Individual differences in stress: hardiness

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  • Individual differences in stress: hardiness
    • Susanne Kobasa: hardiness is a set of characteristics that some people have while others don’t.
      • Salvatore Maddi: hardiness gives us existential courage to keep going despite all the set backs life throws at us.
    • The Three Cs
      • Commitment:hardy people are deeply involved in their selves, relationships and activities no matter how easy or hard they are.
      • Challenge: hardy people are resilient and respond to change in a positive way, they see it as an opportunity or challenge.
      • Control: hardy people have a strong belief in free will rather than determinism, they actively strive to influence their environments
    • Research into hardiness: Kobasa (1979) & Maddi (1987)
      • Kobasa: measured the life changes of 670 males aged 40-49. Used ‘schedule or recent experiences’ to identify who has stressful experiences with the last 3 years. Looked at absenteeism records and levels of illness.
        • Findings: some appeared more resilient because they could tolerate high levels of stress without being absent or falling ill. When assessed, they scored highly on the Three Cs.
      • Maddi: longitudinal study, 400 managers at telephone company. The company underwent reorganisationand many people lost their jobs.
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        • Findings: decline in performance and health in 2/3 of participants.  Other 1/3 became happier and more fulfilled at work. These scored highly on the Three Cs.


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