Can a "triple package" of personality traits explain success?

Publication Date

Scientific American

In their controversial 2014 book, “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America,” legal scholars Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, attempted to explain why some groups “do strikingly better than others in terms of wealth, position and other conventional measures of success.”

The theory received widespread attention, in part because Chua had touched off an intense debate earlier with her bestseller, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

But a recent study by two Union College psychology professors finds there is little evidence to support the idea of the so-called triple package.

Instead, Joshua Hart and Christopher Chabris counter that intelligence, conscientiousness and economic advantage are the most likely elements of success, regardless of ethnicity.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, received widespread media attention when released in the spring.

Scientific American is the latest to weigh in.

To read the clip, click here.