Author of the new book “How Children Succeed,” Paul Tough examines the personality characteristics that influence individual success in children such as grit, persistence, curiosity, conscientiousness, self-control and self-confidence. He argues that in many ways these personality characteristics are more important than sheer brainpower alone and that they can be taught. I think this in particular should be of interest to @ygolo because it challenges "the cognitive hypothesis" the belief that success depends primarily on cognitive skills.

Excerpts from the NYT article:

I think this also challenges the much loved idea of individual determination alone being the determiner of success which is an oft repeated sentiment within America. That if you "just work hard" and put your nose to the grindstone you WILL succeed and that disparities in economics, race (and the discrimination that often entails having to deal with), gender, sexual orientation, etc do not matter. Because people's stress in many ways can decrease with income, those who are financially well off often become weaker as well because they do not necessarily experience the failure necessary to build their character in the way that allows them to be most successful.