Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Stress Mindset Measure (Adult Version)

Main content start


This eight-item measure was developed by Crum, Salovey and Achor (2013) to address the extent to which an individual adopts a mindset that the effects of stress are enhancing or debilitating. Items, listed below, evaluate a participant’s general stress mindset (e.g., “The effects of stress are negative and should be avoided”), as well as signs and symptoms related to the enhancing and debilitating consequences of stress in the realms of health and vitality, learning and growth, and performance and productivity (e.g., “Experiencing stress improves health and vitality”). Participants rated items on a five-point scale ranging from 0=strongly disagree to 4=strongly agree. SMM scores are obtained by reverse scoring the four negative items (indicated by an *) and then taking the mean of all 8 items. Higher scores on the SMM represent the mindset that stress is enhancing. 


Download the stress mindset measure and supporting paper.

Permission to Use

The Stress Mindset Measure is copyrighted, but researchers, practitioners, and students are free to use it without permission as long as they give credit to the authors:* 

Crum, A. J., Salovey, P., & Achor, S. (2013). Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response. Journal of personality and social psychology, 104(4), 716.

*If you are interested in translating the measure, contact See here for existing translations. 

Papers Using the Stress Mindset Measure

For more information on the Stress Mindset Measure and its uses, we recommend reading the following papers:

Crum, A. J., Salovey, P. & Achor, S. (2013). Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology(VIEW) (DOWNLOAD)

Akinola, M., Fridman, I., Mor, S., Morris, M. W., & Crum, A. J. (2016). Adaptive Appraisals of Anxiety Moderate the Association between Cortisol Reactivity and Performance in Salary Negotiations. PLOS One(VIEW) (DOWNLOAD)

Crum, A. J., Akinola, M., Martin, A., & Fath, S. (2017). The Role of Stress Mindset in Shaping Cognitive, Emotional, and Physiological Responses to Challenging and Threatening Stress. Anxiety, Stress and Coping(VIEW) (DOWNLOAD)

Park, D., Yu, A., Metz, A., Tsukayama, E., Crum, A. J., & Duckworth, A. (2017). Beliefs about Stress Attenuate the Relation Among Adverse Life Events, Perceived Distress, and Self-Control. Child Development. (VIEW)

Crum, A.J., Akinola, M., *Turnwald, B. P., Kaptchuk, T. J., & Hall, K. T. (2018). Catechol-O-Methyltransferase moderates effect of stress mindset on affect and cognition. PLOS One(VIEW) (DOWNLOAD)