Psychometric tests

This scale was devised by Huw Williams and colleagues at the University of Exeter. On each scale respondents circle a single number to indicate their level of agreement with a particular statement.

  • In general, how has your mood been over the last few days?
         very negative   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    very positive
  • Do you ever feel low or depressed?
                  not at all   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    always
  • Do you feel hopeless about the future?
                  not at all   1    2    3    4    5    6    7   always
  • Do you have difficulty dealing with everyday problems?
                  not at all   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    very frequently
  • Are you self-confident?
                   not at all  1    2    3    4    5    6    7    always
  • Do you think that you are a worthwhile person?
                   not at all   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    always
  • Do you think about harming yourself?
                   not at all   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    very frequently

To calculate a mean depression score responses on the above 7 scales are summed, after first reverse scoring responses to the fifth and sixth items. This sum is then divided by 7.

The mean score of participants we selected for the BBC Prison Study was 2.03. The mean score of other applicants was 2.53. This difference was statistically significant, indicating that the participants we selected were healthier (less depressed) than others who applied to participate. The depression scores of Prisoners and Guards over the course of the study are presented in the resources section of this Website.

  • Note: If reflecting on the issue of depression has raised concerns about your own or others' welfare, we strongly advise you to seek professional help and support. This is available from a range of professional bodies. In the UK, this link to the Royal College of Psychiatrists provides further information about the nature of depression, and advice concerning paths to treatment and recovery.
In general, how has your mood been over the past few days??

In general, how has your mood been over the past few days??