Questionnaires that are free to use
Listed below are:
The Positive Mindset Index, The Wellbeing Benefits of Everyday Activities Scale, and the Gender Scripts scale (male and female).
Note that this page is being periodically updated with new research findings and other relevant material.
These questionnaires are free to use, but please cite them properly (see ‘citation’) in any report they appear in, whether published or not. If you have any feedback or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental wellbeing: the Positive Mindset Index (Barry, Folkard & Ayliff, 2014)
The Positive Mindset Index (PMI; Barry, Folkard & Ayliff, 2014) uses six items to measure mental positivity: happiness, confidence, being in control, emotional stability, motivation and optimism. These are rated on a 5-point Likert scale, with a neutral midpoint, from 1 to 5.
The scale is designed for ease of use, both for participant and researcher. For example, the neutral midpoint removes any pressure on participants to commit to either the higher or lower end of an opinion. Also, there are only six items, all using simple language, which is useful for people in a hurry or those with limited reading skills.
This scale shows good internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.926) and good concurrent validity with the mental health subscale of the SF-12 (r = .678). Seager et al (2014) found good concurrent validity between the PMI and Paykel’s (1974) Suicidal Ladder (r = -.539). Phillips et al (2018) found good concurrent validity with PsyCap (an appealing personality) (r = .687) and the Subjective Happiness Scale (r = .689). Barry et al (2020) found good concurrent validity between the PMI and Rosenberg’s (1965) self-esteem scale (r = .766).
The PMI has been used in several peer-reviewed published studies, with a total of 9,893 participants from different populations:
- Male and female patients with uveitis (an eye condition) (N = 200) (Barry, Folkard & Ayliff, 2014)
- Men and women from general population (N = 348 women & 170 men) (Seager, Sullivan & Barry, 2014).
- Men and women from general population (N = 217) (Barry, Seager & Brown, 2015)
- Black men & women (N=53) and White men & women (N=149) (Roper & Barry, 2016)
- Men and women from general population (N = 115 men & 232 women) (Liddon, Kingerlee & Barry, 2017).
- Men in the British Isles (N = 2000) (Barry & Daubney, 2017)
- Audit of mentoring scheme (N = 16) (Doyle & Harney, 2018)
- Men in the US (N = 5000) (Barry, 2018)
- Disabled men and women in the US (N = 330) (Phillips et al, 2018).
- Men and women in the UK aged over 50 years old (N = 394) (Hadley, Newby & Barry, 2019)
- Men and women from general population (N = 203 men & 52 women)(Barry, Walker, Liddon and Seager, 2020)
- Men and women from general UK population (N = 186 men & 228 women)(Barry et al, in press)
- Men and women with disabilities in the US (N = ###) (Fry et al, 2020)
The stimulus question for participants is:
Please select one of the options (e.g. “happy” or “unhappy”) for the words in each row, indicating how you are feeling at this moment.
|Item 1||Very unhappy||Unhappy||Moderately happy||Happy||Very happy|
|Item 2||Very unconfident||Unconfident||Moderately confident||Confident||Very confident|
|Item 3||Very out of control||Out of control||Moderately in control||In control||Very in control|
|Item 4||Very unstable||Unstable||Moderately stable||Stable||Very stable|
|Item 5||Very unmotivated||Unmotivated||Moderately motivated||Motivated||Very motivated|
|Item 6||Very pessimistic||Pessimistic||Moderately optimistic||Optimistic||Very optimistic|
The PMI is scored from 1 to 5, with lower scores indicating a less positive mindset. The mean of the 6 scores is used. Based on the scores from Barry (2018) of 5000 men in the US, the mean (SD) norm is 3.7 (0.8), and the cut-off for clinical scoring is 2.9. This study also indicates that the mean in the US is slightly higher than the US.
Older people appear to score slightly higher too, a finding that is not unusual in the literature on age and happiness. For example, Hadley et al (2019) found the mean (SD) for 394 men and women aged over 50 in the UK was 3.6 (0.7) for men and 3.5 (0.8) for women.
The mean for men and women tends to be roughly similar e.g. in a study of the relationship between PMI and childhood attachment (Barry et al, 2015), the mean (SD) PMI for men was 3.2 (0.8), slightly lower than for women was 3.4 (0.8). In a study of people with uveitis (Barry et al, 2014), the mean (SD) score for men was slightly higher than for women: 3.3 (0.8) versus (3.2 +0.9).
Roper & Barry (2016) found that the mean (SD) PMI for 53 Black men and women scored similarly to 149 White men and women: 3.4 (0.7) versus 3.4 (0.7).
The PMI is discussed in this blog by John Barry.
Wellbeing Benefits of Everyday Activities Scale (Barry & Roper, 2016)
The Wellbeing Benefits of Everyday Activities Scale (WBEAS) is designed to measure how much satisfaction is gained from a wide range of everyday activities e.g. playing any kind of sport, engaging in any kind of social activity etc. It can easily be adapted to fit a wide variety of contexts and is simple enough to be used by a variety of researchers (students, psychologists, market researchers etc.).
In it’s initial validation (Barry & Roper, 2016) the WBEAS shows good construct validity, and the Cronbach’s α reliability coefficient for all 17 items together was 0.95. The WBEAS has only been used in one published study (Roper & Barry, 2016) and concurrent validity has not so far been tested.
The WBEA scale is designed to be adapted to different activities by changing the latter part of each item, shown below in square brackets. For example, instead of “when I visit the barber/hairdresser”, the item might state “when I play football” or “when I talk with my friends”.
The stimulus question for participants is: Please say how much you agree with the following statements. Please choose one answer: Strongly Disagree [score = 1]; Disagree – [score = 2]; Somewhat Disagree [score = 3]; Somewhat Agree [score = 4]; Agree [score = 5]; Strongly Agree [score = 6]. Scoring instructions: take the mean score for each subscale.
|I feel more optimistic when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more stable when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more motivated when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more in control when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more clear-minded when I [insert description of activity]|
|Socialise & Talk||I feel a greater sense of community when I [insert description of activity]|
|I would miss the social connection if I didn’t regularly [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more connected with other people when I [insert description of activity]|
|I can discuss my health when I [insert description of activity]|
|[Insert description of activity] is a good place to meet other people|
|I feel included when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel a sense of social engagement when I [insert description of activity]|
|I enjoy the social aspect of [insert description of activity]|
|I can discuss personal issues more at [insert description of activity] than at other places|
|I enjoy it when I [insert description of activity]|
|I feel more happy when I [insert description of activity]|
|[Insert description of activity] helps take my mind off things|
The Gender Script Questionnaire (Seager et al, 2014) measures four traditional male and five traditional female subscales of attitude to various aspects of gender typicality.
The male script consists of consists of 15 items measuring the subscales Fight & Win (e.g. ‘When the team I support lose it really hurts’), Protect (e.g. ‘Women and children should come first’), Mastery & Control (e.g. ‘if you need help you are weak’) and Racing (e.g. ‘I don’t like being overtaken on the roads’). The stimulus questions were answered 6-point Likert scale from 1 = Strongly Disagree, to 6 = Strongly Agree. Higher scores on the likert scale indicated more agreement with the item.
The Cronbach’s alpha reliability for the 15 items is 0.862. The female script consists of 18 items measuring the subscales Looks (e.g. ‘I feel more alive when I look attractive’), Family Harmony (e.g. ‘I won’t be truly happy until I have produced a child’), Fertility, Parenting and Family Pressure. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability for the 19 items is 0.788.
There is only one published study so far using these scales (Seager et al, 2014), though there are three other papers to be published around late 2019. In the published study of 348 women and 170 men, it was found that, after controlling for other variables using hierarchical multiple regression, suicidality was predicted by two male gender subscales (Fight & Win, P<.001; Mastery & Control, P<.042), and one female gender subscale predicted reduced risk of suicidality (Family Harmony, P<.003). Although the initial interpretation – based on the deficit model of masculinity that was unchallenged at the time – was that some aspects of masculinity cause suicidality, after further discussion with clinical and forensic psychologists this interpretation has since become open to revision. Correlation does not prove causation, and it could be, for example, that a third variable is responsible for the apparent correlation between masculinity and suicidality. This possibility is the subject of further investigation by the Male Psychology Network.
The 15 items and their factor loadings for the Male Gender Script Questionnaire.
|Fight & Win||It’s important to get promotion or the best salary||.732|
|In life it’s important to keep ahead of the competition||.660|
|The salary is the most important thing about a job||.628|
|It’s dog eat dog, so you have to be top dog||.589|
|A big house or a big car shows that you’re a winner||.522|
|Being a breadwinner makes me what I am||.484|
|Mastery & Control||If you need help you are weak||.824|
|You should be able to cope with problems on your own||.765|
|It’s important to be seen to be in control of your feelings||.616|
|If you don’t know the answer to a question you look foolish||.509|
|Life is what you make it – if it goes wrong you’ve only yourself to blame||.480|
|Racing||If I pull up next to another car at a set of traffic lights I feel an urge to race||.986|
|I don’t like being overtaken on the roads||.410|
|Protect||Women and children should come first||.653|
|If a burglar comes into our house it’s me that should take responsibility for protecting the household||.455|
The 18 items and their factor loadings for the Female Gender Script Questionnaire.
|Looks||I feel more alive when I look attractive||.710|
|People should do whatever it takes to enhance or preserve their looks||.558|
|I feel annoyed if I see someone who is more attractive than I am||.561|
|I don’t like to leave the house unless I have made sure that I look good||.556|
|I feel that there is too much pressure on me to be attractive||.512|
|People who are attractive have more advantages in life||.421|
|Fertility||No matter how successful you are at work, if you don’t have children you will never really be happy||.752|
|It is a law of nature that people should produce at least one child||.704|
|An infertile person can’t reach their full potential as a human being||.615|
||Raising a happy family is my true goal in life||.683|
|There is no greater joy than holding your own new born baby||.663|
|I won’t be truly happy until I have produced a child||.571|
|Parenting||Nobody can care for their children like the biological parent can||.627|
|The mother and child have a special bond that can’t exist between father and child||.489|
|Children suffer by being put into day care||.442|
|The importance of traditional family roles is overrated||.383|
|Family pressure||I feel that society unfairly pressures me to have children||.846|
|Family members annoy me by putting pressure on me to have children||.607|