Research carried out under the direction of Professor Peter Clough of Manchester Metropolitan University has identified the four key components of Mental Toughness. These are called the 4 Cs. This research has now been independently validated through studies in Canada, Switzerland, Italy as well as the UK.

The table describes what aspect of Mindset each component contributes to the way we think.

We are also able to assess mental toughness in terms of these components in individuals and groups through a unique 48 item high quality psychometric measure.

It is normative which enables users to assess mental toughness before and after an event such as a training and development or coaching programme. It is effective when assessing teams and groups (by aggregate results) to assess “collective” mindset – a key component of culture.

Importantly it makes a significant contribution to self awareness. The model is accessible to most and is extremely effective in helping people understand why they behave or feel the way they do. Reliable self awareness is an important precursor to making effective change.

Can we develop our mental toughness? We can – and many of the techniques are known to most managers, trainers and coaches. It is important to stress that there is nothing wrong with being mentally sensitive (the opposite of mental toughness). Generally they have a harder path to tread to success.

Is it worth doing? All the evidence shows that Mental Toughness is a factor in Performance, Wellbeing, Aspirations and Positive Behaviour.

If you would like further information on Mental Toughness  please visit our website at Or for the opportunity to complete the MTQ48 free of charge (one per organisation) contact us at

The next module pulls together assessment and development – catch up with the other articles in the series at

AQR is a leading edge publisher of psychometric measures, we also work through partner organisations. For more information please visit

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