Study habits inventories have successfully identified a proclivity for academic achievement not accounted for by ability. These inventories may be identifying a motivational trait that is difficult to chart by using traditional ability measures. The concept of motivation is quite difficult to pin down, and professional educators often turn to their particular notions of motivation when explaining success or failure. Motivation has been characterized as a conceptual charlady widely used for sweeping up variance in academic attainment unaccounted for by traditional intellectual or educational variables (Entwistle, et ai., 1974).
Thompson, M. E. (1976). A New Study Habits Inventory: Description and Utilization. Reading Horizons, 16 (3). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol16/iss3/2