Someone should go around the country to high school reunions of various anniversaries, regions, etc. and interview the people about their old perceptions, of themselves, of others, of the world, and try to ferret out some links between attitude, behavior, and success from an early age.
Historically, we have seen studies whereby the only folks interviewed are classically "successful," typically meaning those who have abundant money. I believe this method taints the populace's view of what success really is, what it can be. The method also fails to adequately study the perceptions of those around the successful person from an early age.