Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Durik, Amanda M.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology




It has not been conclusively found that grit is a unique construct, with different antecedents and consequences in comparison to traits such as conscientiousness and self-control. The proposed studies measured a possible relationship between grit, goal importance, and level of construal in the face of obstacles, and tested if this relationship replicates when using conscientiousness or self-control in place of grit. In Study 1, 170 participants (97 women) were asked to list the first ten goals that came to mind, to separate them into goal domains (e.g. "Academic/Career") and to rank these domains in importance. I hypothesized that grit would be related to greater disparity between number of goals listed within their most important goal domain (e.g. having a high GPA as a goal within the Academic/Career success domain) and other goal domains, rate goals within their primary domain as more important, and list goals that required more time to complete. Only grit predicting the average importance of goals within the most important goal domain was supported. Study 2 tested a mediational relationship between grit and effort through an indirect effect of level of construal. One hundred and fifty-seven participants (84 women) attempted to complete a task with an unsolvable obstacle. I hypothesized that grit would predict abstract construals in the face of this obstacle when a task is related to an important goal, leading to increased effort. These hypotheses were not supported, and in fact self-control emerged as the only predictor of effort on the goal-related task.


Advisors: Amanda Durik.||Committee members: Larissa Barber; Amanda Ferguson; Lisa Finkelstein; Keith Millis; Brad Sagarin.||Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 96 pages




Northern Illinois University

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