ground between entrepreneurship being “born”
versus “made.” Moreover, the impacts on intermediate channels suggest that personal initiative
training largely enables firm owners to still obtain the key benefits of traditional training in
terms of improved business practices and some
input changes. However, by helping the entrepreneur to become more proactive and constantly search for new opportunities, it also enables
additional gains through encouraging owners
to innovate, thereby differentiating themselves
from other businesses and developing new areas
for their business. The results therefore indicate
the promise of psychology to better influence how
small business training programs are taught and
show the importance of not just learning the business practices of successful entrepreneurs, but
developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. D. Gollin, J. Polit. Econ. 110, 458–474 (2002).
2. A. Banerjee, E. Duflo, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of
the Way to Fight Global Poverty (Public Affairs, 2011).
3. J. Daley, “Are entrepreneurs born or made?” Entrepreneur, 19
September 2013; www.entrepreneur.com/article/228273.
4. N. Bloom, J. Van Reenen, Q. J. Econ. 122, 1351–1408
5. D. McKenzie, C. Woodruff, “Business practices in small firms in
developing countries” (Working Paper no. 21505, National
Bureau of Economic Research, 2015).
6. D. Karlan, M. Valdivia, Rev. Econ. Stat. 93, 510–527 (2011).
7. S. de Mel, D. McKenzie, C. Woodruff, J. Dev. Econ. 106,
8. A. Drexler, G. Fischer, A. Schoar, Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 6,
9. L. I. O. Berge, K. Bjorvatn, B. Tungodden, Manage. Sci. 61,
10. X. Giné, G. Mansuri, “Money or ideas? A field experiment on
constraints to entrepreneurship in rural Pakistan” (Policy Research
Working Paper no. 6959, World Bank, 2014).
11. D. McKenzie, C. Woodruff, World Bank Res. Obs. 29, 48–82
12. S. Anderson-McDonald, R. Chandy, B. Zia, “Pathways to profits:
Identifying separate channels of small firm growth through
business training” (Policy Research Working Paper no. 7774, World
13. M. Frese, M. M. Gielnik, Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ.
Behav. 1, 413–438 (2014).
14. M. Frese, D. Fay, Res. Organ. Behav. 23, 133–187 (2001).
15. M. Frese, W. Kring, A. Soose, J. Zempel, Acad. Manage. J. 39,
16. M. Glaub, M. Frese, S. Fischer, M. Hoppe, Acad. Manag. Learn.
Educ. 13, 354–379 (2014).
17. See the supplementary materials.
18. We use the exchange rate of US$1 = 476 CFA francs, which was
prevailing at the time of the baseline survey (December 2013),
for all currency conversions.
19. D. McKenzie, J. Dev. Econ. 99, 210–221 (2012).
20. P. M. Gollwitzer, H. Heckhausen, B. Steller, J. Pers. Soc.
Psychol. 59, 1119–1127 (1990).
We thank three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, K. Yuki
and V. Vargas Sejas for excellent research assistance, and L. Talon,
L. Boileau, M. Adzodo, and K. Kounta for great support in the field.
We gratefully acknowledge funding from IZA–Institute of Labor
Economics, the Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises
trust fund, the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality, and the
World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab and Trade and
Competitiveness Global Practice. We also acknowledge grant
administration support from Innovations for Poverty Action. This
project would not have been possible without the support of the
Ministry of Commerce and of Private Sector Promotion of Togo, the
Project Coordination Unit of the Private Sector Development
Support Project (in particular, A. Kader Bawa and Y. Amegnizin), and
the project’s partners [WAGES (Women and Associations for Gain
both Economic and Social), FUCEC (Faîtière des Unités
Coopératives d’Épargne et de Crédit du Togo), CECA (Cooperative
d’Épargne et de Crédit des Artisans), APROMA (Action pour la
Promotion du Monde Artisanal), DOSI (Delegation a l’Organisation
du Secteur Informel), AFCET (Association des Femmes Chefs
d’Entreprise du Togo), and CRM-Lome (Chambre Regionale de Metiers)].
Several of the authors work for the World Bank Group, but not directly
for the International Finance Corporation, which produces the Business
Edge training program being evaluated. M.F. was a short-term consultant
for the World Bank on this project. The authors declare no other
competing interests. Questionnaires, data, and replication code are
available at http://microdata.worldbank.org/index.php/catalog/2860.
Materials and Methods
Figs. S1 and S2
Tables S1 to S16
28 April 2017; accepted 23 August 2017
Infants make more attempts to
achieve a goal when they see
Julia A. Leonard,* Yuna Lee, Laura E. Schulz
Persistence, above and beyond IQ, is associated with long-term academic outcomes.
To look at the effect of adult models on infants’ persistence, we conducted an experiment
in which 15-month-olds were assigned to one of three conditions: an Effort condition in
which they saw an adult try repeatedly, using various methods, to achieve each of two
different goals; a No Effort condition in which the adult achieved the goals effortlessly; or a
Baseline condition. Infants were then given a difficult, novel task. Across an initial study
and two preregistered experiments (N = 262), infants in the Effort condition made more
attempts to achieve the goal than did infants in the other conditions. Pedagogical cues
modulated the effect. The results suggest that adult models causally affect infants’
persistence and that infants can generalize the value of persistence to novel tasks.
Many cultures emphasize the value of ef- fort and perseverance. This emphasis is ubstantiated by scientific research; indi- vidual differences in conscientiousness, self-control, and “grit” correlate with academic outcomes independent of IQ (1–3). Even the
way children think about the relationship between
hard work and achievement affects school outcomes: Experimental interventions suggest that
children who believe effort determines achievement outperform those who believe ability is a
fixed trait (4). Although most research on persistence has focused on school-age children [e.g.,
(5, 6)], studies suggest that persistence in infancy
and early childhood statistically predicts longer-term cognitive outcomes (7–9), arguably mediated
by a suite of temperamental and cognitive factors
involved in executive function and “effortful control”
[see (10, 11) for reviews]. In addition to such intrinsic factors, observational studies suggest that
early task persistence may be affected by adult
behaviors such as developmentally appropriate
support for children’s autonomy, caregiver responsiveness, and praise for children’s effort rather
than ability (12–14).
However, previous studies leave open the question of whether there is a causal relationship between adult behavior and infants’ persistence.
Additionally, they leave open the question of
whether infants’ persistence might be affected
not just by adults’ responses to infants, but by
adults’ responses to challenges. Here, we asked
whether infants might be sensitive to evidence
that hard work pays off. Does seeing an adult exert
effort to succeed encourage infants to persist
longer at their own challenging tasks?
Both empirical and theoretical work suggests
that young human learners can draw rich, abstract generalizations from sparse data [see (15)
for discussion]. A few examples suffice for infants
to infer the meanings of novel words (16), causal
relationships (17–19), and social roles (20, 21). Especially in pedagogical contexts—where adults
make eye contact, say the child’s name, use child-directed speech, and perform intentional actions—
infants draw broad, generalizable inferences from
adult models (22, 23). However, in such studies,
infant behavior is simply a dependent measure
used to assess infants’ learning of novel concepts,
and there are few behavioral costs associated
with learning new information. Here by contrast,
we asked whether infants can draw an abstract
inference about how to behave, and in particular,
whether they can learn the value of engaging in
costly, effortful actions.
We tested the hypothesis that infants who
saw even a couple of examples of an adult working hard to achieve her goals would persist longer
on a novel task than those who saw an adult
succeed effortlessly. For the adult model, we chose
1290 22 SEPTEMBER 2017 • VOL 357 ISSUE 6357 sciencemag.org SCIENCE
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
*Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org