Mood Scales

Measure subjective experience by rating statements on an visual analogue or Likert scale

A Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) is a simple method for measuring subjective experience like mood, pain, or fatigue. Typically, a VAS consists of a 10 centimeter line anchored at each end by words descriptive of opposing statements (bipolar) or the minimal and maximal extremes of one statement (unipolar). On this linear scale, the person indicates how he or she is feeling at the moment by placing a mark between 2 statements concerning a specific condition of the dimension being measured.

VAS questionnaires are less popular than The Likert scale which is the most widely used scaling technique and commonly used in various stress and health research studies. These scales typically consist of items that for example require respondents to rate their degrees of agreeing or disagreeing with various declarative statements. Usually three to seven response alternatives are used, but there are different opinions about the optimal number of response alternatives.

Many studies compared VAS and Likert scales which share in some cases only 60% of common variance. VAS seems to be more sensitive to smaller changes in subjective states and are not affected by the Wording of the response alternatives as it is the case in Likert Scales. The interpretation of the Visual Analogue Scale with respect what is normal, what is a midrange and what is extreme is left to the test subject.

Built-in Scales

  • BL: Bond & Lader
  • POMS: Profile of Mood Scale
  • KKS: Karolinska Sleepiness Scale
  • PANAS: Positive and Negative Affect Schedule


For defining custom scales and questionnaires please see ERTS Scripting Langauge


Aitken, R.C.B. (1969). Measurement of feelings using visual analogue scales. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 62, 989-993.

Bond, A., and Lader, M. (1974). The use of analogue scales in rating subjective feelings. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1974, 47, 211-218.

Hasson, Dan, and Arnetz, B.B. (2005). Validation and Findings Comparing VAS vs. Likert Scales for Psychosocial Measurements. International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 2005; 8:178-192.

Johns, M. (2009). What is excessive daytime sleepiness? in Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Effects and Treatment. Editors; P. Fulke and S. Vaughan. Nova Science, New York, 2009, pp. 59-94

Norcross, J. C., Guadagnoli, E., & Prochaska, J. O. (1984). Factor structure of the profi le of mood states (POMS): two partial replications. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40 (5), 1270–1277.

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), 1063-1070.


Built-in Scales

Scale   Language
Bond & Lader : US | DE
Bowdle : US | DE
Fatigue : US