List of Adult Emotion Measures

Available NIH Toolbox® Emotion Measures for Adult (Age 18+) Self-Report

Adult Domains Definition Measure Names Bank # of Items Fixed Form (FF) Bank # of Items
Negative Affect
Anger Attitudes of hostility and cynicism often associated with experiences of frustration impeding goal-directed behavior Anger CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 22  
Anger/Hostility FF Ages 18+ v3.0   5
Anger/Physical Aggression FF Ages 18+ v3.0   5
Apathy   Apathy FF Ages 18+ v3.0   7
Fear Symptoms of anxiety that reflect autonomic arousal and perceptions of threat. Fear/Anxiety CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 29  
Fear/Somatic Arousal FF Ages 18+ v3.0   6
Sadness Low levels of positive affect; comprised of symptoms that are primarily affective (poor mood) and cognitive (negative perceptions of self, the world, and the future) indicators of depression. Sadness/Depression CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 28  
Psychological Well-Being
Positive Affect Feelings that reflect a level of pleasurable engagement with the environment, such as happiness, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. Positive Affect CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 34  
General Life Satisfaction One’s cognitive evaluation of life experiences and whether one likes his/her life or not. General Life Satisfaction CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 10  
Meaning & Purpose The extent to which people feel their lives matter or make sense. Meaning and Purpose CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 37  
Stress & Self-Efficacy
Perceived Stress Individual perceptions about the nature of events and their relationship to the values and coping resources of an individual. Perceived Stress FF Ages 18+ v3.0   10
Self-Efficacy A person’s belief in his/her capacity to manage functioning and have control over meaningful events. Self-Efficacy CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 10  
Social Relationships
Emotional Support The perception that people in one’s social network are available to listen to one’s problems with empathy, caring, and understanding. Emotional Support CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 8 8
Instrumental Support The perception that people in one’s social network are available to provide material or functional aid in completing daily tasks, if needed. Instrumental Support CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 8  
Loneliness Perceptions that one is alone, lonely, or socially isolated from others. Loneliness FF Ages 18+ v3.0   5
Friendship Perceptions of the availability of friends or companions with whom to interact or affiliate. Friendship CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 8  
Social Distress The extent to which an individual perceives his/her daily social interactions as negative or distressing. This can include aspects of perceived hostility (e.g., how often people argue with me, yell at me, or criticize me) and perceived insensitivity (e.g., how often people don’t listen when I ask for help, or don’t pay attention to me). Perceived Hostility CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 8  
Perceived Rejection CAT Ages 18+ v3.0 8  

CAT = Computer Adaptive Test, FF = Fixed Form


NIH Toolbox Emotion Battery

  • A set of measures that can be administered within the NIH Toolbox iPad app
  • Completed in about 30 minutes
  • For adult (age 18+) self-report
  • Measures of Positive Affect, General Life Satisfaction, Meaning and Purpose, Companionship, Social Support, Social Distress, Perceived Stress, Self-Efficacy, Sadness, Fear, and Anger.


Last updated on 3/29/2023