achievement, reward, power
champion, race
discovery, self-realization, happiness
fame, renown, power
happiness, loot
happiness, power, wealth
happiness, wealth
Happyness, self-fulfillment, wealth
job, money, home
money power car
money, fame
money, family, fame
money, family, goal
money, position
money, power
money, power, loving family
money, prestige
money, satisfaction, rewards
personal, individual
power, money, happiness
respect, happiness
Rewarding, Necessary
schoolwork, proud
standards, work
the good life, be happy
work, ethics, self-discipline
work, perseverance, vacation

accomplissement de soi, faire ce qui nous intéresse
vraiment, à partager
amour, santé argent
amour, vie, bien-être
argent, belle vie, respecte
argent, bonheur, travail
argent, hiiérarchie, accomplissement
but, admiration, pouvoir
Epanouissement, Satisfaction
épanouissement, culture, argent
Famille Travail Plaisant Formation de l'esprit
famille, travail
Individuelle, Collective
non essentiel, échec
objectif, bonheur
personnelle, satisfaction
professionnelle, personnelle
proffessionnelle, interieure, familliale
prospérité, sociale, finançière
sociale, amour,
sociale, economique
travail, bonheur
travail, chance, motivé
travail, chance, méritée
travail, initiative
voulue, objectif, nuisible


A première vue, c'est succès = argent pour vous. Vous noterrez de notre part une touche plus romantique avec la présence d'un mot que nous aimons bien.... amour. Voyez vous une explication?

Après une étude statistique des mots revenants de façon récurrente, voici ce que nous avons constaté : L' idée d'argent apparaät de façon très régulière dans les réponses données par les étudiants du MIT. Environ 50% d' entre eux relient la réussite à l' argent. En revanche, seuls 20% des étudiants de l'INT associent réussite et argent. De même, 25% des étudiants du MIT voient dans le pouvoir la suite logique à la réussite tandis qu' un seul étudiant de l' INT ne s'y interesse. Parallèlement, 20% des français associent la réussite à leur réussite professionnelle alors que seuls 10% de nos camarades d' outre atlantique relient ces deux notions. Le même nombre d' étudiants (8 sur 28) dans les deux écoles relient la réussite au bonheur. Les deux grandes différences sont la réussite amoureuse qui préoccupe un étudiant de l' INT sur 7, alors que nos confrères du MIT ne s' en préoccupent pas. A l' opposé, la renommée symbolise la réussite pour 1 étudiant du MIT sur 4, alors qu elle n' interesse aucun étudiant de l' INT, sûrement trop effrayés à l' idée d' avoir affaire aux paparazzis :-)

A première vue, c'est succès = argent pour vous. Vous noterrez de notre part une touche plus romantique avec la présence d'un mot que nous aimons bien.... amour. Voyez vous une explication?

My first reaction is that the French are just more romantic than the Americans! I noticed also that love was not mentioned. I think that is because here the notion of success is very personal. It is about you...your job, your money, your happiness, while it seems that the French put much more emphasis on collective happiness. The words "collective," "a partager," "famille," and "amour" all involve success with more than one person.

Yes, the Americans are more individualistic, and the "money" appears everywhere. American society is often criticized to be materialistic, and I support that criticism. I would also note to you that MIT is famous for being very competitive and career-oriented. This is why I am not suprised at responses like "money", "fame", "schoolwork" and "proud". I see success as personal happiness, and spiritual development, but again you will note that this is part of individual realization. As for "love", it is a different kind of achievement - not success as much, rather happiness. You don't have to be successful to be happy.

And a question: I understand the dictionary meaning of "épanouissement", but how would you elaborate on that term, in the "success" context?

I would like to reply to Thomas' statistics.

I agree that at first glance many of the measures of success look the same. I want to comment on one the differences, specifically professional success. Work was very high up on the French list, but much lower down on the American list. I would suggest that in America, success is determined more by how much money and power your job gives you, as opposed to the status of your particular job. i.e. your job doesn't matter as long as you are getting rich. I think in the USA it is just as attractive to be "nouveau-riche" than to have a traditionally important job (like a doctor or lawyer). This probably comes from the fact that many people are now getting incredibly rich in the US in new types of jobs that didn't exist ten years ago (i.e. internet start-up, other entrepreneurial ventures).

Also, a question:

Thomas mentioned that fame was not mentioned in the French definitions of success. Does anyone have a reason for this? Are the paparazzi that bad, as Thomas suggests :) ?

I think that americans might just have different conceptions of happiness: they associate happiness with money, a car, and power. The french students seem to view happiness as success in love, family, and work. Americans appear to have a much narrower definition of success whereas the french seem to think it has a much broader scope than simply material goods. I do agree with previous posts which suggest that americans are materialistic and more individualistic - but what aspects of french culture contribute to this outlook and resulting broader definition of success?

Perhaps a reason for the disparity of terms used between French and American students can be attributed to the fact that the United States is very much a capitalistic society. It's easy to measure "success" in terms of numeric concepts such as money, cars, home ...

but i also think that a greater indication of success for many americans is captured in the word "happiness".

je ne sais pas pourquoi l idée d etre reconnu ne nous interesse pas specialement, quand aux paparrazi, c etait juste une blague!

etre epanouit, c est etre heureux avoir un job qui nous plait qui nous convient bien, c est assez difficile a expliquer en fait,

I would just like to point out that there are a lot of non-american students in this class. This means one of several things. The response of the non-american students may have resulted from their observations of american culture. Their ideas of success may have changed as a result of them living here for a few years. (although they may have have held those ideas already). Or it is entirely impossible that MIT attracts people who regard success in terms of money, wealth, fame etc.

My question for the students at INT: do the non-french students share the same ideas of success as the french students?

I observed that three French student listed "social" in relation to success, where no Americans did. I was wondering what the French consider to be "social success"? Is it in any way related to the amount your job pays?

je pense que ce que les francais appellent reussite sociale correspond en partie a ce que vous appellez si je pense qu ils sont plus interessés par l idee d avoir de nombreux amis et connaissances. voila ce qu il entendent par reussite sociale a mon avis

Hello Thomas, I agree with you that social success is having many friends, people you know, connections, good reputation, respectable family etc. But I don't agree that "fame" is social success for Americans. "Fame" is only part of one's "public image", and it is not a measure of success, since many famous have been unsuccessful and unhappy. It is also true that the notion of the "rich and famous" exists here and probably the masses see that class as "successful". As for the MIT students, I think they emphasized professional and scientific success. (and fame if you wish). Isn't it un petite success in France to be popular among your friends?