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Mental Toughness Core Components

Research carried out by Call of the Wild’s partners AQR and Dr Peter Clough of Hull University has resulted in the development of a reliable and valid questionnaire MTQ48.

MTQ48 provides a reliable and quick assessment of an individual’s ability to withstand pressure in a range of environments. It measures mental toughness in terms of four core components.

  • Control
  • Challenge
  • Commitment
  • Confidence

What does Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (MTQ48) measure?

The four sub scales are:

1. Control

Individuals who score high on this scale feel that they are in control of their work and of the environment in which they work. They are capable of exerting more influence on their working environment and are more confident about working in complex or multi-tasked situations.

This means for example that, at one end of the scale individuals are able to handle lots of things at the same time. At the other end they may only be comfortable handling one thing at a time. Ongoing development of MTQ48 has enabled the identification of 2 subscales to this scale:

1.1 Control (Emotion)

Individuals scoring highly on this scale are better able to control their emotions. They are able to keep anxieties in check and are less likely to reveal their emotional state to other people.

1.2 Control (Life)

Individuals scoring higher on this scale are more likely to believe that they control their lives. They feel that their plans will not be thwarted and that they can make a difference. Scoring on this scale can also indicate self-worth.

2. Challenge

Describes the extent to which individuals see challenges as opportunities. Individuals who see them as opportunities will actively seek them out and will identify problems as ways for self-development. At the other end challenges are perceived as problems and threats.

So, for example, at one end of the scale we find those who thrive in continually changing environments. At the other end we find those who prefer to minimise their exposure to change and the problems that come with that – and will strongly prefer to work in stable environments.

3. Commitment

Sometimes described as “stickability”, this describes the ability for an individual to carry out tasks successfully despite any problems or obstacles that arise whilst achieving the goal.

Consequently an individual who scores at the high end of the scale will be able to handle and achieve things to tough unyielding deadlines. Whereas an individual at the other end will need to be free from those kind of demands to achieve their goals.

4. Confidence

Individuals who are high in confidence have the self-belief to successfully complete tasks, which may be considered too difficult by individuals with similar abilities but with lower confidence. Less confident individuals are also likely to be less persistent and may make more errors.

For example, individuals at one end of the scale will be able to take setbacks (externally and self generated) in their stride. They keep their heads when things go wrong and it may even strengthen their resolve to do something. At the other end individuals will be unsettled by setbacks and will feel undermined by these. Their heads are said to “drop”.

Click here for more information on Mental Toughness workshops and MTQ48

"Experience plus reflection equals learning" - John Dewey