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Profile of Mood States (POMS)

POMS is a standard validated psychological test formulated by McNair et al. (1971)[1]. The questionnaire contains 65 words/statements that describe feelings people have. The test requires you to indicate for each word or statement how you have been feeling in the past week including today.

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • Questionnaire (see below)
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The assistant explains the test protocol to the athlete:
    • Read each word/statement below, decide how you have been feeling, in respect to the word/statement, in the past week and today, and select the appropriate statement "Not at All", "A Little", "Moderately", "Quite a Lot"or "Extremely"to indicate your feeling.
  • The athlete responds to the 65 words/statements on the questionnaire below - no time limit
  • The assistant determines and records the athlete’s mood state scores.

Questionnaire

Feeling How I have felt
Friendly
Tense
Angry
Worn Out
Unhappy
Clear Headed
Lively
Confused
Sorry for things done
Shaky
Listless
Peeved
Considerate
Sad
Active
On Edge
Grouchy
Blue
Energetic
Panicky
Hopeless
Relaxed
Unworthy
Spiteful
Sympathetic
Uneasy
Restless
Unable to Concentrate
Fatigued
Helpful
Annoyed
Discouraged
Resentful
Nervous
Lonely
Miserable
Muddled
Cheerful
Bitter
Exhausted
Anxious
Ready to Fight
Good Natured
Gloomy
Desperate
Sluggish
Rebellious
Helpless
Weary
Bewildered
Alert
Deceived
Furious
Efficient
Trusting
Full of Pep
Bad Tempered
Worthless
Forgetful
Carefree
Terrified
Guilty
Vigorous
Uncertain about things
Bushed

Assessment

Select the "Analyse" button to obtain a Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) score and an analysis of your tension, depression, anger, vigour, fatigue and confusion. Your TMD is calculated by adding your scores for Tension, Depression, Anger, Fatigue and Confusion and then subtracting your Vigour score.

The scores in brackets (x-y) in the table below indicate the possible score range with lower scores indicative of people with more stable mood profiles.

Select the "Analyse" button to obtain scores for each of the mood states and the total mood disturbance. The test can be repeated by selecting the "Reset" button.

Total Mood Disturbance (-32 to 200):
Mood Profile Score
Anger (0-48)
Confusion (0-28)
Depression (0-60)
Fatigue (0-28)
Tension (0-36)
Vigour (0-32)

Normative Data

Terry (n.d.)[3] provides POMS norms for an athletic sample (n=2086) grouped by level of competition (International standard athletes, club level athletes and recreational athletes).

Group Tension Depression Anger Vigour Fatigue Confusion
International 5.66 4.38 6.24 18.51 5.37 4.00
Club 9.62 8.67 9.91 15.64 8.16 7.38
Recreational 6.00 3.11 3.60 17.78 6.37 4.84

Analysis

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Morgan & Johnson (1978)[2] found that by plotting the mood state results of elite performers prior to competition exhibited the graph below. This graph, with a raised peak for Vigour, was termed the "Iceberg" profile.

Morgan Mood State Graph

Target Group

This test is suitable for anyone but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the mood state of an athlete.

Advantages

  • No equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere

Disadvantages

  • Assistant required to administer the test

Referenced Material

  1. McNAIR et al. (1971) Manual for the Profile of Mood States. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Service.
  2. MORGAN, W.P. and JOHNSON, R.W. (1978) Personality characteristics of successful and unsuccessful oarsmen. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 9, p. 119-133
  3. TERRY, P. (n.d.) Normative Values for the Profile of Mood States for Use with Athletic Samples, [WWW] Available from: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4385/2/Terry_Lane_JASS_v12n1_Author's_version.pdf [Accessed 30/06/2013]

Associated References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • LIN, S., HSIAO, Y. Y., & WANG, M. (2014) The Profile of Mood States 2nd Edition (POMS 2)

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2001) Profile of Mood States (POMS) [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/poms.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: