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New Well-Being Measures: Short Scales to Assess Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings

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Measures of well-being were created to assess psychological flourishing and feelings—positive feelings, negative feelings, and the difference between the two. The scales were evaluated in a sample of 689 college students from six locations. The Flourishing Scale is a brief 8-item summary measure of the respondent’s self-perceived success in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose, and optimism. The scale provides a single psychological well-being score. The measure has good psychometric properties, and is strongly associated with other psychological well-being scales. The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience produces a score for positive feelings (6 items), a score for negative feelings (6 items), and the two can be combined to create a balance score. This 12-item brief scale has a number of desirable features compared to earlier measures of positive and negative emotions. In particular, the scale assesses with a few items a broad range of negative and positive experiences and feelings, not just those of a certain type, and is based on the amount of time the feelings were experienced during the past 4weeks. The scale converges well with measures of emotions and affective well-being. KeywordsSubjective well-being-Well-being-Measure-Positive affect-Negative affect-Scales (or Assessment)
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New Well-being Measures: Short Scales to Assess
Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings
Ed Diener Æ Derrick Wirtz Æ William Tov Æ Chu Kim-Prieto Æ
Dong-won Choi Æ Shigehiro Oishi Æ Robert Biswas-Diener
Accepted: 12 May 2009 / Published online: 28 May 2009
Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009
Abstract Measures of well-being were created to assess psychological flourishing and
feelings—positive feelings, negative feelings, and the difference between the two. The
scales were evaluated in a sample of 689 college students from six locations. The Flour-
ishing Scale is a brief 8-item summary measure of the respondent’s self-perceived success
in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose, and optimism. The scale
provides a single psychological well-being score. The measure has good psychometric
properties, and is strongly associated with other psychological well-being scales. The Scale
of Positive and Negative Experience produces a score for positive feelings (6 items), a
score for negative feelings (6 items), and the two can be combined to create a balance
score. This 12-item brief scale has a number of desirable features compared to earlier
measures of positive and negative emotions. In particular, the scale assesses with a few
E. Diener (&)
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 603 E. Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
e-mail: ediener@cyrus.psych.uiuc.edu
E. Diener
The Gallup Organization, Omaha, NE, USA
D. Wirtz
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
W. Tov
Singapore Management University, Bras Basah, Singapore
C. Kim-Prieto
College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, USA
D. Choi
California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA, USA
S. Oishi
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
R. Biswas-Diener
Center for Applied Positive Psychology, Milwaukie, OR, USA
123
Soc Indic Res (2010) 97:143–156
DOI 10.1007/s11205-009-9493-y
items a broad range of negative and positive experiences and feelings, not just those of a
certain type, and is based on the amount of time the feelings were experienced during the
past 4 weeks. The scale converges well with measures of emotions and affective well-being.
Keywords Subjective well-being Well-being Measure Positive affect
Negative affect Scales (or Assessment)
1 Introduction
We present two new measures of well-being, and initial psychometric support for these
scales. First, we offer a measure of psychosocial flourishing, based on recent theories of
psychological and social well-being. Second, we present a new scale for assessing positive
and negative feelings that has certain advantages over past scales designed for this purpose.
Both scales show strong psychometric characteristics. We presented these scales earlier in
a book chapter (Diener et al. 2009), but the current sample is larger. The new scales are
presented in the appendices of this paper.
Our eight-item Flourishing Scale was designed to measure social–psychological pros-
perity, to complement existing measures of subjective well-being. In recent years a number
of psychological theories of human flourishing have been developed, and we devised a
brief measure to capture major aspects of this type of ‘prosperity’’. Ryff (1989), Ryff and
Singer (1998), and Ryan and Deci (2000), based on earlier humanistic psychology theories,
suggest that there are several universal human psychological needs, such as the need for
competence, relatedness, and self-acceptance, and several of these characteristics are
assessed by our Flourishing Scale.
In addition to the theories derived from the humanistic tradition, we also relied on
additional approaches to well-being in creating our items. Coming from a different tra-
dition, Putnam (2000) and Helliwell et al. (2009) suggest that ‘social capital’ is basic to
the well-being of societies. In yet another vein, Csikszentmihalyi (1990) discusses flow,
interest, and engagement as basic to human well-being, forming the basis of ‘psycho-
logical capital’’. Seligman (2002), Ryff (1989), Ryff and Singer (1998), and Steger et al.
(2008) present arguments and data supporting the notion that purpose and meaning are
beneficial to human functioning.
Although good social relationships were originally defined as having the support of
others, recent work has emphasized that humans also need to support others. For instance,
Brown et al. (2003) found that helping others is more important to health than receiving
help, and Dunn et al. (2008) found that people gain more from giving to others than from
receiving from them. Finally, Peterson et al. (1988) and Scheier and Carver (2003) present
evidence that optimism is important to successful functioning and well-being. Seligman
(2002) argues that there are desirable feelings in addition to pleasant ones, and he points
specifically to engagement or interest, and to involvement in activities that are meaningful
and purposeful. Thus, we created a scale with items to measure the essential components of
these various theories of well-being.
The Flourishing Scale included several items on social relationships: having supportive
and rewarding relationships, contributing to the happiness of others, and being respected by
others. The survey also included an item on having a purposeful and meaningful life, and
one on being engaged and interested in one’s activities. Items were included tapping self-
respect and optimism. Finally, the scale included an item on feeling competent and capable
144 E. Diener et al.
123
in the activities that are important to the respondent. Thus, the brief scale assesses major
aspects of social–psychological functioning from the respondent’s own point of view.
The second scale, which was designed to assess subjective feelings of well-being and
ill-being, is named the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE). This 12-item
questionnaire includes six items to assess positive feelings and six items to assess negative
feelings. For both the positive and negative items, three of the items are general (e.g.,
positive, negative) and three per subscale are more specific (e.g., joyful, sad).
Although there are a number of existing scales designed to assess emotions, the SPANE
has a number of advantages. First, we use a number of general feelings in our scale, such as
‘positive’’, ‘‘pleasant’’, and ‘‘negative’’. This allows the SPANE to reflect the full range of
emotions and feelings that a respondent might feel, both bad and good, without creating a
list of hundreds of items to fully reflect the diversity of positive and negative feelings. The
problem with existing surveys is that they inquire about specific feelings, and weight them
all identically. Thus, earlier scales omit important feelings, or feelings that are valued in
certain cultures and not others. Furthermore, current scales, in giving equal weighting to all
items, can obscure the fact that a person might feel quite positive or negative but not feel
many of the specific emotions listed on the scale. Thus, a respondent could score at an
intermediate level on the scale despite feeling positive all of the time. A person who feels
positive all of the time should not be labeled as moderately happy because she or he
experiences only a few of the questions listed. Similarly, a person who is sad and angry all
of the time should be considered very unhappy even if he or she never experiences fear or
stress, or the other negative feelings listed on the scale. Thus, the SPANE captures positive
and negative feelings regardless of their provenance, arousal level, or ubiquity in western
cultures where most scales have been created. In this way, our scale can better reflect the
full set of feelings felt by individuals around the globe, and give them the proper positive
and negative weighting. By including labels such as ‘good’ and ‘positive’’, and ‘bad’
and ‘negative’’, that reflect all types of feelings, the SPANE assesses the full range of
possible desirable and undesirable experiences.
An issue with the most popular current scale of emotions, the PANAS (Watson et al.
1988) is that the items are all high arousal feelings, and many are not considered emotions
or feelings. For example, the words ‘active’ and ‘strong’ need not refer to feelings. If a
person feels happy, contented, grateful, and loving, it is not captured by the high arousal
emotions of the scale. The SPANE reflects all levels of arousal for both positive feelings
(joy, happy, contented) and negative feelings (sad, angry, and afraid). The emotions we use
allow us to capture the major emotions of many affect theories, but the general words such
as ‘pleasant’ and ‘unpleasant’ allow us to also assess other positive and negative feel-
ings. Thus, the SPANE reflects all positive and negative feelings regardless of their specific
labels. Although clinical practitioners often want to access specific feelings such as
depression, a common goal of well-being researchers is to assess positive and negative
feelings in general.
Another advantage of our scale is that the questions are framed in terms of the amount
of time the respondent experiences each feeling, which appears to be more strongly related
to well-being measures such as life satisfaction than is the intensity of those feelings
(Diener et al. 1991). Furthermore, responses regarding the amount of time having an
experience might be more comparable across respondents than is the intensity of feelings,
which allows for more variability in interpretation than reporting time responses such as
‘always’’ and ‘‘never’’. In addition, the scale is keyed to the last ‘4 weeks’’, which is short
enough to allow the respondent to recall actual experiences rather than rely on general
Measures of Well-being 145
123
self-concept, yet is based on an adequate time period to avoid tapping only a short-term
mood. In sum, we created the SPANE to improve on existing measures of feelings.
2 Methods
2.1 Measures
Flourishing Scale (FS). The Flourishing Scale consists of eight items describing important
aspects of human functioning ranging from positive relationships, to feelings of compe-
tence, to having meaning and purpose in life. The scale was called Psychological Well-
being in an earlier publication, but the name was changed to more accurately reflect the
content because the scale includes content that goes beyond psychological well-being
narrowly defined. Each item of the FS is answered on a 1–7 scale that ranges from Strong
Disagreement to Strong Agreement. All items are phrased in a positive direction. Scores
can range from 8 (Strong Disagreement with all items) to 56 (Strong Agreement with all
items). High scores signify that respondents view themselves in positive terms in important
areas of functioning. Although the scale does not separately provide measures of facets of
well-being, it does yield an overview of positive functioning across diverse domains that
are widely believed to be important. The Flourishing Scale is shown in the Sect. 4.
The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE). This measure is a brief
12-item scale, with six items devoted to positive experiences and six items designed to
assess negative experiences. Because the scale includes general positive and negative
feelings, it assesses the full range of positive and negative experiences, including specific
feelings that may have unique labels in particular cultures. Because of the general items
included in the scale, it can assess not only the pleasant and unpleasant emotional feelings
that are the focus of most scales, but also reflects other states such as interest, flow, positive
engagement, and physical pleasure.
Each SPANE item is scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 5, where 1 represents ‘very
rarely or never’ and 5 represents ‘‘very often or always’’. The positive and negative scales
are scored separately because of the partial independence or separability of the two types of
feelings. The summed positive score (SPANE-P) can range from 6 to 30, and the negative
scale (SPANE-N) has the same range. The two scores can be combined by subtracting the
negative score from the positive score, and the resulting SPANE-B scores can range from
-24 to 24. The SPANE is shown in the Sect. 4.
2.2 Participants
Data collection occurred in the fall of 2008. The N’s for different analyses vary in size
because a few participants had missing data, and because the ancillary scales were given at
some locations but not at others. Of the total 689 respondents in the study, 468 reported
being female, 175 reported being male, and the others omitted a response to this question.
Sample 1. Seventy-four respondents from the introductory psychology participant pool
at the University of Illinois volunteered to participate in order to earn course bonus points.
Participants answered the survey twice, approximately 1 month apart. Besides the new
scales, respondents completed additional surveys for the purpose of examining convergent
validity.
Sample 2. College of New Jersey had 86 respondents.
Sample 3. Singapore Management University had 181 participants.
146 E. Diener et al.
123
Sample 4. California State University East Bay included 64 respondents.
Sample 5. Students at East Carolina University responded twice to the new scales, with
168 participants present on both occasions.
Sample 6. Students at the University of Virginia (N = 116) participated in the study.
2.3 Scale for Assessing Convergent Validity
We employed a number of well-being measures in order to determine the convergence of
the new scales with established measures. For traditional subjective well-being, we
included the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al. 1985), and at some locations,
Fordyce’s (1988) single item measure of happiness, which is answered on a 11-point scale
ranging from ‘Extremely happy (feeling ecstatic, joyous, fantastic!)’ to ‘Extremely
unhappy (utterly depressed, completely down)’’. Lyubomirsky and Lepper’s (1999) 4-item
scale of happiness was also used at some universities. This scale (the SHS) asks how happy
the respondent is using four items. We included Watson et al. PANAS (1988), which is the
most widespread measure of positive and negative feelings. We also used at some locations
Scheier, Carver, and Bridges’ LOT-R (1994), which assesses optimism, and the UCLA
Loneliness Scale (Russell 1996), which is a marker of poor social relationships. We also
included Ryan and Deci’s Basic Need Satisfaction Scale (BNS; 2000), which has 21 items
to assess competence, supportive relationships, and autonomy. Finally, we administered
the 54-item version of Ryff’s (2008) scale, with 9 items to measure each of the following
concepts: Autonomy, Growth, Mastery, Relationships, Self-esteem, and Purpose and
Meaning. Thus, we can determine the associations of our new scales with a wide variety of
other well-being measures.
3 Results
Table 1 presents the basic psychometric statistics for the scales, as well as the ranges on
each scale. The Cronbach alphas of the scales are good, and the temporal reliabilities are
moderately high, showing some change across a 1-month period. As expected, flour-
ishing was somewhat more stable over time than were feelings. The alphas show the
internal consistency of the items, but a factor analysis of the items is needed as well
because even a high alpha is consistent with the existence of more than one factor in a
scale. A principal axis factor analysis of the Flourishing Scale revealed one strong factor
with an eigenvalue of 4.24, accounting for 53 percent of the variance in the items, and
no other eigenvalue above 1.0. The factor loadings ranged from .61 to .77. Thus, one
strong factor characterizes the Flourishing Scale. In order to further explore the
dimensionality of the scales, we examined the commonalities from the factor analyses as
well as item-total correlations and alphas if items were deleted, and these are shown in
Table 2.
We also subjected the SPANE to a principal axis factor analysis, separately for the
positive and negative items. SPANE-P produced one strong factor with an eigenvalue
above 1.0 (3.69), accounting for 61 percent of the variance in the scale items. The loadings
varied from .58 to .81. The SPANE-N had one strong eigenvalue above one (3.19) that
accounted for 53 percent of the variance in the scale. The factor loadings varied from .49 to
.78. The negative and positive scales correlated r =-.60 (N = 682, p \.001) with
each other, a value higher than some measures of emotions because the SPANE is more
saturated with the valence dimension of the emotion circumplex.
Measures of Well-being 147
123
Table 1 Psychometric statistics of the scales
Mean
(SD)
Cronbach’s
alpha
Temporal
stability
Scale
range
Flourishing scale (8 items)
FS 44.97 .87 .71 8 to 56
(6.56)
SPANE (feelings)
P (positive; 6 items) 22.05 .87 .62 6 to 30
(3.73)
N (negative; 6 items) 15.36 .81 .63 6 to 30
(3.95)
B (balance; 12 items) 6.69 .89 .68 -24 to 24
(6.88)
Standard deviations of the scale scores are shown in parentheses. Missing data reduced the N’s to a few
below the total sample size of 689, so that the sample sizes above varied from 681 to 688 for alphas, means,
and standard deviations. N’s for temporal stabilities varied from 257 to 261
Table 2 Internal reliability of scales
Flourishing scale Commonalities Corrected item-total
correlation
Alpha if
item deleted
Purpose and meaning .60 .71 .85
Relationships supportive .42 .60 .86
Engaged .46 .63 .85
Contribute to others .48 .64 .85
Competence .43 .61 .86
Good person .53 .67 .85
Optimistic .41 .59 .86
Respected .38 .57 .86
Positive feelings
Good .58 .70 .84
Positive .58 .69 .84
Pleasant .50 .66 .85
Joy .58 .55 .87
Happy .66 .74 .84
Contented .34 .70 .84
Negative feelings
Negative .60 .66 .76
Bad .61 .67 .76
Unpleasant .45 .59 .78
Sad .53 .65 .77
Angry .25 .47 .81
Afraid .24 .45 .81
148 E. Diener et al.
123
Tables 3 and 4 present norms for the scales in terms of percentiles, so that readers can
determine what individual scores signify. Table 3 presents the norms for the Flourishing
Scale and Table 4 presents the percentile norms for the SPANE.
Table 5 shows the correlations of the Flourishing Scale with the Ryff Scales of Psy-
chological Well-being and Deci and Ryan’s Basic Need Satisfaction in General scale. As
can be seen, the Flourishing Scale correlated at substantial levels with the other well-
being measures, with the exception of Ryff’s autonomy scale, which correlates at lower
levels with most of the other scales. The Flourishing Scale was most strongly associated
with competence/mastery, least strongly with autonomy, and substantially with the other
scales.
Table 6 gives the N’s for each of the six locations where data were collected, as well as
the means and standard deviations for the Flourishing and SPANE subscales for each
University. As can be seen, respondents in Singapore scored the lowest well-being on all
three scales. Men and women did not score significantly differently on the scales.
Table 7 presents the correlations of the SPANE with several other scales of feelings. As
can be seen, the SPANE subscales correlated substantially with the PANAS scales, as well
as the other brief measures of positive feelings.
Table 8 presents the correlations of the Flourishing Scale and SPANE with selected
other measures of well-being such as the Satisfaction with Life Scale (see Pavot and
Diener 1993, 2008 for reviews). As can be seen, the scales correlate at substantial
levels with the other measures, except at a more modest level with the Loneliness
scale.
Table 3 Flourishing scale
norms in terms of percentile
rankings (range 8–56)
Note: Selected values are given
for the scales. Percentiles are
based on six college student
samples
Score Percentile
25
29
32
34
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
1
3
5
7
10
13
15
18
21
24
28
33
39
44
53
60
70
77
83
87
90
93
96
98
100
Measures of Well-being 149
123
Table 4 SPANE scale norms
in terms of percentile rankings
Scale Score Percentile
SPANE-P
(range 6–30)
12
13
14
1
2
3
15
16
17
5
7
12
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
18
24
31
41
51
62
76
83
90
94
97
98
30 100
SPANE-N
(range 6–30)
6
7
8
9
10
11
1
2
4
6
10
16
12
13
14
25
33
43
15
16
17
52
63
73
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
80
85
89
93
96
98
99
27 100
SPANE-B -91
(range -24 to 24) -82
-7
-6
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
3
4
6
8
11
13
15
0
1
2
18
22
25
150 E. Diener et al.
123
4 Discussion
The two new measures presented here are promising, although more validity work is
needed. For one thing, it will be important to determine the associations of the scales with
nonself-report assessments of the same concepts, for example from informants, and also to
use the scales to predict nonself-report behaviors. It will also be desirable to develop norms
for other groups beyond college students, and to establish the stability of the scales over
longer time periods beyond 1 month.
Table 4 continued
Note: Only selected values are
given for the scales. The other
percentiles can be approximated
by interpolating the percentile for
the figures that are shown
Scale Score Percentile
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
23
29
33
40
46
53
59
65
71
77
82
85
89
91
93
95
96
97
98
99
100
Table 5 Correlations of psychological well-being and flourishing
FS BNS Ryff
Comp Rel Aut Aut Mast Grow Rel Purp SA
Basic need satisfaction
Competency .67
Relatedness .64 .60
Autonomy .54 .60 .56
Ryff scales
Autonomy .43 .38 .32 .59
Mastery .73 .71 .62 .60 .44
Growth .67 .58 .51 .53 .50 .59
Relationships .65 .68 .78 .63 .35 .69 .49
Purpose .63 .59 .42 .56 .53 .67 .63 .54
Self-acceptance .70 .74 .64 .59 .54 .72 .63 .71 .64
N’s for the flourishing scale and the BNS scales varied from 527 to 530, and with the Ryff scales the N was
74
Measures of Well-being 151
123
The brief Flourishing Scale performed well, with high reliabilities and high conver-
gence with similar scales. It correlated strongly with the summed scores for the other
psychological well-being scales, at .78 and .73. Thus, the FS yields a good assessment of
Table 6 Descriptive statistics by location
Locations N Means and standard deviations
Flourishing SPANE-P SPANE-N
Singapore 181 42.6
(6.4)
20.8
(3.6)
17.0
(4.0)
East Carolina 168 48.1
(4.9)
23.1
(3.2)
14.5
(3.6)
Virginia 116 43.2
(7.8)
21.9
(4.0)
14.2
(4.0)
New Jersey 86 46.6
(5.0)
23.0
(3.7)
14.6
(3.9)
Illinois 74 45.6
(6.4)
22.3
(4.0)
15.5
(3.5)
California 64 43.8
(6.0)
21.6
(3.6)
15.9
(3.7)
Table 7 Correlations of feelings scales
SPANE-P SPANE-N SPANE-B PANAS-PA PANAS-NA PANAS-BAL
PANAS-PA .61
N = 505
-.44
N = 499
.58
N = 499
PANAS-NA -.46
N = 504
.70
N = 498
-.65
N = 498
-.31
N = 502
PANAS-BAL .66
N = 502
-.70
N = 496
.76
N = 496
.81
N = 502
-.81
N = 502
SHS .56
N = 209
-.48
N = 205
.58
N = 205
.50
N = 207
-.42
N = 207
.57
N = 206
Fordyce .55
N = 602
-.45
N = 598
.57
N = 597
.55
N = 419
-.49
N = 418
.65
N = 416
All p’s \ .001
Table 8 Construct validity: convergence with other relevant scales
Relevant other measures Flourishing scale (FS) SPANE-P SPANE-N SPANE-B
Satisfaction with life scale .62
N = 680
.58
N = 686
-.46
N = 682
.57
N = 681
LOT
(low score is optimistic)
-.59
N = 346
-.58
N = 350
.51
N = 346
.61
N = 346
UCLA loneliness -.28
N = 527
-.32
N = 531
.29
N = 527
-.34
N = 526
Cantril’s ladder .57
N = 531
.62
N = 536
-.48
N = 532
.61
N = 531
Note: All p’s \ .001
152 E. Diener et al.
123
overall self-reported psychological well-being, although it does not assess the individual
components of social–psychological well-being. If an overall psychological well-being
score is needed, and a brief scale is desirable, the FS appears to be adequate. If separate
component scores are needed, additional scales should be used.
The SPANE performed well in terms of reliability and convergent validity with other
measures of emotion, well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction. The scale has advantages
over other measures of feelings. Because of the inclusion of feelings such as ‘positive’
and ‘negative’’, it can assess all positive and negative feelings, not just specific feelings.
Furthermore, it reflects the fact that some feelings are considered valuable by some and
less desirable by others because it assesses the respondent’s categorization of the desir-
ability and pleasantness of the feelings. The scale should perform well across societies
because it is based on the respondent’s evaluations of their feelings, which might vary
across cultures. In addition, the scale can reflect feelings such as physical pleasure,
engagement, interest, pain, and boredom that are omitted from most measures of feelings.
The measure reflects a range of feelings, regardless of whether they are low or high in
arousal. The SPANE refers to the time people experience feelings, with the benefit that this
aspect of feelings best predicts long-term well-being, and also it might be more validly
reported across respondents. Although more research is needed on the SPANE, it should be
valid in many research and applied situations.
It is interesting to note in Table 2 that for the SPANE-N the items with the lowest
commonalities and item-total correlations were ‘afraid’ and ‘angry’’, two of the specific
emotions that are included on most measures of feelings. In contrast, items such as ‘bad’
and ‘negative’ seemed to strongly reflect the negative feelings. This is informative
because it suggests that many specific negative emotions might not fully capture the range
of negative feelings. These findings suggest that one form of a very short scale of six items
would be to only present the three general negative and positive items.
The initial psychometric data we collected here are encouraging, but obviously more
work is needed. We had only student samples, and therefore, broader samples should be a
high priority for future study. Another priority for future research is to analyze the degree
to which the new scales and existent scales differ and converge across cultures and groups.
Finally, a major issue for well-being research is to examine the sources of unique and
common variance in the scales. Across types of well-being there is sizeable convergence of
the measures, and the source of this overlap, as well as the unique contributions of the
scales, is an important direction for study.
Appendix
Scale of Positive and Negative Experience
Ó Copyright by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, January 2009.
Please think about what you have been doing and experiencing during the past 4 weeks.
Then report how much you experienced each of the following feelings, using the scale
below. For each item, select a number from 1 to 5, and indicate that number on your
response sheet.
1. Very rarely or never
2. Rarely
3. Sometimes
Measures of Well-being 153
123
4. Often
5. Very often or always
Positive
Negative
Good
Bad
Pleasant
Unpleasant
Happy
Sad
Afraid
Joyful
Angry
Contented
Scoring: The measure can be used to derive an overall affect balance score, but can also
be divided into positive and negative feelings scales.
Positive feelings (SPANE-P): Add the scores, varying from 1 to 5, for the six items:
positive, good, pleasant, happy, joyful, and contented. The score can vary from 6 (lowest
possible) to 30 (highest positive feelings score).
Negative feelings (SPANE-N): Add the scores, varying from 1 to 5, for the six items:
negative, bad, unpleasant, sad, afraid, and angry. The score can vary from 6 (lowest
possible) to 30 (highest negative feelings score).
Affect balance (SPANE-B): The negative feelings score is subtracted from the positive
feelings score, and the resultant difference score can vary from -24 (unhappiest possible) to
24 (highest affect balance possible). A respondent with a very high score of 24 reports that
she or he rarely or never experiences any of the negative feelings, and very often or always
has all of the positive feelings.
Flourishing Scale
Ó Copyright by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, January 2009.
Below are eight statements with which you may agree or disagree. Using the 1–7 scale
below, indicate your agreement with each item by indicating that response for each
statement.
7. Strongly agree
6. Agree
5. Slightly agree
4. Mixed or neither agree nor disagree
3. Slightly disagree
2. Disagree
1. Strongly disagree
I lead a purposeful and meaningful life
My social relationships are supportive and rewarding
I am engaged and interested in my daily activities
I actively contribute to the happiness and well-being of others
I am competent and capable in the activities that are important to me
154 E. Diener et al.
123
I am a good person and live a good life
I am optimistic about my future
People respect me
Scoring: Add the responses, varying from 1 to 7, for all eight items. The possible range
of scores is from 8 (lowest possible) to 56 (highest PWB possible). A high score represents
a person with many psychological resources and strengths.
Permission for Using the Scales
Although copyrighted, the SPANE and Flourishing Scale may be used as long as proper
credit is given. Permission is not needed to employ the scales and requests to use the scales
will not be answered on an individual basis because permission is granted here. This article
should be used as the citation for the scales, and this note provides evidence that
permission to use the scales is granted.
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... Their measure encompassed both the hedonic and the eudaimonic features of wellbeing, as their analysis revealed three factors, in particular, Positive Characteristics, Positive Functioning, and Positive Appraisal. On the other hand, on the basis of the theories of psychological and social well-being developed during the last decades, Diener et al. (2009Diener et al. ( , 2010 devised the Flourishing Scale (FS) and found an unifactorial structure. The scale aims to be a brief measure embracing major features pointed out by those theories and provides a single score of socialpsychological prosperity. ...
... The scale aims to be a brief measure embracing major features pointed out by those theories and provides a single score of socialpsychological prosperity. As such, Diener's view of Flourishing stems from the FS that assesses self-perception in relationships, personal competence and self-esteem, engagement in daily activities, sense of purpose and optimism (Diener et al., 2009(Diener et al., , 2010. Since Diener and colleagues' view of flourishing represents psychosocial functioning, it is a measure close to the one of psychological well-being but not so close to Diener's earlier subjective well-being construct, which is solely concerned with hedonic aspects of well-being (i.e., life satisfaction and prevalence of positive affects). ...
... Since Diener and colleagues' view of flourishing represents psychosocial functioning, it is a measure close to the one of psychological well-being but not so close to Diener's earlier subjective well-being construct, which is solely concerned with hedonic aspects of well-being (i.e., life satisfaction and prevalence of positive affects). In fact, their measure of psychological flourishing complements existing measures of subjective well-being (Diener et al., 2010). ...
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This research aims to bring new evidence concerning the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Flourishing Scale (FS-P) in a sample of the general Portuguese population. Participants consisted of 396 Portuguese adults between 18 and 52 years of age. We collected data mainly via an online survey following a snowball sampling strategy. We analyzed FS-P validity evidence based on its internal structure, measurement invariance across gender, reliability of test scores, homogeneity indices of the items, and validity evidence based on association with measures on life satisfaction (single-item), self-esteem (RSES), self-control (SCBS), loneliness (DJGLS), depression (CES-D 10), and distress (K6+). Confirmatory factor analysis showed a one-factor solution. Configural, metric, and scalar invariance across gender was tenable with adequate fit indices. The reliability analysis showed adequate internal consistency (McDonald’s Omega = 0.88) and adequate homogeneity indices for all items. We obtained positive correlations between FS-P scores and measures on life satisfaction, self-esteem, and self-control, and negative correlations with scores on loneliness, depression, and distress (significance level of 0.05). All correlations values were close to |0.50|. These results sustain the importance of such a practical short scale in research and clinical contexts.
... The Work on Wellbeing (WoW) assessment battery is a collection of previously validated scales and measures, and of individual items from the literature. The battery as a whole consists of 50 items and captures aspects of general well-being (6 items: life satisfaction, life evaluation, eudaimonia, anxiety and two items on Happiness) and flourishing (Flourishing Scale: Diener et al., 2010), life domain well-being (10 items capturing importance and satisfaction with 10 key domains of life, e.g., family, work, education, financial matters), work well-being (19 items; inclusive of 2 free response), resilience (3 items), and health and lifestyle factors (4 items). The WoW Factor score was calculated by an average of the scores of five questions (life satisfaction, life evaluation, eudaimonia, anxiety, happiness-the anxiety question was reverse-scored). ...
... The Flourishing Scale (Diener et al., 2010) was included in the WoW battery and is a brief summary measure designed to assess respondents' self-perceived success in areas identified as important for psychological flourishing, including relationships, meaning and purpose, self-esteem and optimism. The eight-item scale captures eudaimonic dimensions of well-being that Ryff (1989) and Ryan and Deci (2001) suggest are important for positive functioning, with Cronbach's alpha of 0.93 (Drake & Steege, 2016). ...
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... (2) Positive and negative affect The Japanese version of the 12-item Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (Diener, Wirtz, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi, Oishi, Biswas-Diener, 2010;Sumi, 2013Sumi, , 2014) was used to measure positive and negative affect. This measure comprises a 6-item positive affect subscale and a 6-item negative affect subscale with a 5-point response format ranging from 1 (very rarely or never) to 5 (very often or always). ...
... (3) Eudaimonic well-being Eudaimonic well-being was assessed using the Japanese version of the Flourishing Scale (Diener et al., 2010;Sumi, 2013Sumi, , 2014, which consists of eight items describing broad and important aspects of psychological functioning. These items are rated on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). ...
... We measured meaning and purpose using an item from the validated Flourishing Scale developed by Diener et al. [21]. Members indicated the extent they disagreed or agreed with the statement, "I lead a purposeful and meaningful life," using a 7-point Likert-style scale, 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). ...
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Purpose We investigated the relationship between measures of self-reported health and well-being and concurrent and prospective healthcare utilization and costs to assess the added value of these self-reported measures in understanding utilization and cost. Methods Kaiser Permanente members (N = 6752) completed a 9-item survey measuring life evaluation, financial situation, social support, meaning and purpose, physical health, and mental health. Responses were linked to medical record information during the period 12 months before and after the survey. Results Correlations between health and well-being measures and healthcare utilization and cost variables were generally weak, with stronger correlations for future life evaluation and selected health measures (ρ = .20–.33, ps < .001). Better overall life evaluation had a significant but weak association with lower total cost and hospital days in the following year after controlling for age, sex, and race/ethnicity (p < .001). Full multivariate models, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, prior utilization, and relative risk models, showed weak associations between health and well-being measures and following year total healthcare cost and utilization, though the associations were relatively stronger for the health variables than the well-being variables. Conclusion Overall, the health and well-being variables added little to no predictive utility for future utilization and cost beyond prior utilization and cost and the inclusion of predictive models based on clinical information. Perceptions of well-being may be associated with factors beyond healthcare utilization. When information about prior use is unavailable, self-reported health items have some predictive utility.
... Meaningfulness data were based on Diener's Flourishing scale whereby only the item referring to having a purposeful life was selected and divided in two items because in the Dutch language (forward-back translation) 'purpose' and 'meaningfulness' are not the same concepts (Diener et al., 2010). As such, two questions were asked: 'my life has a purpose' and 'what I do in life is meaningful'. ...
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Background Although extensive research has been conducted to explain what contributes to subjective wellbeing, still a substantial part of its variance remains unexplained. This study investigated whether psychological concepts ‘peace of mind’ and ‘meaningfulness’ contribute to SWB beyond the basic and psychological needs while using several needs theories as a theoretical basis and thereby hypothesizing that both concepts are actionable and help enhance SWB. Methods The cross-sectional data (N = 3770) of the Belgian National happiness study (2018) were used. Three components of SWB (life satisfaction, positive and negative affect) were identified as predicted variables and used in threefold stepwise forward regression analyses. Results As expected both basic and psychological needs explained a considerable part of the three SWB components. However, including meaningfulness and peace of mind in the last step of the models resulted in a substantially higher total variance that was explained in these components (i.e. 56.7% for life satisfaction, 37.2% for positive affect, and 56.1% for negative affect). More specific, in the final models: basic needs, feelings of autonomy and relatedness, peace of mind and meaningfulness were significantly associated with the life satisfaction component. For the positive affect component: psychological needs, peace of mind, and meaningfulness were the significantly associated factors. Finally, the negative affect component was most significantly associated with basic needs, psychological needs, and peace of mind, while meaningfulness did not play a significant role in explaining negative affect. Discussion This study reconfirms the value of several needs theories in explaining the components of SWB and the role of universal needs. The final steps of the models also indicate that different needs contribute independently to the different SWB components. This is the first study demonstrating that ‘meaningfulness’ and ‘peace of mind’ contribute substantially to SWB beyond the typical basic and psychological needs.
Book
V monografiji avtorice predstavljajo ugotovitve več raziskav, ki so jih izvedle v zadnjih desetih letih, in jih umestijo na področje pozitivne psihologije, ki se je kot znanstvena disciplina uveljavila po letu 2000. Kot teoretični okvir v prvem poglavju predstavijo raziskave laičnega pojmovanja sreče in teoretične modele subjektivnega blagostanja. Poudarek na znanstveni ustreznosti merskih instrumentov v pozitivni psihologiji je spodbudil interes za konstrukt subjektivnega blagostanja tudi na drugih področjih psihologije.
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Current frameworks define flourishing in terms of wellbeing alone. This paper examines whether community members similarly define flourishing in terms of wellbeing or whether they prioritise both wellbeing and mental health. We also compare whether those indicators of wellbeing and mental health prioritised to define flourishing are similarly important for community members’ definition of quality of life. Results are from 2 surveys of community respondents (Survey 1 n = 359; Survey 2 n = 287) aged between 18 and 84 years. Participants were asked to identify 5 indicators of wellbeing or mental health which best reflected ‘Quality of Life’ (Survey 1), and Flourishing (Survey 2). Eleven indicators of wellbeing were from the European Social Survey (ESS) Wellbeing module and nine indicators of mental health were from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Disorders V.5 (DSM 5) diagnoses for Major Depressive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Respondents defined flourishing and quality of life in similar ways and in terms of a combination of mental health and wellbeing indicators. Importantly respondents rated both wellbeing and absence of mental illness as reflecting flourishing. There was no single indicator that was endorsed by all participants; instead a range of wellbeing and mental health indicators were endorsed by participants as reflecting flourishing and quality of life. Contrary to current flourishing frameworks, community respondents defined flourishing in terms of both the presence of wellbeing and absence of mental illness. We propose a new model of psychological health that is informed by both wellbeing and mental health/illness and where flourishing is defined in terms of both wellbeing and mental health.
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The primary objectives of this article are (a) to put forth an explicit operational formulation of positive human health that goes beyond prevailing "absence of illness" criteria; (b) to clarify that positive human health does not derive from extant medical considerations, which are not about wellness, but necessarily require a base in philosophical accounts of the "goods" in life; (c) to provoke a change of emphasis from strong tendencies to construe human health as exclusively about the mind or the body toward an integrated and positive spiral of mind-body influences; (d) to delineate possible physiological substrates of human flourishing and offer future directions for understanding the biology of positive health; and (e) to discuss implications of positive health for diverse scientific agendas (e.g., stress, class and health, work and family life) and for practice in health fields (e.g., training, health examinations, psychotherapy, and wellness intervention programs).
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Eighteen years of research using the Happiness Measures (HM) is reviewed in relation to the general progress of well-being measurement efforts. The accumulated findings on this remarkably quick instrument, show good reliability, exceptional stability, and a record of convergent, construct, and discriminative validity unparalleled in the field. Because of this, the HM is offered as a potential touchstone of measurement consistency in a field which generally lacks it.
Chapter
This chapter discusses psychological well-being in midlife. Psychological well-being during midlife has not been an explicit target of prior scientific inquiry. The formulations draw attention to developmental aspects of psychological well-being, such as how different life periods may involve distinct psychological challenges and gains. The criterion of psychological well-being entails feelings of, and striving toward, exploration and development. The desire and attempt to grow characterize self-actualizers. To understand human variation in psychological well-being, the experiential substance of people's lives for explanatory influences have been looked at. The chapter draws aspects of social psychological theory to elaborate how people give meaning to their life experiences. Rosenberg's (1979) self-concept theory, which incorporates numerous social-psychological perspectives to explicate the mechanisms whereby people derive meaning from their experiences, provided initial conceptual guidance. The theory articulates four mechanisms of self-assessment reflecting distinct ways that people construe events.
Article
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
Article
The SWLS consists of 5-items that require a ratingon a 7-point Likert scale. Administration is rarely morethan a minute or 2 and can be completed by interview(including phone) or paper and pencil response. The in-strumentshouldnotbecompletedbyaproxyansweringfortheperson.Itemsofthe SWLSaresummedtocreatea total score that can range from 5 to 35.The SWLS is in the public domain. Permission isnot needed to use it. Further information regardingthe use and interpretation of the SWLS can be foundat the author’s Web site http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/∼ediener/SWLS.html. The Web site alsoincludes links to translations of the scale into 27languages.
Article
Since its introduction in 1985, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 198569. Larsen , RJ , Diener , E and Emmons , RA . 1985. An evaluation of subjective well-being measures. Social Indicators Research, 17: 1–18. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references) has been heavily used as a measure of the life satisfaction component of subjective well-being. Scores on the SWLS have been shown to correlate with measures of mental health and to be predictive of future behaviors such as suicide attempts. In the area of health psychology, the SWLS has been used to examine the subjective quality of life of people experiencing serious health concerns. At a theoretical level, extensive research conducted since the last review (Pavot & Diener, 199389. Pavot , W and Diener , E . 1993. Review of the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5: 164–172. [CrossRef]View all references) has more clearly articulated the nature of life satisfaction judgments, and the multiple forces that can exert an influence on such judgments. In this review, we examine the evolving views of life satisfaction, offer updated psychometric data for the SWLS, and discuss future issues in the assessment of life satisfaction.