Social Indicators Research

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 143–156

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


    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois
    • The Gallup Organization
  • Derrick Wirtz
    • East Carolina University
  • William Tov
    • Singapore Management University
  • Chu Kim-Prieto
    • College of New Jersey
  • Dong-won Choi
    • California State University, East Bay
  • Shigehiro Oishi
    • University of Virginia
  • Robert Biswas-Diener
    • Center for Applied Positive Psychology

DOI: 10.1007/s11205-009-9493-y

Cite this article as:
Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W. et al. Soc Indic Res (2010) 97: 143. doi:10.1007/s11205-009-9493-y


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 4 weeks. The scale converges well with measures of emotions and affective well-being.


Subjective well-beingWell-beingMeasurePositive affectNegative affectScales (or Assessment)

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009