star fox wrote:The kind of gunning needed for the LSAT and the kind of gunning needed for law school exams are different kinds of gunning. It's a pretty decent predictor but it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison.
It's not gunning. It's about the ability to forego immediate rewards for future rewards. The Stanford child studies measured this by offering kids one candy now or two candies tomorrow.
People are drawn to the certainty of starting law school, and tend to be insecure about their social standing - waiting tables and studying the lsat can be humbling, and most people won't see it as "they're smart to plan ahead". They'll assume they couldn't get in to the flagship.
The one candy today vs two tomorrow thing tends to play itself out more than once. Equivocating it with working hard is an immature way of looking at it. It's the ability to set a goal, and choosing what helps you reach the goal over what's best now. In the Stanford study, the goal was maximizing candy consumption. In this, it's a rewarding career. Na meaningful career isn't equivocal with big law, but there are schools that make any outcome likelier.
It's not only that the people who get into a better school by retaking are likelier to reach their goal by going to a better school. It's also that they tried, which makes it likelier they'll make subsequent decisions oriented towards their goal. It's like the person who keeps their New Years resolution for one week - they may backtrack but are less likely to do so than the person who didn't keep it the first week.