Introduction

The "positive and negative semantic dimensions of relationship satisfaction" scale uses a special way of measuring relationship satisfaction. While many relationship scales treat positive and negative attitudes as polar opposites, this might not be the best way to deal with measuring how people feel about their relationship.

Foremost, the constructs of satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not polar opposites. Indeed, being completely satisfied with one’s relationship likely means something more than just the absence of negative evaluations. Rather, being completely satisfied (i.e., holding maximally favorable evaluations toward the relationship) is, more accurately, the opposite of being completely unsatisfied — that is, holding no favorable evaluations about the relationship. Likewise, being completely unsatisfied is not synonymous with being completely dissatisfied, as having few favorable evaluations toward a relationship is different from evaluating it as maximally bad.

In order to deal with this issue of how to measure satisfaction, the PN-SMD is a two-dimensional measurement of relationship satisfaction. The argument is that two-dimensional measurements of relationship satisfaction are better than one-dimensional measurements.

In a sample with 1693 adult participants who were in a romantic relationship, the average scores were as follows:

Sub scale average score possible scores

Positive Semantic Dimension (PSD)

41.8

0-49

Negative Semantic Dimension (NSD)

6.3

0-49

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It seems that the PN-SMD can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Mattson & Rogge, 2013).

Technically

This is a simple scale question.

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
- {score=0} Not at all
- {score=1} A tiny bit
- {score=2} A little
- {score=3} Somewhat
- {score=4} Mostly
- {score=5} Very
- {score=6} Extremely
- {score=7} Completely

l: positive
t: scale howmuch
o: width 15%
q: Considering only the <i>positive qualities</i> of your relationship and <i>ignoring the negative ones</i>,<br>
evaluate your relationship on the following qualities:<br><br>
My relationship is ...
- Interesting
- Full
- Sturdy
- Enjoyable
- Good
- Friendly
- Hopeful

l: negative
t: scale howmuch
o: width 15%
q: Considering only the <i>negative qualities</i> of your relationship and<br>
<i>ignoring the positive ones</i>, evaluate your relationship on the following qualities:<br><br>
My relationship is ...
- Bad
- Lonely
- Discouraging
- Boring
- Empty
- Fragile
- Miserable

l: psd
t: set
- sum $positive

l: nsd
t: set
- sum $negative

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the "positive and negative semantic dimensions of relationship satisfaction" scale is as follows.<br>
Positive semantic dimension (out of a score from 0-49 points): {$psd} points.<br>
Negative semantic dimension (out of a score from 0-49 points): {$nsd} points.<br>

References

  • Mattson, R. E., Rogge, R. D., Johnson, M. D., Davidson, E. K. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). The positive and negative semantic dimensions of relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 20, 328-355.