This paper explores four characteristics of athletes – grit, self-control, conscientiousness, and motivation – and aims to discover whether the first of these three traits play a role in an athlete’s rate of progress in the sport of powerlifting. Fifty self-selected powerlifters (42 men and 8 women) answered a questionnaire that asked them questions about their training history, including nutrition, programming, and previous and current personal records. The questionnaire also asked participants questions to determine their levels of grit, self-control, and conscientiousness. These questions were scored on 5-point Likert scale, and were then compiled into an aggregate score for each category. Participants also answered questions on motivation to gauge their level of intrinsic motivation. I hypothesized that grit, self-control, and conscientiousness would be predictors of rate of progress in powerlifting. I also hypothesized that intrinsic motivation would positively correlate with grit, self-control, and conscientiousness. The data revealed that the overall regression model was significant, with both self-control and conscientiousness being significant predictors of powerlifting progress, while grit was not a significant predictor. Furthermore, there was not a significant correlation between motivation and grit, self-control, or conscientiousness.


Garcia, Amber




Cognitive Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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