The PERMA+4 Short Scale - A Cross-Cultural Empirical Validation Using Item Response Theory


A substantial body of empirical research has used the positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment (PERMA) framework to measure building blocks of well-being across diverse samples and cultures, with most studies using the 23-item PERMA-Profiler (Butler & Kern, 2016) or a workplace variant. Donaldson and Donaldson (2021a) added four additional domains (physical health, mindset, environment, economic security; PERMA + 4). Psychometric development and testing of the original, translated, and variant versions of the measure have relied on Classical Test Theory approaches, such as factor analytic methods. In the workplace, valid, brief measures are critical. The current study used item response theory to analyze data from a large sample of Canadian (n = 1,003) and Australian (n = 942) employees to create a 9-item short scale of PERMA + 4. A graded response model showed good item discrimination (a > 1.40), and similar test information compared to the full measure. A short scale of PERMA + 4 will be useful for future studies of the building blocks of well-being and positive functioning, as well as for evaluating well-being programs and interventions within the workplace.

In International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine