Emotional reactivity: Critical analysis and proposal of a new scale

Document Type

Journal Article


Scientific & Academic Publishing


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science/Psychopathology Research Group




This article was originally published as: Becerra, R., & Campitelli, G. (2013). Emotional reactivity: Critical analysis and proposal of a new scale. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 3(6), 161-168. Original article available here


The goal of this article is to provide a review of the literature on conceptual aspects and measurement of emotional reactivity, and to propose a new measurement of emotional reactivity that addresses the problems identified in the review. We discussed the Behavioral Inhibition/Behavioral Activation (BIS/BAS) scale, the Early Adolescence Temperament Questionnaire (EATQ), the Affect Intensity Measure (AIM), the Emotion Intensity Scale (EIS), and the Emotional Reactivity Scale (ERS). Our review concluded that most of the scales are either too broad (BIS/BAS, EATQ), or too narrow (EIS, AIM). Moreover, ERS, which does not suffer from this problem, does not include valence and it was mainly validated with adolescents. We therefore introduced a new scale–the Perth Emotional Reactivity Scale (PERS)–which overcomes the identified problems. PERS is guided by the tripartite model of emotional reactivity (activation, intensity and duration) and it also includes valence (positive and negative emotions). It contains 5 positive valence items and 5 negative valence items in each dimension. Thus, it contains 30 items. Moreover, PERS includes three non-scorable items to measure subjective report of physiological changes. We conclude that PERS might prove to be a useful tool to assess emotional reactivity more precisely.

Access Rights

Open Access