Researchers say this disagreeable personality trait displayed by Bill Gates as a kid may predict success in adulthood
2019-12-04 17:01

 Around age 11, Bill Gates started to become a problem for his parents.


As his intellectual capacity grew, so did his argumentativeness. He refused to do the things his mom asked of him, like cleaning his room and showing up on time to dinner, according to The Wall Street Journal.

据《华尔街杂志(The Wall Street Journal)》报导,盖茨随着知识的增长,他能说善辩,很多事情不听妈妈的话,如要他清扫自己房间和按时就餐。

It came to a head one night when Gates was about 12 years old. The "tempestuous" know-it-all got into a "nasty" shouting match with his mother, according to The Journal, and his father threw a glass of water in his face. Soon after, Gates told a counselor: "I'm at war with my parents over who is in control."


Gates' adolescent behavior might seem like nothing remarkable — many of us went through similar stages of rebelliousness without growing up to be multibillionaires.


Yet a new study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology and cited by the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that there is in fact a connection between defiance and rule-breaking in adolescence and earning a high income later in life.

但是,美国心理学协会《Association for Psychological Science》认为,少年时代的挑战勇气和敢于冲破清规戒律,事实上与成年后赢得高收入存在一定联系。该新研究报告(new study)发表在《美国发展心理学(Developmental Psychology)》杂志上。

Back in 1968, nearly 3,000 sixth-graders living in Luxembourg took intelligence tests and answered questions about their feelings toward school. Their teachers also filled out questionnaires about the students' behavior. At the time, researchers assessed the students' family background as well.


In 2008, researchers revisited this data in order to see which childhood traits predicted career success and income. They were able to get in touch with 745 of the students, who were now about 52 years old.


Some of what the researchers found wasn't especially surprising. For example, more studious kids (as rated by teachers and by the kids themselves) went on to land better jobs.


But the researchers were surprised to find one childhood characteristic — beyond IQ, parents' socioeconomic status, and the amount of education the students attained — that predicted higher  income: rule-breaking and defiance of parental authority.


At this point, the reason why rule-breaking preteens go on to become high-earning s /is unclear. The researchers say it's possible that people with rule-breaking tendencies are more inclined to stand up for themselves, which could lead to greater financial success.


Meanwhile, other research has yielded similar findings: One study found that agreeable (i.e. nice) //s tend to make less money than disagreeable //s. And Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book "David and Goliath" that entrepreneurs like Apple founder Steve Jobs and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad were more successful because they were disagreeable, allowing them to take social risks and decline requests that weren't in their best interests.

与此同时,另一项研究也可取得同样结果。有一项(One study )研究证明,少年时代听话的(乖)小孩比小时候讨人嫌小孩长大后赚钱少。马尔科姆·格拉德韦尔(Malcolm Gladwell)在他著作《大卫与歌利亚(David and Goliath)》中指出,苹果创建人史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)和宜家公司创建人英格瓦·坎普拉德(Ingvar Kamprad)取得的成功,是他们具有敢于持有不附和他人的个性和勇于承担社会风险,保护自己最大利益不让人侵犯。

Of course, this research isn't a reason to encourage your sixth-grader to run wild in school or at home. But if you notice a defiant streak in them, know that it isn't an inherently bad thing. It could help facilitate their success (and maybe even help them become the next Bill Gates) down the road.


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