Assessing Well-Being

Volume 39 of the series Social Indicators Research Series pp 247-266

New Measures of Well-Being

  • Ed DienerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-champaign Email author 
  • , Derrick WirtzAffiliated withEast Carolina University
  • , Robert Biswas-Diener
  • , William TovAffiliated withSingapore Management University
  • , Chu Kim-PrietoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, College of New Jersey
  • , Dong-won ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, California State University
  • , Shigehiro OishiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Virginia

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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.