Concept

Sisu

Summary
Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness, and is held by Finns themselves to express their national character. It is generally considered not to have a literal equivalent in English (tenacity, grit, resilience and hardiness are much the same things, but do not necessarily imply stoicism or bravery). In contemporary psychology, sisu is shown to have both beneficial and harmful sides which can be measured using a designated scale. Sisu is extraordinary determination in the face of extreme adversity, and courage that is presented typically in situations where success is unlikely. It expresses itself in taking action against the odds, and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity; in other words, deciding on a course of action, and then adhering to it even if repeated failures ensue. It is in some ways similar to equanimity, though sisu entails an element of stress management. The English "gutsy" invokes a metaphor related to this one (and found in still other languages): the Finnish usage derives from sisus, translated as "interior", and as "entrails" or "guts"; a closely related English concept evokes the metaphor grit. Sisu is a term which dates back hundreds of years and is described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. It is a term for going beyond one's mental or physical capacity, and is a central part of the country's culture and collective discourse. However, hardly any empirical research has been done to explore the meaning of this construct as a possible psychological strength resource, and it has long seemed to have a somewhat elusive nature. It has been usually studied as a cultural component among Finns and Finnish Americans, but, until recently, as a psychological construct has remained under-researched and poorly defined. As early as the 1940s, attempts were made to grasp the essence of sisu. The Finnish newspaper Uusi Suomi reached out to its audience for their definition of sisu, and conducted a contest.
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading

Related MOOCs

Loading