A Psychometric Evaluation of the Short Grit Scale: A Closer Look at its Factor Structure and Scale Functioning

Oscar Gonzalez, Jessica R. Canning, Heather Smyth, David P. MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Grit, the passion and perseverance for long-term goals, has received attention from personality psychologists because it predicts success and academic achievement. Grit has also been criticized as simply another measure of self-control or conscientiousness. A precise psychometric representation of grit is needed to understand how the construct is unique and how it overlaps with other constructs. Previous research suggests that the Short Grit Scale (Grit-S) has several psychometric limitations, such as uncertain factor structure within and across populations, uncertainty about reporting total or subscale scores, and different assessment precision at low and high levels on the construct. We conducted modern psychometric techniques including parallel analysis, measurement invariance, extrinsic convergent validity, and Item Response Theory models on two American samples. Our results suggest that the Grit-S is essentially unidimensional and that there is construct overlap with the self-control construct. Subscale factors were the result of an item doublet, where two items had highly correlated uniquenesses, showed similar item information, and were more likely to exhibit measurement bias. Findings replicated across samples. Finally, we discuss recommendations for the use of the Grit-S based on the theoretical interpretation of the unidimensional factor and our empirical findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-657
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • conscientiousness
  • grit
  • psychometrics
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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