Positive Psychology Assessment Tools: 10+ Surveys, Measures and Questionnaires

In contrast to the traditional focus of psychology on illness and disorder, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of human functioning. With the rise of positive psychology, researchers and practitioners have begun to study and identify various factors which are related to well-being, such as positive relationships, meaningful engagements, and achievement. Based on these progressing research, various positive psychology assessment tools have been developed to allow us to gain insight on our personal well-being.

In this list, I have selected 10+ of the best Positive Psychology Assessment Tools. These are empirically validated research tools used to measure different dimensions of well-being and have shown good levels of validity and reliability when conducted with a sample population.

Positive Psychology Assessment Tools

Foreword: How to Use

These assessment tools are provided for the purposes of general interest and self-improvement, and should not be used as a diagnosis of any sort. Results should not substitute as professional medical or mental health advice, and you should employ your own discretion in the interpretation of results. If you require additional support or any psychological help, you are advised to seek your own counselling and psychotherapy services.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker
What you track determines your lens. Choose carefully.” – Seth Godin

These assessment tools can be used to serve as valuable feedback on the different dimensions of your well-being. It can also be used to track if a particular positive psychology intervention or exercise (e.g. meditation, gratitude, exercise) has improved your well-being.

The Satisfaction with Life Scale

The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) assesses a person’s satisfaction with their lives as a whole. It measures the cognitive component of Subjective Well-Being (SWB), and provides an integrated judgement of how a person’s life is going. The scale has been used in hundreds of studies and has demonstrated good psychometric properties.

This scale is developed by psychologists Ed Diener, Robert A. Emmons, Randy J. Larsen, and Sharon Griffin.

Key Reference:
Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larson, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75
Time taken to complete:
2 minutes
Download The Satisfaction with Life Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Temporal Satisfaction With Life Scale

The Temporal Satisfaction With Life Scale (TSWLS) assesses a person’s satisfaction with their lives on a temporal framework. It measures the cognitive component of Subjective Well-Being (SWB), and provides an integrated judgement of an individual’s past, present, and future life satisfaction.

Key Reference:
Pavot, W., Diener, E., & Suh, E. (1998). The Temporal Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 70, 340-354.
Time taken to complete:
5 minutes
Download The Temporal Satisfaction with Life Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Happiness Measures

The Happiness Measures (HM), also known as the Fordyce Emotion Questionnaire, assesses a person’s emotional well-being. It measures the affective component of Subjective Well-Being (SWB) and provides an indication of a person’s perceived happiness.

In comparison to other measures of well-being, the HM scale has the strongest correlations with daily affect and life satisfaction.

Key Reference:
Fordyce, M. W. (1988). A review of research on The Happiness Measures: A sixty second index of happiness and mental health. Social Indicators Research, 20, 63-89
Time taken to complete:
2 minutes
Download The Happiness Measures Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Subjective Happiness Scale

The Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) assesses a person’s global subjective happiness. It is a four item scale – two items ask respondents to characterize themselves using both absolute ratings and ratings relative to peers, whereas the other two items offer brief descriptions of happy and unhappy individuals and ask respondents the extent to which each characterization describes them.

The scale shows good internal validity and reliability and is developed by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Heidi Lepper. Permission is granted for all non-commercial use.

Key Reference:
Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 137-155.
Time taken to complete:
2 minutes
Download The Subjective Happiness Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Gratitude Questionnaire

The Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6) assesses a person’s gratitude disposition, which is defined as a generalized tendency to recognize and respond with grateful emotion to the roles of other people’s benevolence in the positive experiences and outcomes that one experiences.

There is evidence that the scale is positively related to optimism, life satisfaction, hope, spirituality and religiousness, forgiveness, empathy and prosocial behaviour, and negatively related to depression, anxiety, materialism and envy.

The scale is developed by Dr. Michael E. McCullough and Dr. Robert A. Emmons.

Key Reference:
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The Grateful Disposition: A conceptual and Empirical Topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
Time taken to complete:
Less than 5 minutes
Download The Gratitude Questionnaire:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Meaning In Life Questionnaire

The Meaning in Life Questionnaire assesses two dimensions of meaning in life using a 10-item scale. The Presence of Meaning subscale measures how full respondents feel their lives are of meaning. The Search for Meaning subscale measures how engaged and motivated respondents are in efforts to find meaning or deepen their understanding of meaning in their lives.

The Presence subscale is positively related to well-being, intrinsic religiosity, extraversion and agreeableness, and negatively related to anxiety and depression. The Search subscale is positively related to religious quest, rumination, past-negative and present-fatalistic time perspectives, negative affect, depression, and neuroticism, and negatively related to future time perspective, close-mindedness (dogmatism), and well-being.

Key Reference:
Steger, M. F., Frazier, P., Oishi, S., & Kaler, M. (2006). The Meaning in Life Questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 80-93.
Steger, M. F., & Shin, J. Y. (2010). The relevance of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire to therapeutic practice: A look at the initial evidence. International Forum on Logotherapy, 33, 95-104.
Time taken to complete:
5 minutes
Download The Meaning in Life Questionnaire:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Flourishing Scale

The Flourishing Scale assesses a person’s self-perceived success in important areas such as engagement, relationships, self-esteem, meaning & purpose, and optimism. The scale provides a single psychological well-being (PWB) score and a high score represents a person with
many psychological resources and strengths.

The scale is copyrighted, but permission to use scale is granted as long as you give credit to the authors of the scale.

Key Reference:
Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2009). New measures of well-being: Flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 39, 247-266.
Time taken to complete:
2 minutes
Download The Flourishing Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Grit Scale

The Grit Scale assesses a person’s level of grit, which refers to one’s passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Grit is an aspect of character that is related to long-term success and the achievement of goals.

Key Reference:
Duckworth, A.L, & Quinn, P.D. (2009). Development and validation of the Short Grit Scale (GritS). Journal of Personality Assessment, 91, 166-174. \
Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101.
Time taken to complete:
5 minutes
Download The Grit Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Brief Resilience Scale

The Brief Resilience Scale assesses a person’s ability to bounce back or recover from stress.

Key Reference:
Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P. and Bernard, J. (2008). The Brief Resilience Scale: Assessing the Ability to Bounce Back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,15, 194-200.
Smith, B.W., Epstein, E.E., Oritz, J.A., Christopher, P.K., & Tooley, E.M. (2013). The Foundations of Resilience: What are the critical resources for bouncing back from stress? In Prince-Embury, S. & Saklofske, D.H. (Eds.), Resilience in children, adolescents, and adults: Translating research into practice, The Springer series on human exceptionality (pp. 167-187). New York, NY: Springer.
Time taken to complete:
2 minutes
Download The Brief Resilience Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Adult Hope Scale

The Adult Hope Scale measures a person’s level of hope according to Snyder’s definition of hope as “a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goal-directed energy), and (b) pathways (planning to meet goals)”. The Adult Hope Scale thus consists of two subscales, with one measuring agency thinking, and one measuring pathways thinking.

Key References:
Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J. R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., et al.(1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 570-585.
Snyder, C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope: You can get there from here. New York: Free Press.
Snyder, C. R. (2002). Hope theory: Rainbows in the mind. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 249-275.
Time taken to complete:
5 minutes
Download The Adult Hope Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale

The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) assesses a person’s level of dispositional mindfulness in terms of two components of consciousness: awareness and attention. It measures an individual’s tendency to enter a state of mindfulness through the individual’s frequency of having certain experiences related to mindfulness and mindlessness.

The scale shows strong psychometric properties and has been validated with college, community, and cancer patient samples.

Key References:
Brown, K.W. & Ryan, R.M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822-848.
Time taken to complete:
5 minutes
Download The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale:
Word (Editable Version, Self-Scoring) | PDF (Printable Version) | Excel (Editable Version, Automatic Scoring)

Positive Psychology Assessment Tools Workbook

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