Evidence for a behaviourally measurable perseverance trait in humans

Ilmari Määttänen (Corresponding Author), Emilia Makkonen, Markus Jokela, Johanna Närväinen, Julius Väliaho, Vilja Seppälä, Julia Kylmälä, Pentti Henttonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The aim was to create and study a possible behavioural measure for trait(s) in humans that reflect the ability and motivation to continue an unpleasant behaviour, i.e., behavioural perseverance or persistence (BP). We utilised six different tasks with 54 subjects to measure the possible BP trait(s): cold pressor task, hand grip endurance task, impossible anagram task, impossible verbal reasoning task, thread and needle task, and boring video task. The task performances formed two BP factors. Together, the two-factor solution is responsible for the common variance constituting 37.3% of the total variance in the performances i.e., performance times. Excluding the impossible anagram task, the performance in any given task was better explained by performances in the other tasks (i.e., “trait”, η2 range = 0.131–0.253) than by the rank order variable (“depletion”, i.e., getting tired from the previous tasks, η2 range = 0–0.096).

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anagram
  • Behavioural perseverance
  • Behavioural persistence
  • Cold pressor test
  • Hand grip endurance
  • Verbal reasoning


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