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Publication Detail
A synthesis of causal evidence linking non-cognitive skills to outcomes for children and adolescence
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Gutman LM, Schoon I
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    171, 198
  • Editors:
    Khine S,Areepattamannil A
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Non-cognitive skills and factors in educational attainment
  • Keywords:
    non-cognitive skills, children, adolescents, effect size, experimental studies
“Non-cognitive skills” is an umbrella term used to refer to a set of attitudes, behaviors and strategies that are thought to underpin success in school and at work, such as motivation, perseverance and self-control. Non-cognitive skills are increasingly considered to be as important, or even more important than, cognitive skills or IQ in explaining academic and employment outcomes. Despite growing interest in this topic, the causal relationship between non-cognitive skills and later outcomes is not well established. This chapter examines the experimental evidence on a diverse set of non-cognitive skills, assessing whether they can be improved and how far they can lead to better longer term outcomes in a variety of domains. We find that there does not seem to be one specific skill that predicts positive outcomes for young people. Rather, many skills are inter-linked and the enhancement of one of these skills without improvement of the others is unlikely to lead to lasting changes.
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