Protocol - Distress Tolerance
The Computerized Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (MTPT-C) is an automated version of the original Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (Quinn et al., 1996), which requires the construction of a mirror box and multiple copies of polygons to be traced. The MTPT-C simplifies the administration and scoring of this task.
In this task, participants are required to trace a red dot along the lines of a geometric shape (e.g., star) using the computer’s mouse. However, the mouse moves the red dot in the reverse direction. Each time the participant moves the mouse out of the lines or hesitates for more than 2 seconds, a buzzer sounds, and the dot moves back to the beginning. Three progressively more difficult shapes are used. The first two rounds last 1 minute each, while the third round of the MTPT-C can last up to 7 minutes. Participants may terminate the task at any point during the third round by pressing on the space bar. Distress tolerance is measured by the latency in seconds to task termination. Additionally, the number of errors per second (i.e., number of times the participant has to return to the starting position during the task, divided by the task time) is recorded to control for effects of skill on persistence.
User can download the program for this task at:
See above; online download of the program:
Protocol Name from Source:
Personnel and Training Required
Computer with a mouse. Instrument is available online.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Measure of distress tolerance, a personality trait that appears to be related to smoking and tobacco use and behaviors.
|Common Data Elements (CDE)||Psychology Distress Tolerance Assessment Score||4719167||CDE Browser|
Process and Review
Computerized Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (MTPT-C)
Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research (CAPER) website
Original Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (MTPT):
Quinn, E. P., Brandon, T. H., & Copeland, A. L. (1996). Is task persistence related to smoking and substance abuse? The application of learned industriousness theory to addictive behaviors. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 4, 186-190.
Validity of the MTPT:
Brandon, T. H., Herzog, T. A., Juliano, L., Irvin, J. E., Lazev, A., & Simmons, V. N. (2003). Pretreatment task-persistence predicts smoking cessation outcome. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 448-456.
Steinberg, M. L., Williams, J. M., Gandhi, K. K., Foulds, J., Epstein, E. E., & Brandon, T. H. (2012). Task persistence predicts smoking cessation in smokers with and without schizophrenia. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 850-858.
Strong, D. R., Lejuez, C. W., Daughters, S., Marinello, M., Kahler, C. W., & Brown, R. A. (2003). The computerized mirror tracing task, version 1. Unpublished manual.
Program available for download: www.addiction.umd.edu/research.htm
Predictive validity, but not with smoking:
Daughters, S. B., Lejuez, C. W., Bornovaolova, M. A., Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., & Brown, R. A. (2005). Distress tolerance as a predictor of early treatment dropout in a residential substance abuse treatment facility. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 114, 729-734.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX710701220000||In easy mode, what is the average width in more||N/A|
|PX710701210000||In easy mode, what is the maximum percentage more||N/A|
|PX710701200000||In easy mode, what is the median distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701160000||In easy mode, what is the number of times more||N/A|
|PX710701170000||In easy mode, what is the number of times it more||N/A|
|PX710701190000||In easy mode, what is the total distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701150000||In easy mode, what is the total number of more||N/A|
|PX710701180000||In easy mode, what is the length in seconds more||N/A|
|PX710701380000||In hard mode, what is the average width in more||N/A|
|PX710701370000||In hard mode, what is the maximum percentage more||N/A|
|PX710701360000||In hard mode, what is the median distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701320000||In hard mode, what is the number of times more||N/A|
|PX710701330000||In hard mode, what is the number of times it more||N/A|
|PX710701350000||In hard mode, what is the total distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701310000||In hard mode, what is the total number of more||N/A|
|PX710701340000||In hard mode, what is the length in seconds more||N/A|
|PX710701300000||In medium mode, what is the average width in more||N/A|
|PX710701290000||In medium mode, what is the maximum more||N/A|
|PX710701280000||In medium mode, what is the median distance more||N/A|
|PX710701240000||In medium mode, what is the number of times more||N/A|
|PX710701250000||In medium mode, what is the number of times more||N/A|
|PX710701270000||In medium mode, what is the total distance more||N/A|
|PX710701230000||In medium mode, what is the total number of more||N/A|
|PX710701260000||In medium mode, what is the length in more||N/A|
|PX710701460000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701450000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701390000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701420000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701430000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel happy?||N/A|
|PX710701410000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701400000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel mad?||N/A|
|PX710701480000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701470000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel proud?||N/A|
|PX710701440000||(After the test) To what extent do you feel upset?||N/A|
|PX710701120000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701110000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701050000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701080000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701090000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701070000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701060000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel mad?||N/A|
|PX710701140000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701130000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701100000||(Before the test) To what extent do you feel more||N/A|
|PX710701560000||In quit mode, what is the average width in more||N/A|
|PX710701550000||In quit mode, what is the maximum percentage more||N/A|
|PX710701540000||In quit mode, what is the median distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701500000||In quit mode, what is the number of times more||N/A|
|PX710701510000||In quit mode, what is the number of times it more||N/A|
|PX710701530000||In quit mode, what is the total distance in more||N/A|
|PX710701490000||In quit mode, what is the total number of more||N/A|
|PX710701520000||In quit mode, what is the length in seconds more||N/A|
|PX710701020000||What date did the session take place?||N/A|
|PX710701010000||What is the ID number of the session?||N/A|
|PX710701030000||What time did the session take place?||N/A|
|PX710701040000||What is the subject's ID number?||N/A|
February 20, 2015
The ability to persist in a goal-directed activity when experiencing psychological distress or ability to tolerate psychological distress in general. One measurement approach is time spent on a frustrating behavioral task (i.e., task persistence). Distress tolerance appears to be a relatively stable trait. Across measures, it has been found to be predictive of substance-use outcomes, including smoking cessation. Individuals who are low in distress tolerance may have greater difficulty in maintaining tobacco abstinence in the face of withdrawal and other challenges.
The Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (MTPT) has discriminated between smokers and nonsmokers and has predicted smoking cessation outcomes. The original MTPT required the construction or purchase of a physical box with a slanted mirror one side. The participant inserts his or her hand and traces geometric figures while only watching the hand in the mirror. This is extremely difficult and frustrating. Persistence is scored as the mean time on several trials prior to giving up. The Computerized MTPT (MTPT-C) was developed to make the test more accessible, as it did not require the physical equipment. It has potential as a screening instrument to identify individuals at high risk of initiating smoking or of smoking cessation failure. To date, the MTPT-C has predicted treatment dropout among substance abusers, but it has not been tested with smokers per se.
Mirror Tracing Persistence Task, MTPT-C, personality, distress, tolerance, distress tolerance