LOA Daily - Correlating Social Connections With Success

November 18th, 2021

Jacqui, Cindie, and Walt discuss a fascinating statistic from positive psychologist Shawn Achor.

Shawn conducted a study while at Harvard University attempting to discover what the secret to success is. He took surveys from 1,000 students, approximately 1/6 of the entire student body at the time.

To his shock and dismay, his study couldn’t find hardly any correlations at all. Study habits, parents, subject matter, hours of study, etc. proved to not be predictive at all of success, both while they were at school and after they left school.

However, he did find one correlation, and it blew his mind because it came from a question he just kind of threw onto the survey as an after thought. Yet it ended up defining his entire set of results.

The question had to do with their social connectedness, and it turned out that there was a 70% correlation, meaning that using a social connectedness score to predict a student’s success was 70% accurate.

That’s an extraordinarily high percentage. By comparison, the correlation between smoking cigarettes and getting cancer is 45%.

This amazing statistic becomes the basis for a really interesting conversation.


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