Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Elite athletes are higher on grit but lower on conscientiousness than a comparison sample of non-athletes

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  • Line From, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Martin Hammershøj Olesen, VIA University College, e-stimate international ApS, Denmark
  • Dorthe Kirkegaard Thomsen
This study examines whether grit and conscientiousness distinguish elite athletes from a comparison sample of non-athletes. Participants were 128 elite athletes and 1701 non-athletes. Both groups filled out short-form questionnaires measuring grit and conscientiousness. Consistent with expectations, there was a high positive correlation between grit and conscientiousness and the elite athletes reported higher grit than the non-athletes. Contrary to expectations, the non-athletes scored higher on conscientiousness compared to the elite athletes. The relationship between grit and conscientiousness and their importance for attaining expert performance in sport is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (SJSEP)
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Grit, Conscientiousness, Expert performance

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