Via the excellent “Mind Hacks” blog;

A study in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal concludes that a philosophical belief in self determination and free will is a better predictor of success in the world of work than conscientiousnesslocus of control, and Protestant work ethic.

In Study 1, stronger belief in free will corresponded to more positive attitudes about expected career success. In Study 2, job performance was evaluated objectively and independently by a supervisor. Results indicated that employees who espoused free will beliefs were given better work performance evaluations than those who disbelieve in free will, presumably because belief in free will facilitates exerting control over one’s actions.

It doesn’t seem a huge logical leap to assume that the same rules apply in school as in the world of work. We try to highlight the impact of dedication and discipline to our children at Sekolah Bogor Raya, but if a child has a more fatalistic outlook on life, to what extent will that effect their classroom performance? A great discussion topic for the morning ‘circle time’ , I think!

I’ll be interested to see if these findings are discussed in our forthcoming “Learning and the Brain” workshop in September.