This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Time to Quit with Grit? Expanding the Academic Persistence Framework




Whitman, Rachel

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Examinations into the effect of motivation and ability on academic and workplace performance have been fluid in the past century. Current operationalizations have proposed grit—defined as perseverance and passion in pursuit of long-term goals—as the primary measure of motivation. Drawing upon Expectancy-Value Theory, the current study examined whether academic resilience outperformed grit as a predictor of performance in the context of a business analytics course. Both constructs demonstrated similar predictive ability, though neither outperformed previously-established constructs. However, grit and academic resilience each significantly moderated the relationship between a student’s magnitude of failure and their subsequent performance on the final exam, such that continued failure was only observed for students low in either trait. Implications for the use of specific motivation-based predictors are discussed.