Mental Toughness Research Update


There are numerous ongoing MT projects that are mostly collaborations between myself and Peter Clough at the University of Hull. Just to give you a pointer for things to look out for, there is a paper “in press” with Personality and Individual Differences that should be published in the next few months. Lots of MT work has concerned conceptual issues and this has created much debate and to be honest a “toxic” atmosphere in this area. We want to move things on a bit and the work led by Steve Dewhurst et al. (cognitive psychologist at Hull) has found, using the directed-forgetting paradigm, that mentally tough individuals are better able to put past events to one-side and focus on the here and now. This is perhaps one reason why the toughest athletes don’t let mistakes bother them or interfere with their performance. More work to do on this but interesting initial findings.

Also look out for a response paper in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology (SEPP). Gucciardi and colleagues basically produced a very biased account and test of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (Clough et al., 2002). Their data is badly skewed (they didn’t report this) and there are numerous other problems with sampling etc. Clough, Earle, Perry, and Crust mount a robust defense of the MTQ48. I can’t go into details but suffice to say our own data with a much larger sample size produced very different results. When this work is “in press” I will update the blog.