Carnegie Mellon University

State and Trait Affect Measures

All 5 cold studies included at least one pre-challenge baseline measure of either state (i.e., current or recent) or trait (typical or characteristic) affect; PCS1 and PMBC each included both types of measures.  Methods used to assess affect include self-report questionnaires and daily interviews (PCS2, PMBC, & PCS3).  Detailed descriptions of each measure can be obtained by clicking on the relevant link in the Table below.

Construct Scale BCS PCS1 PCS2 PMBC PCS3
Affect, state
   past week Mood States Scale
   past 24 hrs†

State Adjective Questionnaire (StAQ):

          StAQ State Affect Scale
          StAQ Affect Circumplex
          StAQ Stress-Arousal Circumplex
Affect, trait

Trait Adjective Questionnaire (TAQ):

          TAQ Trait Affect Scale
          TAQ Affect Circumplex
          TAQ Stress-Arousal Circumplex
   typical Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-X)
   daily Daily Interviews   

†The scale originally was designed to inquire about the past 24 hours.  In PMBC, it was modified to past week.

Trait and State Adjective Questionnaires

The questionnaires used to assess trait affect in PCS1 and PCS2 (and state affect in PCS1) require additional comment.  As indicated in the Table above, 3 measures of trait affect are derived for PCS1 from items contained in a single instrument, the Trait Adjective Questionnaire (TAQ).  The 88-item TAQ is a self-report scaled-response questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which each in a list of self-descriptive adjectives accurately applies to their general disposition or way of being.  Items include terms pertaining to emotional valence, level of activation or arousal, and components of the Big Five personality factors (see Goldberg’s Adjective Scale).  The mood-related adjectives that were incorporated into the TAQ include the 22 items comprising the Trait Affect Scale; the 25 items comprising the Affect Circumplex Scale; and the 20 items comprising the Stress-Arousal Circumplex Scale.  (There is substantial overlap in items across scales.  Additional details about each of three trait affect scales can be obtained by clicking on the relevant link in the Scale column of the above Table).  The State Adjective Questionnaire (StAQ) and each of the 3 derived measures are identical to the trait versions, save for respondents being asked to respond to each item in reference to how they were feeling during the past week.

In PCS2, participants completed a 61-item version of the TAQ.  This abbreviated form of the questionnaire included all 25 items comprising the Affect Circumplex Scale, but only 12 of the items comprising the Trait Affect Scale.  However, the TAQ also contained 3 items nearly identical in meaning to 3 of the omitted Trait Affect Scale items.  Accordingly, substitutions could be made, thus allowing for the computation of scores for all 3 positive affect subscales and 2 of the 3 negative affect subscales (see Trait Adjective Questionnaire – Trait Affect Scale for additional details).