Identifying the cognitive basis of mental toughness: evidence from the directed forgetting paradigm

Dewhurst, Stephen A. and Anderson, Rachel J. and Cotter, Grace and Crust, Lee and Clough, Peter J. (2012) Identifying the cognitive basis of mental toughness: evidence from the directed forgetting paradigm. Personality and Individual Differences, 53 (5). pp. 587-590. ISSN 0191-8869

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.04.036

Abstract

The concept of mental toughness has been found to be related to outcome performance measures in sport
and other competitive situations. Despite this, little attention has been devoted to understanding the cognitive
mechanisms that underlie mental toughness. The current study attempted to identify the cognitive
underpinnings of mental toughness using the directed forgetting paradigm, in which participants are
given a surprise memory test for material they were previously instructed to forget. Regression analyses
showed that mental toughness, as measured by the MTQ48 (Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002), did not influence
the recall of a to-be-forgotten list, but participants with high mental toughness showed better recall
of a to-be-remembered list following instructions to forget the previous list. The superior recall of the tobe-
remembered list suggests that mentally tough individuals have an enhanced ability to prevent
unwanted information from interfering with current goals. These findings support the proposal that cognitive
inhibition is one of the mechanisms underpinning mental toughness.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The concept of mental toughness has been found to be related to outcome performance measures in sport and other competitive situations. Despite this, little attention has been devoted to understanding the cognitive mechanisms that underlie mental toughness. The current study attempted to identify the cognitive underpinnings of mental toughness using the directed forgetting paradigm, in which participants are given a surprise memory test for material they were previously instructed to forget. Regression analyses showed that mental toughness, as measured by the MTQ48 (Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002), did not influence the recall of a to-be-forgotten list, but participants with high mental toughness showed better recall of a to-be-remembered list following instructions to forget the previous list. The superior recall of the tobe- remembered list suggests that mentally tough individuals have an enhanced ability to prevent unwanted information from interfering with current goals. These findings support the proposal that cognitive inhibition is one of the mechanisms underpinning mental toughness.
Keywords:Mental Toughness, Cognitive Inhibition, Sport Psychology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:6020
Deposited By: Lee Crust
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 14:28
Last Modified:05 Dec 2013 10:32

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