Angela Duckworth

Achievement Expert
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Angela Duckworth is a psychologist whose studies are clarifying the role that intellectual strengths and personality traits play in educational achievement. Duckworth’s work primarily examines two traits that she demonstrates predict success in life: grit—the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward long-term goals—and self-control—the voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses. A major difference between the two qualities is that grit equips individuals to pursue especially challenging aims over years and even decades, while self-control operates at a more micro timescale in the battle against what could be referred to as “hourly temptations.”

Duckworth received an A.B. (1992) from Harvard College, an M.Sc. (1996) from the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught math and science at the high school level prior to joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, where she is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. Her articles have appeared in such publications as PNAS, the Journal of Educational Psychology, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.