Effects of mental toughness and mood on perseverance in athletes and non-athletes

    Item Description
    Linked Agent
    Creator (cre): Mano, Jessica Pui Mei
    Advisor (adv): Michael, Stephen
    May 16, 2020
    Graduation Year

    This study aims to examine the effect mental toughness has on perseverance in a non-athletic setting, and how mood moderates this relationship among collegiate athletes and non-athletes. To explore these relationships, participants were randomly assigned to one of three mood induction conditions: positive, neutral, and negative. Participants completed the Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ18) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). For the mood induction, participants were presented with 12 emotionally valenced images for 6 seconds each, selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Behavioral perseverance was measured by how long participants worked on a maze task. We predicted that participants with higher mental toughness levels would persevere longer on the maze task than those with lower levels. We also hypothesized that those in the positive mood induction would persevere the longest on a maze task. Further, we predicted that there would be an interaction between mental toughness and mood, in which participants with high levels of mental toughness would be less affected by the mood induction, and show higher levels of perseverance in the positive, neutral, and negative mood groups, respectively. Lastly, we expected athletes to have higher levels of mental toughness and be less affected by the mood induction, thus showing higher levels of behavioral perseverance. There were no significant results when examining the effects mental toughness and mood had on behavioral perseverance. There were also no significant findings to suggest athletes have higher levels of mental toughness and perseverance than non-athletes. These findings are inconsistent with previous research, which could suggest that mental toughness does not extend to tasks outside of athletics.

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