Grit and Learning


Joseph Wolfe seeks a research partner for a study of Grit and learning in a marketing game


Author: Joseph Wolfe


I have used business games and exercises for many years during my academic career. Over those years there have been business game players who became very involved in the experience while others were not as enthusiastic.  Angela Duckworth[1], through her teaching experience with New York City public school students, found that those with Grit, or the ability to persevere in the accomplishment of goals, is more important than IQ and other measures commonly believed to make better learners.

The typical computer-based marketing game poses a series of problems that need to be solved over a relatively long period of time. Those with Grit, or those who are passionate, and can sustain their passion about their company’s success, might learn more. They might also obtain superior economic performance. Thus, the use of a marketing game might be a proper venue for learning the role that Grit has in academic situations, as well as with real-world endeavors.

Here are two hypotheses that should be tested.

H1 Players with Grit have superior economic game-related outcomes.
H2 Players with Grit have superior game-related learning outcomes.


The study’s goal is to objectively examine (1) the amount of learning and online behavior of all who are playing the study’s marketing game, (2) to see if Grit is related to online behavior, and (3) if those actions resulted in higher learning levels and higher economic performances. The following are the study’s needs and procedures designed to accomplish these objectives.

  • Ensure that your institution’s Human Subjects policies are followed. This assurance permits the completion of a self-administered 12-item Grit Scale. Completing this scale would take about 5 minutes of class time, preferably very early in the course.
  • Use any of the Marketplace games published by Innovative Learning Solutions in any course of your choice. This placement would probably be a degree program’s Introduction to Marketing course.
  • The “success” criteria for the game should range from 30.0%-40.0% of the student’s course grade. The criteria or criterion can be of your choice.
  • Assign students to teams of any size and by any method of your choosing. The game’s duration can last as long as from 8-12 playing periods or decision-making rounds.
  • Deliver the course in your usual manner.
  • Schedule the game late in the semester.
  • Just before game play begins, administer an A/B form of a 25-30 item multiple-choice examination that covers what you believe the students should have learned before the game has begun.
  • Run the simulation at any pace of your choice. Handle it during and after its play in any style you wish to use. This might be any of the game’s Power Point slide shows that cover such areas as a game orientation and debrief or perhaps ones of your own creation.
  • Soon after the game has ended, administer a scrambled version of the study’s pre-game A/B form.

I hope you will consider joining me in this project. Its eventual results should be at least a Conference Paper or a refereed journal article.

If you are interested please contact me at I would be pleased to discuss this with you.

Joseph (Joe) Wolfe
Professor Emeritus
University of Tulsa
+1 206 201 3216

[1] Angela L. Duckworth (2018). The Power of Passion and Perseverance. NY: Simon & Schuster.