Disobedient Kids Earn More Money as Adults—According to 40-Year Study

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people in the world were like as children? If new research results are anything to go by, they were probably defiant rule-breakers and willfully disobedient. The 40-year study, published recently in the journal Developmental Psychology via The Sydney Morning Herald, tracked the income and education levels of 745 people from Luxembourg schools in the 1960s. All children were required to complete questionnaires on their behavior while the teachers filed reports on their individual traits. Apparently those who had "a low level of rule orientation" weren't labeled delinquents as such, but were usually the ones who talked back to their parents.

At the beginning of their study, the researchers predicted that a child's future success in life was "based on personality, not just their intelligence and family background," and they turned out to be right. The children who "defied their parents tended to stay in school longer and were more likely to attend tertiary education." And the headstrong participants also earned more money than the others. Why? "One explanation … was that such individuals value competition more than their peers," the researchers wrote.

To read more about this new research, visit The Sydney Morning Herald.

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