Journal of Well-Being Assessment

, Volume 2, Issue 2–3, pp 115–133 | Cite as

Measuring Positive Emotions: an Examination of the Reliability and Structural Validity of Scores on the Seven Dispositional Positive Emotions Scales

  • Dante D. DixsonEmail author
  • Craig L. Anderson
  • Dacher Keltner
Original Research


The Dispositional Positive Emotions Scales (DPES) are seven separate research scales that measure joy, awe, amusement, pride, contentment, compassion, and love. Despite widespread use of these scales, no comprehensive examination of the psychometric properties of DPES scores has been conducted. In this paper, we examined the internal consistency and structural validity of DPES scores in four independent American samples. In Study 1, exploratory factor analyses indicated that scores on the seven scales had a 1-factor structure, and these scores were found to be internally consistent. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence that DPES scores were structurally valid (although evidence was mixed on the Love scale) and that the seven scales were distinct constructs. In addition, DPES scores were found to be internally consistent. Finally, evidence of convergent validity and discriminant validity was also found via comparing DPES scores with those on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Short Form.


Positive emotions Trait emotions Joy Awe Contentment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

41543_2019_15_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Affairs Medical CenterUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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