Here is the full text of psychologist Howard Gardner’s talk titled “Beyond Wit and Grit: Rethinking the Keys to Success” at TEDxBeaconStreet conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Beyond Wit and Grit Rethinking the Keys to Success by Howard Gardner at TEDxBeaconStreet
Howard Gardner – TRANSCRIPT:
What does it take to be successful? If you’d asked me that question years ago, I would’ve had a simple answer. I would have said, “You’ve got to be smart and work hard.” Putting it a bit more crisply, you need to have wit, that means being intelligent. Here’s a man with a lot of wit, Albert Einstein And you need to have grit You need to work hard and persevere. Like an athlete, like this high jumper.
Of course, this old view of believing in wit and grit is something that I have been thinking about for a long time, and today I am going to trace the evolution of my thinking. Here is an example of a young man who we hope has wit and grit, otherwise he won’t do well in his test. Here is a somewhat older group. We really hope they have wit and grit, because this is the Situation Room in the White House and they have to make some pretty tough decisions. So we hope that they’ll have wit and grit as well.
Today I’m going to review research that I have done as a psychologist over the last 40 years or so. And I have really changed my mind about the importance of wit and grit. That is the story that I will be talking about. This is how I looked a few years ago, when I started my work. And at that time, I was a prototypical believer that intelligence was a single thing, with a single computer in our mind-brain.