Monday, January 11, 2021

Noncognitive Skills, Distinct From Cognitive Abilities, Are Important to Success Across the Life

Noncognitive skills and cognitive abilities are both important contributors to educational attainment — the number of years of formal schooling that a person completes — and lead to success across the life course, according to a new study from an international team led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the University of Texas at Austin, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

I.Q is important, but genes associated with noncognitive skills also help people to achieve things in life. 

So these are the traits to have, right?

"There has been much debate about what noncognitive skills are and how best to measure them. Motivation, persistence, grit, curiosity, self-control, growth mindset — these are just a few of the things that people have suggested are important noncognitive skills,” observed Paige Harden, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a co-leader of the research along with Belsky and Nivard.

Those traits could make successful, wealthy, and even a leader, except it can go the other way too - 

“For personality and risk behavior, we saw relationships we expected; noncognitive skills genetics were associated with less risky behavior and a personality profile we associate with maturity, and social and professional competency,” said Harden. But the results for mental health were a surprise.”

The researchers found that noncognitive skills genetics that were associated with educational attainment were also associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anorexia nervosa.

“This is an example of what geneticists call pleiotropy.,” explained Harden. “Our result warns us against a simplistic view of genetic variants being good or bad. The same genetic variant that predisposes someone to go further in school might also elevate their risk of developing schizophrenia or another serious mental disorder.”

But genes don't mean destiny.

The authors also released an FAQ to accompany their paper, which warns against using the results of this study – or any genetic research – as evidence that children’s educational performance or noncognitive skills cannot be improved with intervention or policy. 

Neuroscience News

Noncognitive Skills, Distinct From Cognitive Abilities, Are Important to Success Across the Life


Andrew Anderson said...

So these are the traits to have, right? kv

Read Proverbs (there's no blood in there, so don't worry).

Kaivey said...

That's okay then, Andrew. I never watch horror films either.

Andrew Anderson said...

Sometimes you have to face your fears (but real ones, not horror movies).

When younger (about 12) I was afraid of dogs - till the day I deliberately crossed the street to confront one.

Likewise with a bully till I finally stood up to him.

Btw, if you fear the Lord, you need fear nothing else. That's economy!