Science Says That If You Were a Naughty & Rebellious Kid, You’re More Likely To Succeed In Life

Image: TY Lim /

What did your parents use to tell you?

Study hard. Be a good boy/girl, earn that degree and attain a high income.

Well, it turns out that they were wrong.

Really wrong.

Because according to researchers from Luxembourg, “stubborn and rebellious children are more likely to earn more as adults.”

And I’m not even joking.



Researchers, fronted by Marion Spengler from the University of Tueingen, inspected data from the Luxembourg MAGRIP study conducted in 1968.

It observed near 3,000 12-year-olds in terms of schooling, IQ and their home life.

The teachers’ ratings of students at age 12 were examined by a single item on which teachers graded their students according to their studiousness.

In 2008, a different team of researchers went through the same sample of people in the original study, and this time asked them about their “educational and occupational history”.

Thereafter, they compared childhood results with those obtained as adults, in a sample of 745 people over the duration of 40 years.


In the end, the results determined that “children who were described as stubborn, defiant and rule-breakers were more likely to earn a higher income and have more job success as adults.”

We’ve often waited for tomorrow for a meal with our family. But what if tomorrow never comes? Watch this and you'll understand:

This could be attributed to the fact that “rebellious children are more competitive and ambitious and value these traits above interpersonal relationships.”

Image: Imgflip


Incidentally, researchers have a separate hypothesis for the results.

‘Another explanation might be that individuals with higher levels of rule-breaking and defiance of parental authority also have higher levels of willingness to stand up for their own interests and aims, a characteristic that leads to more favourable individual outcomes,’ the researchers explained.  

‘We also cannot rule out that individuals who are likely or willing to break rules get higher pay for unethical reasons,’ the researchers continued.

‘For instance, research in the field of organisational psychology showed that employees invest in unethical or deviant workplace behaviour when they are not satisfied with their income and when they have a high level of love of money.’

Does it work in the Baddy Feed office?

In an attempt to uncover whether the theory worked locally, we interviewed several members of the team and asked them how they were like when growing up.

Bad Kid No. 1: Boon Hun

Known as the face of Goody Feed, this charismatic joker will make you laugh your ass off for hours on end.

Additionally, he wasn’t exactly a model student back in school. Not to say that he set fire to the backyard of his school when he was 14, but around there la.

Today, he’s happily married with a flat to his name and has a love-hate relationship with money. (He loves money but hates that he doesn’t have enough of it)

Bad kid gets successful in life rating: 8/10

Bad Kid No. 2: Yiin Jiunn

Do not be deceived by his adorable antics; you wouldn’t want to mess with this dude.

Apart from being a practitioner of Judo, he has also condemned much deserving personnel on the net with his pen (or keyboard), which is aptly named Ragnarok.

However, he’s generally nice and is currently engaged with a flat to his name.

Bad kid gets successful in life rating: 7.5/10

Bad Kid No. 3: Justin Tan

Contrary to popular belief, he’s not a K-pop star.

But that’s not the point; the point’s that he was a total badass in school, although I shall not reveal how.

Anyways, he has done many reputable videos to date, and currently holds the position of chief video editor in the office.

Bad kid gets successful in life rating: 7.5/10

So far, we have had three bad kids in tow. So I decided to change things up by getting a nice kid to feature in the discussion.

“Nice” Kid No. 4: Chan Zhi Hao

Apart from a personal philosophy of returning home before 10 and eating his mum’s home cooked rice, he also makes it a point to abstain from all things bad, unhealthy and disapproved by his mum.

Today, he’s a writer in the office and struggles to cope with deadlines every single day.

Hardly the most successful life product, is he?

To be fair, all the girls in the office adores him. It’s a pity that love doesn’t keep you full.

Nice kid gets successful in life rating: 4/10


The theory definitely does seem to work, even if certain questionable circumstances were to be taken into consideration.

Nevertheless, this survey will surely tilt many a nice kid.

So tag your nice friends, and laugh at them, alright? 😉