Introduction

Affect refers to whether you feel emotionally in a positive or negative mood. An often used measure of both positive and negative affect is the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule PANAS (Watson, Clark, and Tellegen, 1988). It is a very short survey.

The PANAS scale gives a score for positive and negative affect between 10 and 50 points. In the original study with American undergraduates, the average positive affect (for the moment) was 29.7, and the average negative affect was 14.8 points (n=660). You can run the demo to see how you compare (you get feedback).

In the implementation below, the question is how people feel in the present moment. You can also ask about today, the past few days, the past few weeks, the year, or in general (see Watson et al., 1988).

In this implementation, the order of the positive and negative adjectives is randomized for each participant.

Run the demo

It seems that PANAS can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Watson et al., 1988).

Technically

One of the features used in this PsyToolkit implementation is that question items are presented in random order. There are two ways to do this. Questions between the random: begin and random: end statements will be presented in random order. Further the o: option in the scale type item randomizes the order of the lists.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: howmuch
- Very slightly<br>or not at all
- A little
- Moderately
- Quite a bit
- Extremely

random: begin

l: panas1
t: scale howmuch
q: This scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and
 emotions.<br>
Read each item and then select how much you feel like this from the scale.<br>
Indicate to what extent you feel this way right now, that is,<br>
at the <b>present moment</b>.
o: random
- Interested
- Distressed
- Excited
- Upset
- Strong
- Guilty
- Scared
- Hostile
- Ethusiastic
- Proud

l: panas2
t: scale howmuch
q: This scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and
emotions.<br>
Read each item and then select how much you feel like this from the scale.<br>
Indicate to what extent you feel this way right now, that is,<br>
at the <b>present moment</b>.
o: random
- Irritable
- Alert
- Ashamed
- Inspired
- Nervous
- Determined
- Attentive
- Jittery
- Active
- Afraid

random: end

l: positive
t: set
- sum $panas1.1 $panas1.3 $panas1.5 $panas1.9 $panas1.10 $panas2.2 $panas2.4 $panas2.6 $panas2.7 $panas2.9

l: negative
t: set
- sum $panas1.2 $panas1.4 $panas1.6 $panas1.7 $panas1.8 $panas2.1 $panas2.3 $panas2.5 $panas2.8 $panas2.10

l: feedback
t: info
q: <b>Your current positive affect score is {$positive}<br>
Your negative affect score is {$negative}</b><br>
Note: Scores can range from 10 to 50.<br>
In the 1988 positive affect mean among 660 American undergraduate students was 29.7 (Table 1, Watson et al., 1988).<br>For negative affect it was 14.8.<br>

References

  • D. Watson, L.A. Clark, and A. Tellegen (1988). Development and Validation of Brief Measures of Positive and Negative Affect: The PANAS Scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.

  • PANAS Scorebook (retrieved from here).