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March 1, 2017 – MCAT CARS Passage
Question: What is your summary of the author’s main ideas. Post your own answer in the comments before reading those made by others.
People with character traits thought of as extrovert tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than their less extrovert peers as well as being more likely to have well-paid jobs, a new study suggests.
The research, published by the Sutton Trust educational charity, found that traits such as being assertive, talkative and enthusiastic are associated with higher earnings in adult life.
People with these traits, the report suggests, are 25% more likely than those who do not share these extrovert characteristics to earn over £40,000. Yet researchers for the charity, which works to advance social mobility, also found that those with these qualities are much less likely to come from poorer backgrounds.
The report, A Winning Personality, explores whether character traits which may be shaped by a child’s background could be holding disadvantaged youngsters back in their future careers.
It highlights the role of schools in developing “character” and social skills, and calls on teachers to help develop disadvantaged children’s non-cognitive skills – as well as their academic potential – so they are equipped to compete against their wealthier peers for better-paid jobs.
Authors Robert de Vries from the University of Kent and Jason Rentfrow from Cambridge University, reviewed evidence from 90 peer-reviewed academic studies and analysed data from a 2009 BBC initiative called the Big Personality Test, which was designed to answer the question of whether our personalities shape our lives or our lives shape our personalities.
Using data about the personality characteristics of more than 150,000 UK residents from the BBC experiment, De Vries and Rentfrow examined the link between family background and character traits. They then looked at the links between these traits and future career success.
“We know that, in the UK, even more than in many other countries, a privileged upbringing is likely to lead to better grades at school, and a better chance at a successful career,” said De Vries.
“But, along with the previous research we review, today’s analysis of the BBC Big Personality Test show that those from better-off backgrounds have yet another advantage when it comes to non-academic factors like extroversion and career aspirations.”
The report reflects the current enthusiasm for the development of so-called character education in schools. The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has made it a priority in her vision for England’s schoolchildren and numerous experiments are under way to try to find the most effective ways of instilling the advantages of “character” and resilience in children from more challenging backgrounds.
Conscientiousness, self-discipline, efficiency and organisation are all, predictably, linked to higher-earning careers in the report. Adults from wealthier backgrounds, where parents had a professional job, were in addition “significantly” more extrovert, displaying greater openness, imagination, aspiration and intellectual curiosity.
Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust, said: “To get the best jobs you need the best grades. But is that enough? Recent Harvard research shows that almost all the job growth in the United States over the last 20 years has come from jobs which require social skills and this trend is likely to accelerate.
“Our research shows that there is a clear correlation between social and other skills and earnings. We must therefore build the career aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and foster the more intangible qualities that they need to succeed and which are not taught in the curriculum such as confidence, aspiration, resilience and creativity.”
The report calls on schools to use feedback to improve pupils’ social skills and interview skills, and says they should focus on building awareness of higher-earning professions and careers among less advantaged pupils. It also stresses the importance of using broad-based interventions to develop wider skills beyond pure academic achievement.
Adapted from theguardian.
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This was an article on Psychology.
Have a great day.
MCAT CARS Instructor.