Instructions for Scoring the Job-related Affective Well-being Scale, JAWS

Paul E. Spector

Department of Psychology

University of South Florida

            The JAWS has items that reflect both negative and positive emotions. For the total scale, the negative emotion items must be reverse scored before summing with the oppositely worded items. For the subscales, no reversal is necessary.

            1. Responses to the items should be numbered from 1 representing least often to 5 representing most often experience of each emotion. This assumes that the scale has not be modified and original response choices are used.

            2. The negative emotions should be reversed only to compute the total score. Below are the reversals for the original item score in the left column and reversed item score in the right. The rightmost values should be substituted for the leftmost. This can also be accomplished by subtracting the original values for the internal items from 6.

            1 = 5

            2 = 4

            3 = 3

            4 = 2

            5 = 1

            3. Negative emotions are items 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26.

            4. The JAWS can be scored in three ways. a: For the total score, sum responses to all 30 items after the reversals from step 2. For the 20-item short version, sum the 20 items into the total score. b: The positive and negative items can each be summed to create positive emotion and negative emotion subscales. This can be done with the 30-item or 20-item versions. 3. The table below shows all the short version items which are used to create the four subscales, dividing both positive and negative emotions (high versus low pleasurable) into high and low arousal.

            5. If some items are missing you must make an adjustment otherwise the score will be too low. The best procedure is to compute the mean score per item for the individual, and substitute that mean for missing items. For example, if a person does not make a response to 1 item, take the total from step 4, divide by the number answered or 29, and substitute this number for the missing item by adding it to the total from step 4. An easier but less accurate procedure is to substitute a middle response for the missing items. Since the center of the scale is 3, that number could be used.

Subscale Scores

Only five items are used for each of the four subscales, and they are not reversed. The items for each subscale are shown in the table, and should be summed to compute each score.

JAWS Scale

Item numbers


High pleasurable-High arousal (HPHA)

14, 15, 16, 17, 25

energetic, excited, ecstatic, enthusiastic, inspired

High pleasurable-Low arousal (HPLA)

1, 7, 9, 29, 30

at-ease, calm, content, satisfied, relaxed

Low pleasurable-High arousal (LPHA)

2, 4, 11, 18, 20

angry, anxious, disgusted, frightened, furious

Low pleasurable-Low arousal (LPLA)

5, 10, 12, 21, 22

bored, depressed, discourraged, gloomy, fatigued


Copyright Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved. Last modified June 4, 2007.