Wessman & Ricks (1966): study US 1957 /1


Wessman, A.E.; Ricks, D.F.
Mood and Personality.
Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, 1966, New York, USA


Male college students, followed 3 years, Harvard University, USA, 1957-60
Non-probability chunk sample
N = 17
Non Response:
37%: 9 dropouts, incomplete; about the same happiness distribution.
Multiple methods
Mood diary kept 30 days and repeated interviews and tests during three years.

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Selfreport on single question, repeated every evening before retiring during 3 weeks (experience sampling).

"On the average, how happy or unhappy did you feel today....?"
1   Extremely unhappy. Utterly depressed. Completely down.
2   Very unhappy. Depressed. Spirits very low.
3   Pretty unhappy. Somewhat 'blue'. Spirits down.
4   Mildly unhappy. Just a little low.
5   Barely unhappy. Just this side of neutral.
6   Barely happy. Just this side of neutral.
7   Mildly happy. Feeling fairly good and somewhat cheerful.
8   Pretty happy. Spirits high. Feeling good.
9   Very happy. Feeling really good. Elated.
10  Extremely happy. Feeling ecstatic, joyous, fantastic.

Name: Wessman & Ricks' `Elation - Depression Scale" (adapted version)
Author's label:
Hedonic level
Error estimates:
Reliability: Validity: External congruent validity: - correlations (r) with composite clinical rank order of happiness from 6 months earliers by 6 staff psychologists (inter-judge agreement: r = +.80): r = +.71 with mean daily average, r = +.44 with mean daily peak, r = +.63 with mean daily trough - correlations with questionnaire items indicative of avowed happiness from 2 years earlier: r = +.67 with mean daily average, r = +.66 with peak, r = +.32 with trough - correlations with a system of scoring TAT themes supposedly indicative of happiness; r = +.27 with mean daily average, r = +.19 with peak, r = +.13 with trough - correlations with clinical rank on present happiness, stressing possible aware subjective feelings,from a half year after: r = +.76 with mean daily average, r = +.57 with peak, r = +.56 with trough - correlations with overall composite clinical rank on happiness from half a year after, using all clinical data and knowledge over 3 years: r = +.69 with mean daily average, r = +.48 with peak, r = +.42 with trough. External concurrent validity: - correlations with MMPI Depression Scale, taken 2 years previously: r = -.83 with mean daily average, r = -.63 with peak, r = -.51 with trough - correlations with clinical rank on happy life history, stressing autobio- graphic reports and information concerning past life experiences up to the time of entering college: r = +.48 with mean daily average, r = +.42 with peak, r = +.34 with trough.
Observed distribution
1: 0%,   2: 0%,   3: 0%,   4: 0%,   5: 0%,   6: 0%,   7: 0%,   8: 0%,   9: 0%,   10: 0%
Summary Statistics
On original range 1 - 10 On range 0-10
5.96 5.50

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Affective complexity Complexity of affect-pattern Variation in hedonic level, within day Variability of affects Variation in hedoniclevel, day to day Variability of affects Companionship vs being isolated Feeling close (vs remote) Past Depression Earlier mental health Past depression and insecurity Earlier mental health Energy vs fatigue Feeling energetic (vs lethargic, tired) Hedonic level of most elated moments Intensity of affects Hedonic level of most depressed moments Intensity of affects Fullness vs emptiness of life Feeling full (vs empty) Projective guilt Guilty Harmony vs anger Feeling friendly (vs hostile) Impulse expression vs self-restraint Feeling free from inner restraints Love and sex Feeling love (vs not) Personal freedom vs external constraint Feeling free from external restraints Personal moral judgement Feeling morally good (vs guilty) Present work Satisfaction with work-as-a-whole Receptivity towards the world Feeling receptive Self-confidence (vs inadequacy) Feeling self-confident (vs inadequate) Own sociability (vs withdrawal) Feeling sociable (vs withdrawn) Social respect (vs social contempt) Feeling respectable (vs rejected) Thought processes Feeling clear (vs dull, confused) Tranquility vs anxiety Feeling tranquil (vs restless) Being more influenced by peaks than by dips. Intensity of affects Repression and denial Defensive
Supressivity and concealment of emotions Defensive Intellectual abilityat college entrance Test-intelligence College performance School-success Academic performancerelative to poten- tial abilities School-success Past parental treat-ment and relation- ships Relations with parents Past sibling conflict Relations with siblings Happiness_C A-ARE by M-ACO
Rating of happiness by interviewer
Feelings of failure to fulfill ambitions A-ARE by C-RW
Self-perceived ability
Avowed happiness Past happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
O-further by A-ARE
Happiness_B Recent happiness (< 1 year ago)
Rating of happiness by clinician
Happy life history Recent happiness (< 1 year ago)
Retrospective level of happiness (period unspecified)
Rating of happiness by clinician
Burden of current life-events
Happiness_A Recent happiness (< 1 year ago)
Valuation of happiness Moral desirability of happiness Pysical health Feeling healthy Life history Burden of earlier life-events Earlier self-esteem Earlier self-confidence
Earlier self-image
Projective happiness Perceives a lot of happiness (projective happiness) Amount of sleep Amount of sleep Projective helplessness Helpless Identity integrity Personality integration Concealment of emotions Inhibited Psycho-social stagesof development Current stage of development Psycho-social development Current stage of development Psycho-sexual stages of development Current stage of development Personal maturity and integration Personality integration Normal introversion Extraverted Personality traits PERSONALITY: CURRENT TRAITS Organization of time Current time-organization Length of time span Orientation on the future Experience of time Current time-perception Real - ideal self congruency Real-ideal congruence Projective helpless-ness Self-perceived ability Real-self descriptions Current self-characterization Ideal-self descript-ions Current self-ideal Earlier optimism Earlier optimism Eccentric test- attitude Response tendencies
Impulsive (vs self controlled)
Consistent (dis)- agreeing response tendencies Response tendencies
Agreeing, yea-saying
Test dishonesty Response tendencies
Hypobolic - hyperbo-lic verbal expession Inhibited
Response tendencies
Style of self-disclosure
Evasive test-attitu-de (social-desirabi-lity) Defensive
Response tendencies
Style of self-disclosure
Pressure of academicwork Perceived pressure of school-work
Current hassles