Playing sport or exercising has been shown to have a positive effect on mood. How do they know this? By using tools like the POMS questionnaire, a standard validated psychological test used in research to measure mood. The first Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire was developed in 1971 by Douglas M. McNair along with Maurice Lorr and Leo F. Droppleman. The questionnaires contain a series of descriptive words/statements that describe feelings people have. Subjects self report on each of these areas using a 5-point Likert scale.
There are several versions of the POMS questionnaire. Currently, the most commonly used is the POMS 2, which is available for adults aged 18 years and older (POMS 2–A) and another for adolescents 13 to 17 years of age (POMS 2–Y). Both POMS 2 instruments are available as full-length (65 items) and short versions (35 items). There is also a 40 question modified Profile of Mood States developed by Grove and Prapavessis (1992).
Scoring the POMS
The subjects are asked to select how they feel "right now". Scores for each item are recorded as 0 for 'Not at all' up to 4 for 'extremely', except for the two Esteem-related Affect subscales which are reverse-scored prior to being combined with the other items.
A Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) score is calculated by summing the totals for the negative subscales (tension, depression, fatigue, confusion, anger) and then subtracting the totals for the positive subscales (vigor and esteem-related affect).
How to get a copy?
Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS) is the publisher and copyright owner of the POMS. All versions of the POMS must be purchased from MHS. POMS, version 1, is no longer available. The newer version is the POMS 2nd Edition, POMS 2.
- McNair et al. (1971) Manual for the Profile of Mood States. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Service.
- Grove, J.R., & Prapavessis, H. (1992). Preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of an abbreviated Profile of Mood States. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 23, 93-109.
- Sport Psychology Questionnaires, including the SCAT
- Wonderlic Test — an intelligence test (like an IQ test)
- About Likert Scales