In a 2014 book, "The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America," legal scholars Amy Chua and husband Jed Rubenfeld tried to explain why some groups "do strikingly better than others in terms of wealth, position and other conventional measures of success." Using primarily anecdotal evidence, the authors (both professors at Yale Law School), theorized that people deemed to be extraordinarily successful shared three dominant cultural traits: a superiority complex, personal insecurity and impulse control. Further, they asserted that highly successful people belonged to one of eight groups: Cubans, East Asians, Indians, Jews, Lebanese, Mormons, Nigerians and Persians.

But a new study Personality and Individual Differences 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.

Poll Question:
One theory for explaining “success,” put forward by Amy Chua Jed Rubenfeld, posits cultural traits such as a superiority complex, personal insecurity and impulse control. Union College professors Joshua Hart and Christopher Chabris counter that intelligence, conscientiousness, and economic advantage are the most likely elements of success, regardless of ethnicity. Do you think that Hart-Chabris make a better argument for achieving success than the Chua-Rubenfeld theory?

Yes
47

No
17