Which is more important in achievement in school and in society; is it Intelligence (IQ) or effort? For many years, IQ was considered more salient in that the higher it was the greater the achievement level of individuals. IQ was then considered as being and remaining relatively stable. Presently, effort is considered to be more important than IQ. The amount of effort put forth in any endeavor by the individual is what counts. To be sure, abilities are there, but the effort factor makes for increased accomplishments, thus making the brain more plastic. The question arises how does effort increase and under which circumstances? Based on evidence, the following make for more effort put forth in any task or type of work:
* interest factors. Individuals will put forth much energy on what is of personal interest, be it in a profession, a hands on approach endeavor in the work place, a hobby, playing a musical instrument, or in a physical activity such as playing golf/tennis. Interests have their drawing or motivating power for any individual.
* meaning factors. Thus where effort is put forth, the activity pursued makes sense and is understandable. Pupils may read very little to themselves due to a lack of fluency in reading. This hinders comprehension. The lack of fluency in reading might make for a lack of interest also. Being able to read fluently is vital since it is required in many positions and jobs at the work place, as well as being important as a leisure time experience. Of all skills possessed, I prize reading very highly.
* purpose factors. The stronger the reasons are for doing something, increased effort will follow. Doing something for the sake of doing it is less motivating than if accepted reasons are inherent.
In school then, the teacher needs to motivate pupils to learn and to achieve well. Effort becomes a poignant facet of teaching; it also has relevant use at the work place. Praise, judicially given, for good performances, too, has its place in increasing effort in achievement.
ŚMarlow Ediger, North Newton