“The Most Likely to Succeed” Award Matters

According to the renowned developmental psychologist, the fundamental traits for success are manifest at every stage of development.
  • Transcript


Question: Does the Most Likely To Succeed Award predict future success?

Laurence Steinberg: There is, although it's -- you know, it’s not huge. But you know, success in many, many different types of situations requires the same things. And so, you know, being smart, having a good sense of humor, having social skills that allow you to figure out what other people want you to do and how to get them to do what you want them to do, being able to delay gratification -- it's a hugely important factor in success in life. All these are predictors of success virtually at every stage of development. So in some senses it's not surprising that people who are successful in high school are successful as adults, because the same things that got them successful in high school enable them to be successful in adulthood. That said, you know, there is a certain culture of youth that values certain attributes that aren't necessarily valued in adulthood. And so there's maybe a subset of attributes that are operative during high school that are very adolescence-specific that no longer are operative during adulthood. And that may account for the fact that the correlation between success in adolescence and success later is not perfect. But it's certainly significant.