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Study shows that failure actually breeds success

posted Oct 2, 2019, 5:07 AM by Ryan Quinn   [ updated Oct 2, 2019, 5:13 AM ]

Sayings like "Failure breeds success" or "what does not kill me makes me stronger" may not make you feel better when you don't succeed -- but scientists at Northwestern University have just proved its best to keep your chin up.The researchers looked into the science of failure -- specifically, the relationship between early failures and the subsequent success of young scientists.

Dashun Wang, a corresponding author on the study, noted in a release from Northwestern: "It turns out that, historically, while we have been relatively successful in pinpointing the benefits of success, we have failed to understand the impact of failure."Analyzing the rates of failure, success, and attrition -- that is, quitting -- in young scientists, the researchers discovered that those who didn't succeed at first, but "tried, tried again," ended up becoming successful.
Just don't get frustrated and quit at the first sign of failure.

"The attrition rate does increase for those who fail early in their careers," said lead author Yang Wang. "But those who stick it out, on average, perform much better in the long term, suggesting that if it doesn’t kill you, it really does make you stronger."
"There is value in failure," Professor Wang added, "We have just begu
n expanding this research into a broader domain and are seeing promising signals of similar effects in other fields."