Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy
What Science Says About the Myth of Meritocracy
How important is luck? In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance events play a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people once imagined. This unusual presentation will explore the interesting, and sometimes unexpected, implications of those findings for how best to think about the role of luck in life.
Learn More About The Myth of Meritocracy
Most of the chance events that shape important life outcomes are, of course, beyond any individual’s control. But collectively, we have considerable say over what is perhaps the biggest stroke of good fortune that anyone can experience—to have been born in an environment that enables people to succeed. Such environments don’t arise by chance; they require high levels of continuing investment. In this course, Professor Frank will describe how our failure to recognize the external underpinnings of our own success has made us reluctant to support the necessary investment to maintain it. He will also explain how more supportive environments can be maintained without demanding painful sacrifices from anyone.
Recommended Reading for Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy:
- Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, by Robert H. Frank
- The Meritocracy Trap, by Daniel Markovits
- The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?, by Michael Sandel