Bradburn & Caplovitz (1965): study US Illinois 1962


Bradburn, N.M.; Caplovitz, D.
Reports on Happiness. A Pilot Study of Behavior Related to Mental Health.
Aldine Publishing Company, 1965, Chicago, USA


Adult, general public, 4 towns, varying in economic prosperity, Illinois, USA, 1962
N = 2006
Non Response
Interview: face-to-face

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Self report on single question:

Taken all together, how would you say things are these days?   Would you say that you are....?
3  very happy
2  pretty happy
1  not too happy
Author's label:
Full text:
Self report on 9 questions:

We are interested in the way people are feeling these days. The following list describes some of the ways people feel at different times. Please indicate how often you felt each way during the last week.

How often last week did you feel .....?
A  On the top of the world
B  Very lonely or remote from other people
C  Particularly excited or interested in something
D  Depressed or very unhappy
E   Pleased about having accomplished something
F   Bored
G  Proud because someone complimented you on something  
     you had done
H  So restless you couldn't sit long in a chair
I    Vaguely uneasy about something without knowing why

Answer options:
0  not at all
1  once
2  several times
3  often

Positive Affect Score (PAS): summed scores on A, C, E, G
Negative Affect Score (NAS): summed scores on B, D, F, H, I
Affect Balance Score (ABS):  PAS minus NAS

Possible range:  -15 tot +12

Name: Bradburn's `Affect Balance Scale' (modified version)
Author's label:
Affect Balance
Error estimates:
Reliability: Equivalence (on the basis of the responses of the males who were personally interviewed: N = 393): - Positive items : r ranging from +.26 to +.47 - Negative items : r ranging from +.31 to +.54 - Positive x negative items : r ranging from -.19 to +.11 - Positive affect score x negative affect score : r = .07 (ns) Validity:

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Age Current age (in years) Uncontrollable worries Specific concerns Controllable concerns Specific concerns Educational level Level of school-education Thinking often about bringing up children Concerns about parenthood Male sex Sex: male (vs female) Relative balance of posit. and negative feelings(aff.balan.) O-HL by A-AB Anxiety Current psycho-somatic complaints Thinking often about health Concerns about health Income Current income level (unspecified) Thinking often about money Concerns about income Overall role adjustment Attitudes to own roles Economic depression of local environment Growth\decline of local economy
Current economic conditions in vicinity
Improving economic climate of local environment Growth\decline of local economy Married vs. never married Married (vs never married) Married vs. widowed Married (vs widowed) Married vs. divorced Married (vs divorced) Never married vs. widowed Never married (vs widowed) Never married vs. divorced Never married (vs divorced) Widowed Widowed (vs divorced) Thinking often about marriage Concern about marriage relationship Marital tension Tensions in marital relationship
Problems with family\marriage
Worrying Amount of worrying Being retired Current status: retired or not Job satisfaction Satisfaction with work-as-a-whole Organizational memberships Membership of voluntary organizations S.E.S. 'Objective' socio-economic status Thinking often about getting ahead Ambitious
Concern about social mobility
Thinking often about atom-bomb or fallout Attitudes to war Employment status Current employment status Thinking often about work Current concern about work Eating in restaurants Eating/drinking out Going for a trip in a car Traveling Distance travelled from home during last week Traveling Average television viewing Tv watching, radio listening Participation in religious events Participation in church Contacts with friends other than relatives Current contacts with friends Telephone contacts with friends Telephone calls with friends Contacts with relatives Contacts with relatives Social participation Current total social participation Having met new people Change in personal contacts Participating in games or sports activities Active involvement in sports Attending games or sports activities Passive involvement in sports