Grit: Two Related but Independent Constructs Instead of One. Evidence From Item Response Theory
The Grit scale is a popular measure of achievement-striving behavior. Consisting of two subscales, Consistency of Interests (CI) and Perseverance of Effort (PE), this scale has been repeatedly demonstrated to have high reliability and validity. At the same time, an increasing number of studies explicitly report a low correlation between the subscales and distinct patterns of associations with external measures that each subscale forms. We explored whether there is psychometric evidence that a substantive single grit construct underlies the scale. To answer this question, we investigated the scale structure in a more robust framework than the classical test theory and factor analyses could previously provide. The Russian version of the Grit scale was developed and implemented on a representative sample of high school students (n = 2,269), and different models of item response theory (IRT), both unidimensional and multidimensional, were compared to find the best fitting model. The results confirmed that the subscales reflect related but independent constructs rather than the whole grit construct. The psychometric properties of the subscales were analyzed with the two-dimensional Partial Credit Model. Both subscales of the Russian version of the Grit scale are unidimensional, have good psychometric properties, and can be used to estimate respondents’ ability.
Is it possible to compare the results in assessments of mathematics across countries with different curricula, traditions and age of starting school? As part of the iPIPS project, a Russian version of the iPIPS baseline assessment was developed and trial data were available from about 300 Russian children at the start and end of their first year at school. These were matched with parallel data from representative samples of equal numbers of children from England and Scotland. The equating of the scales was explored using Rasch measurement. A unified scale was easiest to create for England and Scotland at the start and end of their first year at school when children only differ by a half a year in age, and live in adjacent countries with a common language. Although fewer items showed invariance across the three countries, it was possible to link iPIPS scores in mathematics from the start and end of the first year at school across Scotland, England and Russia. The findings of this study suggest that, despite the apparent difficulties, meaningful comparisons of mathematics attainment and development can be made. These will allow for substantive interpretations with policy implications.
School climate is a significant factor of educational achievement. However, relevant research in Russia is difficult due to the absence of instruments. The paper peeks into the history of the notion of school climate, discussing approaches to defining the term. It also describes the most widespread questionnaires used to measure school climate and provides an analysis of their components. The empirical study is based on the student questionnaire used by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which should ideally allow measuring a number of school climate aspects. A psychometric analysis based on the methods of confirmatory factor analysis and modern test theory reveals that the structure of school climate indices is different from what questionnaire designers expected it to be. It can not be clearly determined whether the questions reflect the school climate indicators that the questionnaires were supposed to measure. Some statements are worded in such a way that most school students should either agree or disagree with them, without showing any difference in their attitude toward the subject. The scale is unbalanced for the majority of items. The article suggests making some specific steps to improve this instrument
Grit is widely considered a trait composed of perseverance of effort (PE) and consistency of long-term interests (CI) that is positively associated with educational and professional attainments. However, because of unclear relations between the two elements that compose grit, PE and CI, the theoretical model of the construct of grit is still questionable. On the one hand, we have extensive evidence that the overall score for grit can predict important life outcomes. On the other hand, predictive ability does not necessarily indicate that a measure reflects a unitary psychological trait. In the case of the Grit scale, a number of works have shown that treating grit as a whole or higher-order construct is psychometrically and psychologically unsound. In this work, we aimed to explore the relationship of PE and CI with long-term educational outcomes in desired educational trajectories while controlling for potentially confounding factors. We hypothesized that if PE and CI are facets of a unified grit construct, we would find consistent patterns in these facets for a range of educational outcomes. Our study was conducted on a large sample of students (N=3110) from a national longitudinal study of school and university graduates. These students were also participants in both the TIMSS-2011 and PISA-2012 studies. When the students were in 9th grade, we assessed their grit, academic achievement, and educational aspiration. The next year, we obtained information about the choices students made after completing compulsory education: staying in high school vs. obtaining vocational training. Two years later, we again assessed the students’ educational and life outcomes. We run two regression models. The first model was a model with PE and CI as predictors only. In the second model, SES, gender, cognitive ability scores and educational aspirations were added as covariates. To test the mediation hypotheses, we also run regression models for possible mediators (educational aspirations and achievement) as outcomes. The results showed that perseverance was a better predictor than interests, although the effects of perseverance on long-term educational outcomes were more often indirect. Consistency of interests did not predict educational trajectories or achievement. Accordingly, we failed to find any consistent patterns in perseverance and interests with long-term educational outcomes. These findings are discussed in terms of the nature of the grit construct and the validity of the Grit scale.
The paper describes the results of examining the relationship between attitudes towards statistics and academic motivation and persistence in sociology students. Often, in the everyday understanding social sciences are identified with the humanities and therefore are considered as not requiring specific mathematical training. Such attitudes in the social sciences students can lead to a decrease in the learning effectiveness and academic issues up to expulsion. To measure the attitudes towards statistics we used SATS-34 that covers a wide range of attitudes to both the academic subject and the statistics in general. The results showed that based on the combination of various aspects of the attitude the students can be divided into three types: interested in mastering statistics, formally interested and uninterested in the subject. The groups differ in the level of perseverance and the prevailing academic motivation. In addition, significant differences between groups were found in the expected and actual grades in the course. The article concludes that the attitudes towards statistics are related to both psychological characteristics of students and to the level of course mastery. The differences between the groups were significant notwithstanding the hard and regular monitoring and the high importance of the course in the curriculum, i.e. the hardness of control does not negate the contribution of psychological factors in the learning effectiveness. We assume that the differences between the groups would have been even more pronounced in a more relaxed learning environment.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
This article describes the expierence of studying factors influencing the social well-being of educational migrants as mesured by means of a psychological well-being scale (A. Perrudet-Badoux, G.A. Mendelsohn, J.Chiche, 1988) previously adapted for Russian by M.V. Sokolova. A statistical analysis of the scale's reliability is performed. Trends in dynamics of subjective well-being are indentified on the basis the correlations analysis between the condbtbions of adaptation and its success rate, and potential mechanisms for developing subjective well-being among student migrants living in student hostels are described. Particular attention is paid to commuting as a factor of adaptation.