NIH Toolbox Emotion measures are scored on the T-score metric. High scores mean more of the concept being measured.
NIH Toolbox Emotion and other self-report measures (e.g., pain) use a T-score metric in which 50 is the mean of a relevant reference population and 10 is the standard deviation (SD) of that population.
On the T-score metric:
- A score of 40 is one SD lower than the mean of the reference population.
- A score of 60 is one SD higher than the mean of the reference population.
Direction of Scores
For NIH Toolbox measures, higher scores equals more of the concept being measured (e.g., more Fear/Anxiety, more Self-Efficacy). Thus a score of 60 is one standard deviation above the average referenced population. This could be a desirable or undesirable outcome, depending upon the concept being measured.
Types of Scores for Emotion and Other Self-Report Measures
The types of scores available for NIH Toolbox Emotion and other self-report measures are:
- This score, provided for participants of all ages, compares the performance of the test-taker to those in the entire NIH Toolbox nationally representative normative pediatric or adult (as appropriate) sample, regardless of age or any other variable
- The uncorrected T-score provides a glimpse of the given participant’s overall performance when compared with the general U.S. population. For adults, this score is on a T-score metric.
- This score may be most useful when trying to gauge one’s overall level of functioning, not in the context of age, gender, or other demographic factors. It may also be of interest when monitoring performance over time.
Age and Gender Corrected T-Score for Children:
- These are scores for children only (ages 3-17) in which corrections are made both for age and for gender (they are considered “fully corrected” because they are the factors that can lead to significantly and meaningfully different scores for these ages, based on analyses of the NIH Toolbox normative study data).
- There are two main reasons for providing age- and gender-corrected scores for children on the NIH Toolbox Emotion battery: 1) somewhat different instruments are used for different ages, including that they are based only on parent report for ages 3-7, both parent report and self-report for ages 8-12, and only self-report for ages 13-17; and 2) it is generally considered not appropriate or desirable to use the same normative standards and expectations for boys and girls at different ages (as an extreme example, for a 3-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl).
Scores for Translations
Translations of NIH Toolbox Emotion and other self-report measures use the same scoring and interpretation as English measures. Translated measure scores are reported as T-scores, where 50 is the mean of a referent population and 10 is the standard deviation. Higher scores indicate more of the concept being measured.
Visit NIHToolbox.org for information on scoring and interpreting cognition, motor, and sensation performance tests.
Last updated on 3/27/2023