The Maze Test: A Computer Tool for Testing Perseverance
Received 7 August 2020
Accepted for publication 15 November 2020
Published 22 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1277—1288
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman
Wojciech Styk,1 Waldemar Klinkosz2
1Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland; 2Institute of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence: Wojciech Styk
Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie Street 14, Lublin 20-950, Poland
Introduction: Perseverance is an important component of human functioning. The main factors that allow people to achieve their goals are perseverance and the motivation for change. The concept of perseverance is not new, but most studies in this field do not define it precisely. Perseverance is a formal trait of behaviour determined by situational (external) and personality-related (internal) factors − a complexity which can cause problems when one tries to measure it.
Methods: In this project, we present the Maze Test, a novel tool for testing perseverance. We discuss the theoretical foundations of the test, including the definition of perseverance, as well as the indicators on which this tool is based. We present the basic methodological properties of the test and report two studies which illustrate how it can be applied in practice: Study 1 – measurement of personality-conditioned perseverance, and Study 2 – measurement of situation-conditioned perseverance.
Results: In Study 1, a significant weak correlation between the indicators of perseverance and the Big Five model personality traits was discovered. Neuroticism correlated negatively with the number of maze tasks solved and the Synthetic Indicator of Perseverance. Positive correlations were found for conscientiousness and agreeableness. In Study 2, mental simulations were observed to have a medium to high effect on the indicators of perseverance.
Conclusion: The tool presented in this study affords a new approach to perseverance. Based on an analysis of how the tasks were being solved by the subjects, we developed perseverance indicators which allow to view perseverance as a multidimensional construct. The tool has been designed for use in both laboratory tests and remote web tests. A major advantage of the tool is that it is available for general use free of charge.
Keywords: perseverance, persistence, short-term goals, maze test
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