A hierarchy of happiness? Mokken scaling analysis of the Oxford Happiness Inventory

Mary E. Stewart, Roger Watson, Andrea Irene Clark, Klaus P. Ebmeier, Ian J. Deary

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    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The items of the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI), a self-report assessment of happiness, are subjected to an analysis for hierarchy among its items. By using Mokken scaling analyses we can assess whether items can reliably be ordered between persons as severity indicators on a latent trait; in this case, a latent trait of Happiness. OHI item-level data from 1024 participants were entered into the Mokken Scaling Procedure (MSP) seeking reliable scales with H > 0.30. 12 OHI items formed a reliable and statistically significant hierarchy. However, the MSP values indicate a 'weak' scale. The 'most difficult' (happiest) item on the scale is 'feeling energetic' and the 'least difficult' (least happy) is 'I have fun'. Items in the scale are consistent with what is already known about both happiness and low mood. The reduction in the OHI's items from 29 to 12 in the Mokken scale may have utility making it more accessible to participants as well as identifying items with reliably different levels of 'difficulty'. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)845-848
    Number of pages4
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010


    • Happiness
    • Item response theory
    • Latent trait
    • Mokken scaling
    • Mood
    • Oxford Happiness Inventory


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