Journal of Undergraduate Research


positive psychology, psychometric properties


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Positive psychology is the rigorous and empirical study of well-being, human strengths, and human flourishing, and the experiences, traits, and institutions that lead to those aims. It began as a rigorous subdomain of psychology in the late 1990’s. Up until this point, the field of psychology had focused largely on pathology and on the weaknesses of the psyche, and positive psychology has shifted to emphasize that psychology has much more it can offer if it looks past just the very worst of human experiences. Positive psychology is rapidly expanding and gaining popularity, and a huge volume of research is being produced, much of it with promising results for increasing well-being in effective ways. However, this research is generally not reaching those who could benefit from it the most – namely, the general public – and ‘self-help’ type myths regarding happiness and positive thinking abound. If it does reach the masses, it often takes years. In response, we are creating a website (mybestself101.org) in order to make positive psychology strategies, information, and resources readily available. Our website consists of 17 modules covering major topics in positive psychology (gratitude, compassion, mindfulness, exercise, etc.). Each module will have a questionnaire specific to that topic that visitors can take before and after they have completed the module to see if they have improved in that area. Because sufficient measures don’t currently exist for all of our topics, and because we are looking for a specific format (short, 6-10 items) and conceptual generalness (covering all facets of the construct), we created all of the measures for the modules ourselves, as opposed to using ones that already exist. This research involved creating these measures and testing their psychometric (statistical) properties so that the items can be refined and the best combination of final items can be chosen for each questionnaire.

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Psychology Commons