Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

How to measure how you feel? Validity and reliability of (core) affect measures in experience sampling.


Type of assignment:  Bachelor

Internal or external? Internal                                                                                               

How many students possible? 2

Own data collection or existing data?  Data collection + existing data

Type of research (qualitative empirical, quantitative empirical, mixed-method, literature review): Quantitative   



The way we feel and what emotions we report can change from moment to moment. Surprisingly, most research into our feelings has ignored this dynamic aspect. It focused more on important issues such as to what extent emotion as a state (e.g. ‘on average this is an angry person’) has certain antecedents and consequences. However, with the advent of the experience sampling method (or ecological momentary assessment) researchers have begun to study fluctuations in feelings (e.g. Ebner-Priemer et al., 2008; Ebner-Priemer, Eid, Kleindienst, Stabenow, & Trull, 2009; Kuppens, Allen, & Sheeber, 2010; Kuppens, Oravecz, & Tuerlinckx, 2010). With this method participants answer a set of short questions repeatedly during the day, and sometimes this daily questioning is done for months. With this detailed information for every individual the change in feeling can be monitored and connected to psychopathology, personality differences, gender and even physiological changes.


For feelings (which is also referred to as core affect) various questionnaires exist that try to assess the valence of the current feeling (from positive (pleasant) to neutral to negative (unpleasant)) and the energy level associated to the current feeling (from low to high). With these two dimensions (valence and energy (or also referred to as arousal) the dynamic building blocks of human emotional experience can be monitored, visualized and modelled with other variables such as personality (as mentioned above). For the experience sampling method, just as for classical survey research, the validity and reliability of the questions are very important for research and clinical application (Palmier-Claus et al., 2011; Versluis et al., 2018). In this bachelor project you will study the reliability and validity of a number of core affect questions suitable for experience sampling. For example, in an affect grid participants could simultaneously score both arousal and valence by putting a point in a grid (see (J. A. Russell, Weiss, & Mendelsohn, 1989; Y. I. Russell & Gobet, 2012)). Alternatively, positive and negative affect can be examined separately as is done in an often used short questionnaire (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). Your will do a concise review of the literature on core affect and examine the reliability and validity of one (or possibly more)  short  core affect questions in a sample (and associated language) relevant for the student population at the University of Twente. You will also use and test the TiiM app developed (partly) for experience sampling purposes.


Who are we looking for?

Two enthusiastic students who are interested in the way the everyday human feelings can be measured in a reliable and valid way. This is important for both research and clinical applications.



The TiiM app for the experience sampling.



Dr. Matthijs Noordzij, Dr. Peter ten Klooster, Dr. Mirjam Radstaak



Ebner-Priemer, U. W., Eid, M., Kleindienst, N., Stabenow, S., & Trull, T. J. (2009). Analytic strategies for understanding affective (in)stability and other dynamic processes in psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118(1), 195–202.

Ebner-Priemer, U. W., Houben Leuven, M. K., Philip Santangelo, B., Kleindienst, N., Tuerlinckx Leuven, F. K., Zita Oravecz, B., … Santan-gelo, P. (2008). Unraveling Affective Dysregulation in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence. Linehan, 124(1), 186–198.

Kuppens, P., Allen, N. B., & Sheeber, L. B. (2010). Emotional Inertia and Psychological Maladjustment. Psychological Science, 21(7), 984–991.

Kuppens, P., Oravecz, Z., & Tuerlinckx, F. (2010). Feelings Change: Accounting for Individual Differences in the Temporal Dynamics of Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(6), 1042–1060.

Palmier-Claus, J. E., Myin-Germeys, I., Barkus, E., Bentley, L., Udachina, A., Delespaul, P. A. E. G., … Dunn, G. (2011). Experience sampling research in individuals with mental illness: reflections and guidance. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 123(1), 12–20.

Russell, J. A., Weiss, A., & Mendelsohn, G. A. (1989). Affect Grid: A Single-Item Scale of Pleasure and Arousal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 57). Retrieved from

Russell, Y. I., & Gobet, F. (2012). Sinuosity and the Affect Grid: A Method for Adjusting Repeated Mood Scores. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 114(1), 125–136.

Versluis, A., Verkuil, B., Lane, R. D., Hagemann, D., Thayer, J. F., & Brosschot, J. F. (2018). Ecological momentary assessment of emotional awareness: Preliminary evaluation of psychometric properties. Current Psychology.

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063.