The Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ)

The SASQ (also known as the ASQ) is a powerful diagnostic tool, designed by Professor Martin Seligman.

Professor Seligman is Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the SASQ is arguably one of the most validated assessment instruments of its kind any where in the world.

The SASQ test determines a person's underlying explanatory style (attitude) with respect to significant events in their life. Over 40 years of proper research has proven the connection between explanatory (attribututional) style and superior performance across a broad range of fields of human endeavour, in more than 1000 research studies.

The profile provided by the analysis and assessment of the person's SASQ responses, can be used for assessing their suitability for certain roles and/or for highlighting personal development opportunities.


 What makes this test different from other tests?

The tests were developed by Professor Seligman who has spent over 40 years researching how people explain their failures and successes to themselves. His research has shown that people have a consistent way of interpreting the good and bad events that happen to them. That attitude sets a self-fulfilling prophecy in motion.

Only the SASQ rigorously tests for optimism, the characteristic conclusively proven to be the most important factor in determining results. It is extremely difficult to outsmart the test, and increase the score.

The cost of the test is repaid many times over by enabling selection of top producers, or in the case of existing employees identifying those who could benefit from mental toughness and optimism attitude training. Optimistic people also generally enjoy better health and consequently take less time off work.

Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ) Validation Study Results

A person's SASQ score predicts how they will respond to adversity and pressure; whether they will attack and overcome it or give up and let it defeat them. Following are highlights of selected SASQ Validation Studies that identify the optimistic attitude link with sales success. The SASQ predicts sales success in all industries because it measures a persons ability to overcome adversity, not just their ability to sell a particular product.

Industry Relationship between Optimism and Sales Success


Optimistic sales agents outsell the pessimists by 38%
Extremely optimistic sales agents outsell the extreme pessimists by 88%
Pessimistic agents are twice as likely to quit as optimists
Extremely pessimistic agents are three times more likely to quit than extreme optimists

Real Estate

Optimistic sales agents outsell the pessimists by 33%
Extremely optimistic sales agents outsell the extreme pessimists by 319%


Optimistic salespeople outsell the pessimists by 20%
Optimistic managers outsell the pessimists by 27%


Optimistic salespeople outsell the pessimists by 29%
Extremely optimistic sales agents outsell the extreme pessimists by 39%
Office Products Optimistic salespeople outsell the pessimists by 29%
Banking Top performing salespeople are 25% more optimistic than below average people
Customer Service Top performing customer service staff are 50% more optimistic than below average people

The SASQ is the only optimism and motivational attitude questionnaire independently proven to identify superior productivity

Pessimists on the other hand, believe they will achieve success infrequently, and that failures are long lasting. They are likely to see their success as flukes that will not last and adversity as insurmountable obstacles to be avoided. Pessimists are more likely to feel overwhelmed and give up in a challenging situation. Their pessimism often prevents them from taking the actions necessary to achieve success.

1000 + Studies covering all aspects of life:

There are now over 1000 proper studies that demonstrate the direct relationship with an individual's score on the SASQ and superior outcomes. These studies cover all aspects of life e.g. business, health, sport, education, etc.

Contact us at Foresight for assistance with your employment assessment process. Save yourself time and money by hiring the right staff for your enterprise.

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