Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales

Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales

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About Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales

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Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales

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Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales
Bradburn Positive and Negative Affect Scales


Bradburn’s Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA) Scales are a widely used psychological measurement tool designed to assess an individual’s emotional state. They were developed by Bradburn in 1969.

The Positive Affect (PA) Scale is used to measure positive emotions, such as happiness, joy, contentment, and enthusiasm. It consists of a series of questions that ask respondents to rate the extent to which they have experienced positive emotions over a specific period of time.

The Negative Affect (NA) Scale, on the other hand, assesses negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear. Like the PA Scale, it includes a set of questions asking respondents to rate the extent to which they have experienced negative emotions during a specified time frame.

Both scales are typically presented as a series of statements to which respondents are asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement. For example, a statement might be “I felt cheerful today,” and respondents would choose a response that reflects how much they agree or disagree with the statement.

These scales have been used in various research studies to measure emotional well-being and mood states. They have proven to be valuable tools in understanding and quantifying emotional experiences, which can be crucial in fields such as psychology, sociology, and health sciences.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

To administer Bradburn’s (1969) Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA) Scales, you can follow these steps:

  • Provide the participant with the PA and NA scales.
  • Ask the participant to read the instructions carefully.
  • Instruct the participant to answer each item on the scales by circling either “yes” or “no.”
  • Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers, and that the participant should simply answer each item based on their own experience.
  • Once the participant has completed the scales, thank them for their time.

Reliability and Validity

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Available Versions



Bradburn, N. M. (1969). The structure of psychological well-being.

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I am a senior clinical psychologist with over 11years of experience in the field. I am the founder of Psychology Roots, a platform that provides solutions and support to learners and professionals in psychology. My goal is to help people understand and improve their mental health, and to empower them to live happier and healthier lives.

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