New Measures of Well-Being

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Abstract

We present new measures of well-being to assess the following concepts: 1. Psychological Well-Being (PWB); 2. Positive Feelings, Negative Feelings, and the balance between the two (SPANE-P, N, B); and 3. Positive Thinking. The PWB scale is a short 8–item summary survey of the person’s self-perceived functioning in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose and meaning, and optimism. The scale is substantially correlated with other psychological well-being scales, but is briefer. The scale provides a single overall psychological well-being score and does not yield scores for various components of well-being. The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) yields a score for positive experience and feelings (6 items), a score for negative experience and feelings (6 items), and the two can be combined to create an experience balance score. This 12-item brief scale has a number of desirable features compared to earlier measures of positive and negative feelings. 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 frequency of feelings during the past month. A scale to measure Positive Thinking is also presented. Basic psychometric statistics are presented for the scales based on 573 college students at five universities.