fit in multilevel structural equation model. Advantages and disadvantages of the two alternative approaches are discussed. The alternative approaches are demonstrated in an empirical example.
multilevel structural equation model; model fit; fit indices; model fit statistics; level-specific fit evaluation
Recent research revealed that action video game players outperform non-players in a wide range of attentional, perceptual and cognitive tasks. Here we tested if expertise in action video games is related to differences regarding the potential of shortly presented stimuli to bias behavior. In a response priming paradigm, participants classified four animal pictures functioning as targets as being smaller or larger than a reference frame. Before each target, one of the same four animal pictures was presented as a masked prime to influence participants' responses in a congruent or incongruent way. Masked primes induced congruence effects, that is, faster responses for congruent compared to incongruent conditions, indicating processing of hardly visible primes. Results also suggested that action video game players showed a larger congruence effect than non-players for 20 ms primes, whereas there was no group difference for 60 ms primes. In addition, there was a tendency for action video game players to detect masked primes for some prime durations better than non-players. Thus, action video game expertise may be accompanied by faster and more efficient processing of shortly presented visual stimuli.
masked priming; action video gaming; unconscious processing; prime visibility; expertise
Why do some people have problems “feeling the beat”? Here we investigate participants with congenital impairments in musical rhythm perception and production. A web-based version of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia was used to screen for difficulties with rhythmic processing in a large sample and we identified three “dysrhythmic” individuals who scored below cut-off for the rhythm subtest, but not the pitch-based subtests. Follow-up testing in the laboratory was conducted to characterize the nature of both rhythm perception and production deficits in these dysrhythmic individuals. We found that they differed from control participants when required to synchronize their tapping to an external stimulus with a metrical pulse, but not when required to tap spontaneously (with no external stimulus) or to tap in time to an isochronous stimulus. Dysrhythmics exhibited a general tendency to tap at half the expected tempo when asked to synchronize to the beat of strongly metrical rhythms. These results suggest that the individuals studied here did not have motor production problems, but suffer from a selective rhythm perception deficit that influences the ability to entrain to metrical rhythms.
rhythm; meter; beat; motor timing; amusia
This study explores the extent to which a bilingual advantage can be observed for three tasks in an established population of fully fluent bilinguals from childhood through adulthood. Welsh-English simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals, as well as English monolinguals, aged 3 years through older adults, were tested on three sets of cognitive and executive function tasks. Bilinguals were Welsh-dominant, balanced, or English-dominant, with only Welsh, Welsh and English, or only English at home. Card sorting, Simon, and a metalinguistic judgment task (650, 557, and 354 participants, respectively) reveal little support for a bilingual advantage, either in relation to control or globally. Primarily there is no difference in performance across groups, but there is occasionally better performance by monolinguals or persons dominant in the language being tested, and in one case-in one condition and in one age group-lower performance by the monolinguals. The lack of evidence for a bilingual advantage in these simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals suggests the need for much closer scrutiny of what type of bilingual might demonstrate the reported effects, under what conditions, and why.
executive function; bilingual children; language balance; language dominance; dimensional change card sort task; Simon task; metalinguistic task; Welsh bilinguals
To truly eliminate Cartesian ghosts from the science of consciousness, we must describe consciousness as an aspect of the physical. Integrated Information Theory states that consciousness arises from intrinsic information generated by dynamical systems; however existing formulations of this theory are not applicable to standard models of fundamental physical entities. Modern physics has shown that fields are fundamental entities, and in particular that the electromagnetic field is fundamental. Here I hypothesize that consciousness arises from information intrinsic to fundamental fields. This hypothesis unites fundamental physics with what we know empirically about the neuroscience underlying consciousness, and it bypasses the need to consider quantum effects.
integrated information theory; fields; particle physics; electromagnetic field theory; complexity; entropy
The timing of olfactory behavioral decisions may provide an important source of information about how the human olfactory-perceptual system is organized. This review integrates results from olfactory response-time (RT) measurements from a perspective of mental chronometry. Based on these findings, a new cascade model of human olfaction is presented. Results show that main perceptual decisions are executed with high accuracy within about 1~s of sniff onset. The cascade model proposes the existence of distinct processing stages within this brief time-window. According to the cascade model, different perceptual features become accessible to the perceiver at different time-points, and the output of earlier processing stages provides the input for later processing stages. The olfactory cascade starts with detecting the odor, which is followed by establishing an odor object. The odor object, in turn, triggers systems for determining odor valence and edibility. Evidence for the cascade model comes from studies showing that RTs for odor valence and edibility assessment are predicted by the shorter RTs needed to establish the odor object. Challenges for future research include innovative task designs for olfactory RT experiments and the integration of the behavioral processing sequence into the underlying cortical processes using complementary RT measures and neuroimaging methods.
olfaction; response-time; affect; emotion; valence; object
In this event-related fMRI study we investigated the effect of 5 days of implicit acquisition on preference classification by means of an artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigm based on the structural mere-exposure effect and preference classification using a simple right-linear unification grammar. This allowed us to investigate implicit AGL in a proper learning design by including baseline measurements prior to grammar exposure. After 5 days of implicit acquisition, the fMRI results showed activations in a network of brain regions including the inferior frontal (centered on BA 44/45) and the medial prefrontal regions (centered on BA 8/32). Importantly, and central to this study, the inclusion of a naive preference fMRI baseline measurement allowed us to conclude that these fMRI findings were the intrinsic outcomes of the learning process itself and not a reflection of a preexisting functionality recruited during classification, independent of acquisition. Support for the implicit nature of the knowledge utilized during preference classification on day 5 come from the fact that the basal ganglia, associated with implicit procedural learning, were activated during classification, while the medial temporal lobe system, associated with explicit declarative memory, was consistently deactivated. Thus, preference classification in combination with structural mere-exposure can be used to investigate structural sequence processing (syntax) in unsupervised AGL paradigms with proper learning designs.
fMRI; artificial syntax; implicit learning; artificial grammar learning; inferior frontal gyrus; structural mere-exposure; preference classification
Background: Abnormalities in γ oscillations (30–100 Hz) in the scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) have been proposed to reflect neural circuitry abnormalities in schizophrenia. Oscillations in the γ band are thought to play an important role in visual perception, mediating the binding of visual features into coherent objects. However, there is relatively little evidence to date of deficits in γ-mediated processes associated with Gestalt perception in schizophrenia.
Methods: Fourteen healthy control subjects (HC) and 17 chronic schizophrenia patients (SZ) discriminated between illusory Kanisza Squares and No-Square control stimuli, indicating their judgment with a manual button press. Time-frequency decomposition of the EEG was computed with the Morlet wavelet transform. Time-frequency maps of phase locking factor (PLF) values were calculated for stimulus- and response-locked oscillations.
Results: HC and SZ did not differ in reaction time, error rate, an early ERP effect associated with Gestalt processing, nor an early visual-evoked γ oscillation. Two response-locked high γ effects had greater PLF for Square than No-Square stimuli in HC, and the reverse pattern in SZ. One of these effects was correlated with thought disorder symptom ratings in SZ.
Conclusions: SZ demonstrated abnormalities in γ oscillations associated with the perception of Gestalt objects, while their early visual-evoked γ activity was mostly normal, contrary to previous results. This study supports the hypothesis that high-frequency oscillations are sensitive to aspects of psychosis.
schizophrenia; visual perception; Gestalt; gamma oscillation; event-related potential
Cluster randomized trials assess the effect of an intervention that is carried out at the group or cluster level. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior is often used to model the effect of the intervention as an indirect effect mediated in turn by attitude, norms and behavioral intention. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is the technique of choice to estimate indirect effects and their significance. However, this is a large sample technique, and its application in a cluster randomized trial assumes a relatively large number of clusters. In practice, the number of clusters in these studies tends to be relatively small, e.g., much less than fifty. This study uses simulation methods to find the lowest number of clusters needed when multilevel SEM is used to estimate the indirect effect. Maximum likelihood estimation is compared to Bayesian analysis, with the central quality criteria being accuracy of the point estimate and the confidence interval. We also investigate the power of the test for the indirect effect. We conclude that Bayes estimation works well with much smaller cluster level sample sizes such as 20 cases than maximum likelihood estimation; although the bias is larger the coverage is much better. When only 5–10 clusters are available per treatment condition even with Bayesian estimation problems occur.
multilevel sem; sample size; cluster randomized trial; Bayesian estimation; mediation
This paper presents a case study of the key decisions made in the design of Orbit, a child sexual abuse prevention computer game targeted at school students between 8 and 10 years of age. Key decisions include providing supported delivery for the target age group, featuring adults in the program, not over-sanitizing game content, having a focus on building healthy self-concept of players, making the game engaging and relatable for all players and evaluating the program. This case study has implications for the design of Serious Games more generally, including that research should underpin game design decisions, game designers should consider ways of bridging the game to real life, the learning that arises from the game should go beyond rote-learning, designers should consider how the player can make the game-world their own and comprehensive evaluations of Serious Games should be undertaken.
video games; serious games; serious game design; child protection; sexual abuse; personal safety program
Facial expressions convey important information on emotional states of our interaction partners. However, in interactions between younger and older adults, there is evidence for a reduced ability to accurately decode emotional facial expressions. Previous studies have often followed up this phenomenon by examining the effect of the observers' age. However, decoding emotional faces is also likely to be influenced by stimulus features, and age-related changes in the face such as wrinkles and folds may render facial expressions of older adults harder to decode. In this paper, we review theoretical frameworks and empirical findings on age effects on decoding emotional expressions, with an emphasis on age-of-face effects. We conclude that the age of the face plays an important role for facial expression decoding. Lower expressivity, age-related changes in the face, less elaborated emotion schemas for older faces, negative attitudes toward older adults, and different visual scan patterns and neural processing of older than younger faces may lower decoding accuracy for older faces. Furthermore, age-related stereotypes and age-related changes in the face may bias the attribution of specific emotions such as sadness to older faces.
emotional facial expressions; facial expression decoding; older face; aging; own-age advantage; response bias; expressivity
Musicians typically rehearse far away from their audiences and in practice rooms that differ significantly from the concert venues in which they aspire to perform. Due to the high costs and inaccessibility of such venues, much current international music training lacks repeated exposure to realistic performance situations, with students learning all too late (or not at all) how to manage performance stress and the demands of their audiences. Virtual environments have been shown to be an effective training tool in the fields of medicine and sport, offering practitioners access to real-life performance scenarios but with lower risk of negative evaluation and outcomes. The aim of this research was to design and test the efficacy of simulated performance environments in which conditions of “real” performance could be recreated. Advanced violin students (n = 11) were recruited to perform in two simulations: a solo recital with a small virtual audience and an audition situation with three “expert” virtual judges. Each simulation contained back-stage and on-stage areas, life-sized interactive virtual observers, and pre- and post-performance protocols designed to match those found at leading international performance venues. Participants completed a questionnaire on their experiences of using the simulations. Results show that both simulated environments offered realistic experience of performance contexts and were rated particularly useful for developing performance skills. For a subset of 7 violinists, state anxiety and electrocardiographic data were collected during the simulated audition and an actual audition with real judges. Results display comparable levels of reported state anxiety and patterns of heart rate variability in both situations, suggesting that responses to the simulated audition closely approximate those of a real audition. The findings are discussed in relation to their implications, both generalizable and individual-specific, for performance training.
music education; distributed simulation; performance anxiety; performance science; virtual reality
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not the right hemisphere can be engaged using Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) and excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to improve language function in people with aphasia. The two participants in this study (GOE and AMC) have chronic non-fluent aphasia. A functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) task was used to localize the right Broca's homolog area in the inferior frontal gyrus for rTMS coil placement. The treatment protocol included an rTMS phase, which consisted of 3 treatment sessions that used an excitatory stimulation method known as intermittent theta burst stimulation, and a sham-rTMS phase, which consisted of 3 treatment sessions that used a sham coil. Each treatment session was followed by 40 min of MIT. A linguistic battery was administered after each session. Our findings show that one participant, GOE, improved in verbal fluency and the repetition of phrases when treated with MIT in combination with TMS. However, AMC showed no evidence of behavioral benefit from this brief treatment trial. Post-treatment neural activity changes were observed for both participants in the left Broca's area and right Broca's homolog. These case studies indicate that a combination of MIT and rTMS applied to the right Broca's homolog has the potential to improve speech and language outcomes for at least some people with post-stroke aphasia.
aphasia; stroke; fMRI; rTMS; rehabilitation
Theories of expertise based on the acquisition of chunk and templates suggest a differential geometric organization of perception between experts and novices. It is implied that expert representation is less anchored by spatial (Euclidean) proximity and may instead be dictated by the intrinsic relation in the structure and grammar of the specific domain of expertise. Here we set out to examine this hypothesis. We used the domain of chess which has been widely used as a tool to study human expertise. We reasoned that the movement of an opponent piece to a specific square constitutes an external cue and the reaction of the player to this “perturbation” should reveal his internal representation of proximity. We hypothesized that novice players will tend to respond by moving a piece in closer squares than experts. Similarly, but now in terms of object representations, we hypothesized weak players will more likely focus on a specific piece and hence produce sequence of actions repeating movements of the same piece. We capitalized on a large corpus of data obtained from internet chess servers. Results showed that, relative to experts, weaker players tend to (1) produce consecutive moves in proximal board locations, (2) move more often the same piece and (3) reduce the number of remaining pieces more rapidly, most likely to decrease cognitive load and mental effort. These three principles might reflect the effect of expertise on human actions in complex setups.
chess expertise; object representation; chunks; spatial proximity; attentional control
Quadrato Motor Training (QMT) is a specifically-structured walking meditation, aimed at improving reflectivity and lowering habitual thought and movement. Here we set out to examine the possible effect of QMT on reflectivity, employing the Hidden Figures Test (HFT), which assesses both spatial performance (measured by correct answers) as well as reflectivity (interpolated from correct answers and reaction time). In the first study (n = 24, only females), we showed that QMT significantly improves HFT performance, compared to two groups, controlling for cognitive or motor aspects of the QMT: Verbal Training (identical cognitive training with verbal response) and Simple Motor Training (similar motor training with reduced choice requirements). These results show that QMT improves HFT performance above the pre-post expected learning. In the second study, building on previous literature showing gender-dependent effects on cognitive performance, we conducted a preliminary pilot examining gender-dependent effect of training on reflectivity and its electrophysiological counterparts. EEG analyses focused on theta, alpha and gamma coherence. HFT performance and resting-state EEG were measured in 37 participants (20 males), using a within-subject pre-post design. Following training, HFT performance improved in both genders. However, we found a gender-dependent difference in functional connectivity: while theta and alpha intra-hemispheric coherence was enhanced in females, the opposite pattern was found in males. These results are discussed in relation to neuronal efficiency theory. Together, the results demonstrate that QMT improves spatial performance, and may involve a gender-dependent electrophysiological effect. This study emphasizes both the importance of studying gender-related training effects within the contemplative neuroscience endeavor, as well as the need to widen its scope toward including “contemplation in action.”
motor training; reflectivity; spatial cognition; EEG coherence; gender
The visual system exploits past experience at multiple timescales to resolve perceptual ambiguity in the retinal image. For example, perception of a bistable stimulus can be biased toward one interpretation over another when preceded by a brief presentation of a disambiguated version of the stimulus (positive priming) or through intermittent presentations of the ambiguous stimulus (stabilization). Similarly, prior presentations of unambiguous stimuli can be used to explicitly “train” a long-lasting association between a percept and a retinal location (perceptual association). These phenonema have typically been regarded as independent processes, with short-term biases attributed to perceptual memory and longer-term biases described as associative learning. Here we tested for interactions between these two forms of experience-dependent perceptual bias and demonstrate that short-term processes strongly influence long-term outcomes. We first demonstrate that the establishment of long-term perceptual contingencies does not require explicit training by unambiguous stimuli, but can arise spontaneously during the periodic presentation of brief, ambiguous stimuli. Using rotating Necker cube stimuli, we observed enduring, retinotopically specific perceptual biases that were expressed from the outset and remained stable for up to 40 min, consistent with the known phenomenon of perceptual stabilization. Further, bias was undiminished after a break period of 5 min, but was readily reset by interposed periods of continuous, as opposed to periodic, ambiguous presentation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that perceptual biases can arise naturally and may principally reflect the brain's tendency to favor recent perceptual interpretation at a given retinal location. Further, they suggest that an association between retinal location and perceptual state, rather than a physical stimulus, is sufficient to generate long-term biases in perceptual organization.
bistable; ambiguous figures; perceptual stabilization; cue recruitment; associative learning
Some results suggest that attentional selection in global/local processing occurs at two stages: an early stage, where global and local information of a hierarchical stimulus is filtered or weighted according to the current goal, and a late stage, where the contents of the stimulus are bound to their respective level. Because it is assumed that binding improves attentional selectivity, accuracy should increase with response time. To see whether this prediction holds, a global/local experiment was conducted with hierarchical letters as stimuli, and where selection difficulty was varied by blocking vs. randomizing the target levels. The results show that accuracy indeed increased with response time, although to a lesser extent under randomized levels. Because an increasing accuracy is also compatible with a gradually improving selectivity, corresponding sequential sampling models were fit to the distributional data. The results show that a discretely improving attentional selectivity accounts better for the data. Moreover, the parameters of the corresponding model indicate that randomizing the target level impaired the efficiency of early selection as well as that of content-to-level binding.
global/local processing; binding; attentional selectivity; sequential sampling; early and late selection
In the present work we present an overview of experimental findings corroborating olfactory imagery observations with the visual and auditory modalities. Overall, the results indicate that imagery of olfactory information share many features with those observed in the primary senses although some major differences are evident. One such difference pertains to the considerable individual differences observed, with the majority being unable to reproduce olfactory information in their mind. Here, we highlight factors that are positively related to an olfactory imagery capacity, such as semantic knowledge, perceptual experience, and olfactory interest that may serve as potential moderators of the large individual variation.
imagery; olfaction; consciousness; comparative; expertise
To examine individual differences in adults’ sensitivity to facial expressions, we used a novel method that has proved revealing in studies of developmental change. Using static faces morphed to show different intensities of facial expressions, we calculated two measures: (1) the threshold to detect that a low intensity facial expression is different from neutral, and (2) accuracy in recognizing the specific facial expression in faces above the detection threshold. We conducted two experiments with young adult females varying in reported temperamental shyness and sociability – the former trait is known to influence the recognition of facial expressions during childhood. In both experiments, the measures had good split half reliability. Because shyness was significantly negatively correlated with sociability, we used partial correlations to examine the relation of each to sensitivity to facial expressions. Sociability was negatively related to threshold to detect fear (Experiment 1) and to misidentify fear as another expression or happy expressions as fear (Experiment 2). Both patterns are consistent with hypervigilance by less sociable individuals. Shyness was positively related to misidentification of fear as another emotion (Experiment 2), a pattern consistent with a history of avoidance. We discuss the advantages and limitations of this new approach for studying individual differences in sensitivity to facial expressions.
temperamental shyness; sociability; emotional facial expression; fear; hypervigilance; avoidance
Video games have a unique ability to engage, challenge, and motivate, which has led teachers, psychology specialists, political activists and health educators to find ways of using them to help people learn, grow and change. Serious games, as they are called, are defined as games that have a primary purpose other than entertainment. However, it is challenging to create games that both educate and entertain. While game designers have embraced some psychological concepts such as flow and mastery, understanding how these concepts work together within established psychological theory would assist them in creating effective serious games. Similarly, game design professionals have understood the propensity of video games to teach while lamenting that educators do not understand how to incorporate educational principles into game play in a way that preserves the entertainment. Bandura (2006) social cognitive theory (SCT) has been used successfully to create video games that create positive behavior outcomes, and teachers have successfully used Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligences (MIs) to create engaging, immersive learning experiences. Cognitive behavioral game design is a new framework that incorporates SCT and MI with game design principles to create a game design blueprint for serious games.
social cognitive theory; multiple intelligences; video games; game design; behavior change; goal setting; serious games; educational games
Many actions involve limb movements toward a target. Visual and proprioceptive estimates are available online, and by optimally combining (Ernst and Banks, 2002) both modalities during the movement, the system can increase the precision of the hand estimate. The notion that both sensory modalities are integrated is also motivated by the intuition that we do not consciously perceive any discrepancy between the felt and seen hand's positions. This coherence as a result of integration does not necessarily imply realignment between the two modalities (Smeets et al., 2006). For example, the two estimates (visual and proprioceptive) might be different without either of them (e.g., proprioception) ever being adjusted after recovering the other (e.g., vision). The implication that the felt and seen positions might be different has a temporal analog. Because the actual feedback from the hand at a given instantaneous position reaches brain areas at different times for proprioception and vision (shorter for proprioception), the corresponding instantaneous unisensory position estimates will be different, with the proprioceptive one being ahead of the visual one. Based on the assumption that the system integrates optimally and online the available evidence from both senses, we introduce a temporal mechanism that explains the reported overestimation of hand positions when vision is occluded for active and passive movements (Gritsenko et al., 2007) without the need to resort to initial feedforward estimates (Wolpert et al., 1995). We set up hypotheses to test the validity of the model, and we contrast simulation-based predictions with empirical data.
position estimates; vision; proprioception; perceptual judgments; reaching
Remaining committed to goals is necessary (albeit not sufficient) to attaining them, but very little is known about domain-general individual differences that contribute to sustained goal commitment. The current investigation examines the association between grit, defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, other individual difference variables, and retention in four different contexts: the military, workplace sales, high school, and marriage. Grit predicted retention over and beyond established context-specific predictors of retention (e.g., intelligence, physical aptitude, Big Five personality traits, job tenure) and demographic variables in each setting. Grittier soldiers were more likely to complete an Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) selection course, grittier sales employees were more likely to keep their jobs, grittier students were more likely to graduate from high school, and grittier men were more likely to stay married. The relative predictive validity of grit compared to other traditional predictors of retention is examined in each of the four studies. These findings suggest that in addition to domain-specific influences, there may be domain-general individual differences which influence commitment to diverse life goals over time.
grit; conscientiousness; personality; retention; dropout