NASA’s image of astronaut John Glenn entering the Friendship 7 Capsule before launch.
NASA’s image of astronaut John Glenn entering the Friendship 7 Capsule before launch.

Exploring Grit, with Angela Duckworth

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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are exploring grit. What is grit? You’ve heard the term, you probably have a vague understanding of what it means, but what does it really mean? What better way to find out than with Cosmic Queries?

In order to do that, we need the world’s expert on grit – Angela Duckworth, PhD. Angela is a psychologist and author of the best-selling book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She is also the founder and CEO of Character Lab. Character Lab is a “nonprofit organization that connects researchers with educators to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people throughout the country.”

To start, we investigate why sometimes stories help us learn and understand things better than statistics and hard data. Find out how the science of grit relates to the cosmic perspective. Angela tells us about the Stanford marshmallow experiment. We discuss procrastination. Angela also explains why she likes to keep death relevant in her conversations and thoughts. 

We delve into the work of K. Anders Ericsson, PhD, who was the world expert on experts and expertise. His research also uncovered the “10,000 hours to be great” methodology. You’ll discover more about perseverance. Are there times where you should quit? Angela explains why the answer is yes. We also discuss why comparing yourself to other people is not as helpful as comparing you to yourself. 

Explore the differences between self-esteem vs self-efficacy. What does science say about grit in different generations? Lastly, we discuss the importance of learning to strive. All that, plus, we ponder whether you need grit if you love what you do.

Thanks to our Patrons Dakota McCreary, Maxwell Freitag, Darrin Renke, Sheri-Lynn Kurisu, Sveinbjorn Byrd, Steve Calfee, Nisarg Joshi, and Ricky Saullfor supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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