Mental Toughness Presentation wins Award

BPS LogoThe BPS North of England Conference took place at Manchester City Football Club on Friday 16th November. The focus of the conference was sport psychology with a number of high profile researchers in attendance. The great news is that John Perry won the award for best oral presentation by an early career researcher for work (Perry, Clough, Crust, Earle, & Nicholls) concerning the factorial validity of the MTQ48. Amazingly, John had the whole audience engaged in psychometric analysis and even managed to make statistics seem incredibly interesting (which of course they are). The presentation created some interesting debates. The biggest success was the number of people who came to talk to us over lunch about our work (I also presented on MT in higher education).

It became clear that the vast majority of people could see the value of our work. Nevertheless, there are always those who will not be convinced by evidence. The point, that I will discuss in more detail another time, is that the MTQ48 compares well with other measures in sport psychology but is subjected to far more scrutiny, and seemingly harsher standards than other measures. One is tempted to suggest “double standards”. Take the case of the CSAI-2 as the most-used measure of anxiety in sport. Research back in 1999 showed the factor structure was not supported and more importantly the measure of anxiety was underpinned by a dated conceptualisation. Wording on items such as “concerned” did not really reflect “worry” which more appropriately reflects cognitive anxiety. Despite serious problems this measure continues to be used and published in peer-reviewed journals. In contrast, when we present psychometric evidence to support the MTQ48, some folks can only respond with”Ah, but you haven’t done…”. You get the message and I will stop ranting now because we are winning the battle. John’s award is testament to the fact that other academics value our work. Congratulations to John.

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