Battle of the sexes: The meaning of success and factors required to achieve them differ amongst men and women
While it is believed that to achieve the goals you need passion, grit and a positive mindset, or in other words, the belief that you’ll succeed if you just keep at it. In a recent study, researchers investigated the links between this particular combination of factors.
Previous studies show that many factors play a role in achieving success. But the new research reveals that what is most important can vary between the sexes. The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
“We found big differences between the sexes in some areas,” says Prof Hermundur Sigmundsson at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Psychology.
Women and men have about the same degree of grit and a positive mindset. Men, however, have significantly higher scores on the passion factor.
For women, all the factors -- passion, grit and a positive mindset -- are closely intertwined. All three factors are quite strongly correlated with each other.
The researchers did not find this strong interconnectedness to the same degree in men.
Nor did they find a strong correlation between attitude and a positive mindset. What they did find in men was a strong interaction between passion and grit.
“Men have to burn more for something to succeed at it. They need to be more passionate about what they undertake,” says Prof Sigmundsson.
The fact that passion is so important for men who want to achieve good results is an important finding that could prove useful for people involved in shaping the education of the future.
Sigmundsson and his research colleagues speculate whether this finding might be a reason why girls generally do better at school.
Boys apparently need to be more fervently enthusiastic about a topic for their grit to kick in.
“Perhaps this finding should impact how we educate and can lead us to concentrate more on students’ individual interests, strengths and resources. We may need to if we want to light the fire of more boys.”
This doesn’t mean that a positive mindset does not play any role for men. Mindset is an important underlying factor for everyone, and multiple factors come into play regardless of gender.
“But even though a positive mindset is a good starting point, it isn’t enough. You also need focused training, passion, grit, and support from others - like mentors, teachers and coaches,” adds Prof Sigmundsson.
The survey was conducted in Iceland, with 146 young Icelanders participating.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)