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Article

Domain-general and math-specific self-perceptions of perseverance as predictors of behavioral math persistence.

Journal of Experimental Education. 2020. No. 55. P. 1-22.
Miele D. B., Browman A. S., Shen C., Vasilyeva M., Tyumeneva Y. A.

Three studies examine a novel pathway by which the perseverance component of the personality trait grit might predict college students’ behavioral persistence when solving challenging math problems. Specifically, we focus on the intervening role of what we refer to as math-specific self-perceptions of perseverance, which captures students’ perceived tendency and ability to persevere on challenging math problems. Across studies, we found that this math-specific construct was correlated with behavioral math persistence, whereas the domain-general perseverance component of grit was not. Despite there being no correlation between one’s general perceptions of perseverance and behavioral persistence on math problems, we consistently found significant indirect effects of general perceptions through math-specific perceptions of perseverance. That is, in all three studies, grittier students viewed themselves as more capable of persevering on challenging math problems, which ultimately predicted their behavioral persistence at a later time point.