The Scoop on Tough Cookies - Releases Results of Their Research on Mental Toughness reveals how the trait of mental toughness can affect both physical and psychological health.

MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- September 6, 2011, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments unveils results of a mental toughness study using their popular Hardiness Test. Their study results indicate that mental toughness is a key to success - and to getting through the ups and downs of life in one piece.

The study results clearly confirm the old dictum that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Much like optimists vs. pessimists, hardy individuals, when compared to less hardy ones, see the world very differently. Where the less hardy see obstacles, the hardy see a challenge to be overcome. While the less hardy find themselves totally overwhelmed and unable to function when under stress, the hardy ones use stress as an adrenaline boost. Hardy people go where angels fear to tread; less hardy people wish they could just crawl into the nearest corner, role up into a fetal position, and wait until it's safe to come out again.

Analyzing data from over 16,000 test-takers, Queendom's study revealed that hardy individuals tend to possess three key traits:

  1. Commitment - they tackle every task in life, no matter how mundane, with 100% effort. They are able to look ahead to the future payback of their efforts rather than getting caught up in the daily-grind drudgery that so many people experience.
  2. A sense of personal control - rather than sticking their head in the sand during difficult times, hardy individuals proactively search for solutions. They look for ways to improve their circumstances, even if it's just to make them bearable.
  3. They view setbacks as challenges, rather than obstacles. This persevering attitude helps them view negative events in their life as less stressful, enables them to put things into perspective, and helps them stay motivated.

Gender comparison reveals that men tend to be slightly more hardy than women. Men are more likely to view setbacks as challenges to overcome, and feel more in control of their circumstances, even during difficult times. Queendom's data also reveals that mental toughness tends to develop with age, with older age groups showing a higher level of hardiness than their younger counterparts.

"Life experience helps build character and resilience, so it's not surprising that mental toughness tends to increase with age," explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "It's not only a matter of developing better coping and problem solving skills. As we get older and have been knocked around in the school of life, we develop a stronger sense of perspective and self-efficacy; a greater belief that 'I'll get through this'. Think of heartache and getting dumped, for example. Regardless of age, everyone feels hurt after it happens. But with experience, we get to a point of acceptance more quickly, and move on more readily."

"I also suspect that part of the age differences we are seeing is due to the younger generation being raised by overprotective parents," explains Dr. Jerabek. "Parents who are shielding their kids from any negative experience might think they are doing them a service, but they often go overboard. We need to experience and overcome some physical and emotional pain in order to develop a bit of tough skin that will protect us for the rest of our lives. We need to learn to accept responsibility for our actions, accept the consequences and move on. We also need to learn how to deal with 'toxic' people, injustice, and criticism, constructive or not. Rather than bending backwards to shield children from such experiences, we need to teach them life skills that will enable them to overcome difficulties and setbacks."

Queendom's study shows that hardiness impacts both physical and mental wellbeing. For example, hardy individuals take fewer sick days, exercise more often, and have healthier diets. They are also more satisfied with their career, and tend to perform better at work than their less hardy counterparts. "The results for performance at work were actually quite staggering," explains Dr. Jerabek. "Mentally tough individuals outscored their less tough counterparts by at least 20 points on a scale from 0 to 100. It seems that they are simply better able to channel stress at work, using it as a momentum to boost them rather than sidetrack them."

Queendom's study on mental toughness also revealed that hardy people...

  • Are more likely to have hobbies.
  • Believe that they control their destiny, not the other way around.
  • Are more likely to look forward to their day when they wake up in the morning.
  • Enjoy their work.
  • Can find something enjoyable in even the most mundane of tasks.
  • Are more likely to feel that their life has purpose.
  • View failure as a sign that they simply need to try harder next time.

"In the end, one of the major differences between hardy people and less hardy ones is that the former choose to act rather than react when life becomes difficult," concludes Dr. Jerabek. "While the less hardy person is left shell-shocked and wondering 'Why is this happening to me?', the hardy person looks for solutions, and prefers to ask 'What can I do about this?' Mental toughness is a choice to keep going, to keep trying, to be patient, and to believe that life is just one big roller coaster ride. For every down there is an up - if you're willing to hang on long enough."

Those who wish to take the Hardiness Test can go to:

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.