Persona 4 Golden Social Stats: raising knowledge, courage, expression, diligence & understanding

While a lot of your time considering stats in Persona 4 Golden will be spent worrying about the battle stats of your Persona, the protagonist also has a set of social stats that are used in non-battle situations - you can find these in the Status menu. 

These stats are Knowledge, Courage, Expression, Diligence and Understanding - and each governs various aspects of your adventure in Persona 4. Each stat also grows independently, and some are more easy to raise than others. You'll have to dedicate some of your limited in-game days to grinding out these stats if you want to see every aspect of P4G, as these stats act as gateways to certain ranks of Persona 4's social links and certain part-time jobs.

These five stats - sometimes referred to as Social Stats, Social Qualities or simply ‘Status’ after the menu where they’re found, are all vital to your experience. Below, we list all five of these stats - Knowledge, Courage, Expression, Diligence and Understanding - the five levels for each, what each stat is used for, and how to quickly raise and level up each as quickly as possible. 

Often in this guide, we mention reading - for more information on how to get those precious stat-increasing tomes, check out our Persona 4 Golden books list.


Knowledge Stat Upgrades & Requirements

The Knowledge stat represents the main character’s level of intelligence. In Persona 4 Golden this impacts a lot of things in small ways, and so it’s important to be as smart as possible. 

Having a high knowledge level will help you to get better results on exams, which carries rewards, and certain ranks are also required to start the Margaret (Empress) and Naoto (Fortune) social links. Finally, some speech checks in the game will allow you to say certain things only if you have a sufficiently high knowledge stat.

There are five levels/ranks of knowledge: Aware (Level 1), Informed (Level 2), Expert (Level 3), Professor (Level 4) and Sage (Level 5). 

How to upgrade your Knowledge Stat in Persona 4 Golden

You can upgrade your knowledge rank by performing certain actions; each action earns some experience points that contribute to a hidden stat which governs what rank you are. You can rank up knowledge through the following:

  • Getting School Lesson Answers correct (our P4G school answers guide is great for this)
  • Studying - you can study either at the library after school or at your desk at home at night time. Studying is more effective on rainy days.
  • Reading - the following books boost knowledge: The Gentle Way, The Punk’s Way, Guide to Pests, Poly-land, The O-Cha Way, The Divine Way, Who Am I and The Ramen Way. Also, reading the ‘Expert Study Methods’ book can boost the amount of knowledge studying grants.
  • Eating Ramen at Aiya (3000 Yen cost) raises the stat.

Courage Stat Upgrades & Requirements

The Courage stat represents how ballsy your character really is, and in Persona 4 Golden it’s the stat primarily used for speech checks - saying or doing certain things that might be tough or provocative require a higher Courage stat. 

Certain courage ranks are also required for the Ai (Moon) Naoto (Fortune) social links. 

There are five levels/ranks of courage - Average (Level 1), Reliable (Level 2), Brave (Level 3), Daring (Level 4) and Heroic (Level 5).

How to upgrade your Courage Stat in Persona 4 Golden

There’s a few ways to upgrade your courage stat throughout P4G, including a few you can repeat if necessary:

  • Some brave story dialogue choices will boost your courage.
  • Reading - these books boost your courage stat: The Lovely Man, Forever Macho, Guide to Pests, Man of History, Man-God, Farewell to Man.
  • Working - the part-time job at the hospital raises your courage, and also kicks off and advances the Sayoko (Devil) social link as a bonus.
  • Eating - choosing to eat the Rotten Food when it shows up in your fridge grants courage, and eating Ramen at Aiya (3000 Yen) can, too.
    • Days to Check the Fridge for Courage Upgrades in Persona 4 Golden: April 25th, May 2nd, May 14th, May 30th, June 20th, July 4th, July 18th, August 29th, September 13th and October 24th.
  • Riding the Bike that was added to the Golden version of the game also increases your courage stat.

Expression Stat Upgrades & Requirements

Having a higher Expression stat allows you to… well, express yourself more. This is mostly linked to speech checks and social links - allowing you to say and do certain things, or start and progress certain relationships.

You’ll need to have a specific expression stat during the Dojima (Hierophant) and Nanako (Justice) social links. 

The five levels of the Expression stat are Rough (Level 1), Eloquent (Level 2), Persuasive (Level 3), Touching (Level 4) and Enthralling (Level 5).

How to upgrade your Expression Stat in Persona 4 Golden

As ever, there’s a few different methods to raise your Expression stat in P4G, and some of them can be repeated to grind the stat out…

  • Some school class questions will automatically raise your expression if answered correctly.
  • Working - the Translator part-time job will raise your expression stat. The Tutor part-time job does likewise.
  • Reading the following books raises the expression stat: The Gentle Way, English Made Easy, The Punk’s Way, The O-Cha Way, The Divine Way
  • Going to the school’s Cultural Club raises your expression, and also contributes to the Sun s-link

Diligence Stat Upgrades & Requirements

Diligence is required for certain jobs in Persona 4 Golden, and it also governs how much you can fish. This makes it a soft gateway to certain other things - like to reach the Devil social link, you’ll need Diligence to apply for the job that leads to it.

There are five levels of Diligence as a stat. They are Callow (Level 1), Persistent (Level 2), Strong (Level 3), Persuasive (Level 4) and Rock Solid (Level 5). 

How to raise your Diligence Stat in Persona 4 Golden

There’s a few ways you can raise your Diligence Stat in P4G, and you’ll probably have to repeat them a few times to hit the ranks you want…

  • Working - the job sealing envelopes and working at the bar both add to your Diligence stat.
  • Reading the Witch Detective, Poly-land, Picross Rules! And Who am I? Books raises your Diligence stat. Reading the Office Work Manual will boost Diligence Gains from the envelope making job.
  • Attending Sport Club at school adds to your Diligence stat, and also moves along the Strength s-link.
  • Eating the Regular or Special Ramen at Aiya (3000 Yen) adds to your diligence stat - the Regular ramen adds more.
  • Tending to the Garden at Dojima's place helps to raise Diligence, too. 

Understanding Stat Upgrades & Requirements

Understanding is a stat that is used throughout the game as a speech check for certain dialogue options, but it’s also required for the Babysitting Job and the Konishi (Hanged Man) social link.

There are five levels of Understanding, just like every other stat: Basic (Level 1), Kindly (Level 2), Generous (Level 3), Motherly (Level 4), Saintly (Level 5). 

How to raise your Understanding Stat in Persona 4 Golden

A handful of in-game actions will raise your understanding stat in P4G:

  • Working - the part-time job where you Fold Origami raises Understanding. Further, once unlocked, the Babysitting Job will increase Understanding further.
  • Reading - the following books raise the understanding stat when read: Off Today, Witch Detective, Short on Cash, Changing Chareers, Picross Rules, Sensei’s Friends, The Final Lesson and The Ramen Way. The Easy Origami book increases the understanding boost from folding Origami.
  • Eating the special Ramen at Aiya (3000 Yen) raises Understanding.
  • Sneaking out of the house at Night when Dojima isn’t there can allow you to meet and spend time with a cat. Doing so increases Understanding.