Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE)


Author of Tool: 

Diener, Ed.

Key references: 

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.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The SPANE is a 12-item questionnaire includes six items to assess positive feelings and six items to assess negative feelings.


The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) produces a score for positive feelings (6 items), a score for negative feelings (6 items), and the two can be combined to create a balance score. This 12-item brief scale has a number of desirable features compared to earlier measures of positive and negative emotions. In particular, the scale assesses with a few items a broad range of negative and positive experiences and feelings, not just those of a certain type, and is based on the amount of time the feelings were experienced during the past four weeks. The scale converges well with measures of emotions and affective well-being. 


Each SPANE item is scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 5, where 1 represents “very rarely or never” and 5 represents “very often or always.” The positive and negative scales are scored separately because of the partial independence or separability of the two types of feelings. The summed positive score (SPANE-P) can range from 6 to 30, and the negative scale (SPANE-N) has the same range. The two scores can be combined by subtracting the negative score from the positive score, and the resulting SPANE-B scores can range from -24 to 24. 

The Cronbach alpha of the scale is good, and the temporal reliability is moderately high, showing some change across a one-month period. The alpha shows the internal consistency of the items, but a factor analysis of the items is needed as well because even a high alpha is consistent with the existence of more than one factor in a scale. See: 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. 



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