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The Construct and Measurement of Peace of Mind

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that Asian American or Chinese individuals value low-arousal positive affect and a harmonious state of happiness more than European Americans do. However, the affective component of subjective well-being has mostly been defined as the presence of positive affect and the absence of negative affect. This definition emphasizes the importance of hedonic pleasure but fails to include the affect valued in Chinese culture. The present study developed the construct of peace of mind to describe the affective well-being valued in Chinese culture. Peace of mind was defined as an internal state of peacefulness and harmony. To develop a measure to assess peace of mind, three studies were conducted. Study 1 developed the Peace of Mind Scale (PoM), Study 2 established its validity as an affective well-being measure, and Study 3 found that individuals from Chinese cultures score higher on this scale than those from Western cultures. The results indicate that the PoM has good reliability and validity for measuring affective well-being. The cross-cultural validation also found that Taiwanese individuals scored higher on the PoM than European Americans, which provides further evidence of good construct validity of the PoM.

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Notes

  1. Chung-Yuan Christian University is one of the general universities in Taiwan. Students are neither required to be members of the religion nor expected to study or practice the tenets of Christianity.

  2. The items of the PoM were originally written in Chinese. In order to develop the English version of the PoM for the Study 3, semantic similarity of items was considered to avoid duplicity which can improve the equivalence of translation.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported in part by a grant of National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 99-2410-H-033-056).

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Correspondence to Yi-Chen Lee.

Appendix: The Peace of Mind Scale

Appendix: The Peace of Mind Scale

How often do you feel internal peace and ease in your daily life? Use the following scale to indicate your response.

1 = Not at all

2 = Some of the time

3 = Often

4 = Most of the time

5 = All of the time

____ 1. My mind is free and at ease.

____ 2. I feel content and comfortable with myself in daily life.

____ 3. My lifestyle gives me feelings of peace and stability.

____ 4. I have peace and harmony in my mind.

____ 5. It is difficult for me to feel settled. (–)

____ 6. The way I live brings me feelings of peace and comfort.

____ 7. I feel anxious and uneasy in my mind. (–)

Notes. Items marked (–) should be scored in reverse. The average of the item scores is an overall measure of peace of mind, with high scores indicating greater peace of mind.

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Lee, YC., Lin, YC., Huang, CL. et al. The Construct and Measurement of Peace of Mind. J Happiness Stud 14, 571–590 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-012-9343-5

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Keywords

  • Peace of mind
  • Subjective well-being
  • Low-arousal positive affect
  • Chinese culture