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“Of the learning we offer at P&G, The Adversity Quotient programs are consistently ranked among the most impactful. Given the ever-changing demands of business today, his approach is essential to equip the workforce for success.” —Shelley DeMayo, Sr. Account Executive in Sales Training, Procter & Gamble

What is AQ? Information about Adversity Quotient, the global best practice for increasing resilienceScience of AQ, Adversity Quotient
Learn more about AQ ( Adversity Quotient) science, validations studies, and more Related info about AQ or Adeversity Quotient validation studies

AQ Basics

Dr. Paul G. Stoltz gives an overview of AQ and its foundations. Learn more...

AQFor organizations, leaders, and individuals, AQ is the bedrock of human endeavor. Enhance AQ for real gains in productivity, capacity, performance, innovation, morale...and more.


AQ Science & Consilience

AQ research and theory originates from more than 1,500 studies spanning various subfields of psychology, neurology, biochemistry, psychoneuroimmunology, endocrinology, cultural anthropology, molecular genetics, and neuropsychology, among other disciplines.

This research effort leading to the AQ discovery, theory and methods is based on Edward O. Wilson’s principle of scientific “consilience.” Consilience occurs when the major findings from seemingly unrelated scientific disciplines are woven together to create a single unifying discovery, framework, and theory.

AQ theory, methods, and tools draw from at least one or more findings from the hybrid (H), social (S), and physical (P) sciences.

AQ Science Foundations
Science Type Study of? Sample key finding
Anthrobiology H Human biology There are individual and collective biological reactions, both constructive and destructive, that arise from specific patterns of response to events.
Biology S,P Life Most organisms have a baseline level of inherent resilience.
Bioecology H Interaction of life in the environment The environment is a source of unpredictable challenges and adversity — a critical force in longevity and health.
Biochemistry P How atoms, made of nuclei and electrons, and the structures they form interact and respond within life forms Patterns of response to adversity are detectable at the cellular and molecular levels, with defined positive and negative chemicals released based on the specific patterns.
Cytology P Living cells Cells are stimulated by and must grow through challenges or adversities. Adversity-free environments tend to stunt growth and development.
Ergology S Effects of work on humans Perceived control over how one does one’s job correlates directly with how long one tends to live.
Immunology P Disease and immunity People with higher AQs are generally less likely to become ill, and they enjoy greater overall health.
Idiopsychology S Psychology of one’s own mind People are not always the best judges of their own or others’ resilience or capacity for adversity. Most people overestimate.
Metapsychology, Evolutionary Psychology H Nature of the mind The brain is twice as compelled to pay attention to — and to recall — adverse moments than it is to recall happy or positive ones. This is believed to be a survival mechanism.
Neurobiology P Anatomy of the nervous system The stress response has a holistic, systemic effect. The consequences vary widely among individuals and their unique patterns of response to adversity.
Neurochemistry H Relation between brain and behavior Neuropeptides are detectable in all systems of the body, radically affecting energy, performance, and capacity at the cellular level.
Physics P Properties of matter and energy Energy, both positive and negative, exchanged between individuals based on their interactions is not dependent on proximity.
Physiology P Processes of life Adversity is a vital force in the evolution of life, spurring internal systems into a heightened state.
Psychobiology H Biology of the mind Brain scans show that focused visualization of responses to adverse events, when compared to actually experiencing the event, create identical responses within the brain.
Psychogenetics H Internal or mental states Happiness has a strong genetic component, but is highly influenceable within a certain range.
Psychognosy S Mentality, personality, or character Optimism, like specific personality traits, has a minor genetic component, but is largely hardwired during one’s youth.
Psychology S Mind There are meaningful and effective shortcuts between despair and meaningful action
Psychoneuro-immunology H Interactions between nervous and immune systems Neuropeptides can radically affect one’s immune system and vulnerability to disease.
Psychopathology S Mental illness Learned helplessness — the belief that what you do does not matter — is a major cause of depression. Studies show the potential to be immunized against learned helplessness.
Sociobiology H Biological basis of human behavior Mirror cells in the brain create a natural empathy between people, truly enabling one person to experience another’s emotional state.
Theology S Religious beliefs Adversity, and the lessons it teaches us, is a central theme in all major religious texts and doctrines. Adversity plays a key role in spiritual development.