How can we measure the levels of Frustration?

How can we measure the levels of Frustration?

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Any technique or Matrix or Questionnaires, Qualitative or Quantitative Analysis

According to the Atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour (Mobbs, 2020), frustration is an emotion that can be visualised on the two dimensional grid as shown below.

The atlas paper describes a method for measuring emotions (and behaviours and personality traits) according to the orthogonal dimensions of affiliation and dominance. The neurobiological basis for the two dimensions are described in the paper as are the evolutionary associations with other vertebrates.

The atlas facilitates measuring such emotions using either a scalar or vector approach.

A scalar measure of frustration can be achieved by identifying proximate synonymic emotions, such as: aggravation, anger, annoyance, botheration, chagrin, derailment, discontentment, exasperation, impatience, and irritation. The proportion of these proximate synonyms that apply would be a scalar measure of frustration.

A vectored approach would be to draw a vector from the origin (or some other point) through the cell in which frustration is located (-1,1) and then extending to the extremity of the atlas. Many points on the vector would have a specific word descriptive of that point or segment along the vector. Fifteen related emotions are visualised to assist in the specification of the end point of the vector. (let me know if you would like others that better fit your need).


Mobbs, AED (2020) An atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour. PLOS ONE 15(1): e0227877.

Mobbs, AED (2020) An Atlas of Personality, Emotion and Behaviour. figshare. Collection.

Declared interest

I am the author of the atlas paper.

Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis

For a good many students of human behavior, the main reason why people become aggressive is that they have been frustrated. William McDougall, one of the first psychological theorists to be explicitly labeled a social psychologist, espoused this idea at the beginning of the 20th century. He maintained that an instinct to engage in combat is activated by any obstruction to the person’s smooth progress toward his or her goal. Sigmund Freud had a similar view in his early writings. Before he developed the notion of a death instinct, he proposed that aggression was the primordial reaction when the individual’s attempt to obtain pleasure or avoid pain was blocked. This general conception, widely known as the frustration-aggression hypothesis, was spelled out much more precisely in 1939 by John Dollard, Leonard Doob, Neal Miller, and several other psychologists, all at Yale University. This particular analysis will focus on highlighting many of the theoretical issues involved in determining the role of frustrations in the generation of violence.


In the present research, we developed and validated two questionnaires: The College Teachers’ Academic Frustration Tolerance (CTAFT) Questionnaire and the College Teachers’ Academic Performance (CTAP) Questionnaire. Both questionnaires were found to have good reliability and validity. Through confirmatory factor analysis, the CTAFT questionnaire was found to contain three dimensions: AF, PD, and AC. Absolute fit indices, incremental fit measurement, and parsimonious fit indices were all significant, with good model fit. There was a significant positive correlation between academic frustration tolerance and academic performance. In the structural equation model composed of PD and AC, academic frustration tolerance had significant predictive power with respect to academic performance.

Level 2: Judgements about feelings

Level 2 happiness is more thoughtful. If I asked you if you were happy with your life and you said that, on the whole, you were very happy, then you are working at level 2.

Level 2 is thus a subjective assessment and depends on how we make sense of our lives. It is also relative, as we often decide how happy we are by comparing ourselves with other people.

Level 2 emotions are more complex than level 1 and may include a balance of contentment, frustration, joy, curiosity and so on.

General conversations and greetings such as 'How are you?' work at this level. It is also the level that is particularly studied in psychology, which is helped by the ease of measuring subjective reports.

How can we measure the levels of Frustration? - Psychology

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman&rsquos personal education story may sound familiar to many families struggling against a system that doesn&rsquot tend to value qualities in students that make them different from a predetermined &ldquoaverage&rdquo learner. When he was young, Kaufman had central auditory processing disorder, which made it hard for him to process verbal information in real time. He was asked to repeat third grade because he was considered a &ldquoslow&rdquo learner. That started him down a path of special education classes until high school.

&ldquoI felt on the one hand that I was capable of more intellectual challenges,&rdquo Kaufman told an audience at the Creativity Forum hosted by the Bay Area Discovery Museum, &ldquobut on the other hand I thought, &lsquoWho am I to question authority?&rsquo &rdquo So he didn&rsquot, and since school wasn&rsquot challenging him, Kaufman spent a lot of time in his own internal world, daydreaming.

&ldquoIn the school system no one sees your inner stream of consciousness, your imagination. They only see how slow you are,&rdquo Kaufman said. That would have been true for Kaufman throughout school, except one perceptive teacher recognized his simmering frustration and was willing to look past his long history in special education classes. She gave him an untimed test, which ultimately showed he was likely capable of participating in general education classes.

&ldquoNo one had ever tried to break out of special ed before at my high school,&rdquo Kaufman said. Initially, school administrators clearly didn&rsquot think he could manage the speed of his new courses. Kaufman was allowed to try them on a provisional basis, which he said didn&rsquot inspire much confidence. But he was determined to prove them all wrong and was inspired by his new freedom. He wanted to experience everything school had to offer.

&ldquoI was curious for the first time in my life to see what I was capable of,&rdquo Kaufman said. In his first semester outside special education classes, Kaufman went from a C-average to almost all A's. &ldquoI do love learning in general and I&rsquom very curious. I was excited. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I felt like, wow, for the first time I&rsquom free.&rdquo

Even though Kaufman proved himself capable of excelling in general education high school classes, when he applied to Carnegie Mellon University -- writing that he wanted to study psychology so he could redefine intelligence -- he was rejected because his SAT scores were too low. The irony of that rejection doesn&rsquot escape Kaufman but he was undaunted, applying to the college&rsquos opera program instead because it didn&rsquot require SATs.* He got in and slowly started taking classes in psychology, eventually changing majors.

Kaufman is now a professor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the scientific director of its Imagination Institute. He got his master's from Cambridge and a doctorate from Yale, where he wrote his dissertation on a new theory of intelligence. Kaufman is clearly capable of deep scholarship when he&rsquos passionate about his work. But where would he be if that teacher hadn't recognized his frustration, or if he&rsquod accepted Carnegie Mellon&rsquos initial rejection?


Kaufman&rsquos own experience and deep curiosity have led him to question the entire premise of the education system, which is based on IQ as the single measure of intelligence and cognitive ability. Kaufman thinks the traditional IQ test does a good job of measuring general cognitive ability, but says it misses all the ways that ability interacts with engagement. An individual&rsquos goals within the learning classroom and excitement about a topic affect how he or she pursues learning, none of which is captured on IQ tests. Worse, those tests are often used to filter people in or out of special programs.

Rather than using this singular definition of intelligence, Kaufman&rsquos work focuses on identifying characteristics of highly creative people. The Imagination Institute funds projects in a variety of disciplines that examine the role of imagination in different domains. Together these researchers are working to define an &ldquoimagination quotient,&rdquo which takes into account all the ways imagination functions in people&rsquos work and maps what&rsquos going on in their brains.

Kaufman and others working in this area have slowly been mapping out what&rsquos called the default mode network, or what Kaufman likes to call the &ldquoimagination network.&rdquo This brain network is largely ignored by cognitive scientists because it is off when a person is being asked to focus externally. When executive functioning is required, the imagination network is largely quiet.

But this network is extremely important for internal reflection and the process of meaning-making. It is associated with daydreaming, retrieving deeply personal memories and moderating emotional space. &ldquoThe second you make a personal connection to anything, this network lights up,&rdquo Kaufman said. &ldquoWhen you do the reading comprehension section of the SAT, this network is completely silent,&rdquo he added.

Most of the time the brain toggles between the default mode network and the more outward-focused attention network. But neuroscientists like Rex Jung and colleagues are beginning to map out an understanding of creative cognition. They're finding that very creative people actually have stronger connections between the networks.

&ldquoPeople who scored really highly on our imaginative test show greater brain connectivity between these brain networks that are talked about a lot in the literature as being at odds,&rdquo Kaufman said. He believes this is because imaginative, creative people are good at disconnecting the attention network in order to enter a flow state when they generate ideas, but can then key back into executive functioning in order to focus, sort and make sense of that generative time.

&ldquoPeople who are really creative are really good activating and deactivating these neural networks,&rdquo Kaufman said. They also tend to be open to experiences and score highly on divergent thinking tests. Since both attention and imagination networks are located in the brain, Kaufman believes it is a misnomer to call the qualities arising from the default mode network "non-cognitive.&rdquo

&ldquoIt&rsquos so important that we appreciate all of the cognitive functions coming from the imaginative brain network,&rdquo he said.


Despite the primacy of the attention network and executive functioning in education, Kaufman says there are several ways parents and educators can nurture creativity in young people and in adults.

1. Kaufman recommends allowing more solitary reflective time in kids&rsquo schedules. Whether it&rsquos the constant demands on attention at school or in after-school activities, there often isn&rsquot enough time in a child&rsquos day when she can switch off the executive functioning network and tap into the imagination network.

&ldquoI think executive function and self-control alone are nothing,&rdquo Kaufman said. &ldquoIt&rsquos just duty. Executive function for what?&rdquo He believes educators need to do more to couple executive function with imagination so learning comes alive with personal meaning. Then when the teacher demands attention, it is worthwhile to the learner.

2. &ldquoWe support obsessive passion, but not harmonious passion,&rdquo Kaufman said. He defines harmonious passion as a core part of people's identity that makes them feel good about themselves. Harmonious passion is characterized by flexible engagement, where a child can abandon the pursuit if it isn&rsquot paying dividends. And the passion often reflects qualities a person likes about himself and is easily integrated with the rest of his identity.

This type of passion is correlated with physical health, psychological well-being, work stamina (less burnout), concentration, self-esteem and work satisfaction, among other things. Harmonious passion differs from obsessive passion or motivation because it is a core part of a person.

&ldquoWe need to be on the lookout for the twinkle in the eye and cultivate that harmonious passion,&rdquo Kaufman said.

3. Kaufman also says it&rsquos important to give young kids a diverse set of experiences in order to increase the chances of inspiration. &ldquoLots of things add meaning to our lives,&rdquo he said.

4. Lastly, Kaufman believes educators, parents, and policymakers need to reset their mindsets around student ability. &ldquoKids who think differently are not appreciated in our school system at all,&rdquo Kaufman said. &ldquoThere is so much we could build on with kids who think differently.&rdquo Rather than trying to shoehorn every child into one mold, Kaufman hopes educators from the top of the system down to individual classrooms will someday value the individual qualities that make each child uniquely gifted.

&ldquoThe goal is to really stimulate this field,&rdquo Kaufman said. &ldquoIt&rsquos been dominated by the same tests for 50 years. It&rsquos time to look at things like inspiration and daydreaming or musical skills. We can be more imaginative in how we measure imagination.&rdquo

Some have wondered if it&rsquos even worth measuring imagination, but Kaufman believes that measurement is important so researchers can see how changing behavior affects creative achievement. But he hopes the measurements are never used as another sorting mechanism.

&ldquoThe key here is to assume there are a key set of skills that can be developed in everyone,&rdquo he said.

Methods of measuring fow

Several researchers have developed methods of measuring flow. Examples include interviews and surveys and the experience sampling method [2]. The experience sampling method requires participants to answer a questionnaire at several times during an activity. Doing so, however, interrupts focus and therefore also flow. More recently, several approaches were developed to measure experience, a factor related to flow [3].

This approach follows the building block of measuring whether skills and challenges are in balance, and is therefore more measurable.

While conducting a study on TeamUp, an offline virtual game in which four participants cooperate on separate laptops to complete various puzzles, speech and video was recorded to analyze emotions. When analyzing speech, we found that individuals achieving the best time at completing the puzzles were also least aroused by TeamUp (p: 0,422, s<0,001).

We also found that valence decreased as participants achieved lower times at completing the puzzles (p: 0,294, s: 0,017). When analyzing facial expressions, we found that mainly happiness and valence decreased as the challenges progressed (s<001).

The arousal findings in vocal analysis contradict initial hypothesis in [1] which states that arousal is only achieved at high skill and high challenge provided and [2], which states that flow is more likely achieved at high skill levels. These results can indicate either that the multiplayer nature of this game has an effect on arousal, or that high arousal is also reached at flow in a low skill level.

Valence and happiness findings confirm hypothesis by [1], indicating that happiness is not achieved when in flow, but is subsequently caused by flow. Subsequently, correlations between vocal temper and game time were expected, to indicate that participants achieving higher game times would become more frustrated. This could indicate that participants did not achieve frustration (mean: 29,55/100, SD: 5,25), or that vocal analysis is not a valid instrument in measuring flow.

Above findings are inductive and experimental. Although a lot of research exists on flow, few approaches exist in computerized measurement of flow. More research towards this subject is the first step in constructing systems which are able to adapt content to skill level.

Systems like these can be used to make more immersive games, provide more engaging education and increase employee productivity in a digital environment. Real time measurement techniques like FaceReader (video) and Beyond Verbal (speech) might be the key be able to measure flow real-time.

Measuring the Well-Being of Nations

This page has information on initiatives, reports, and articles on measuring the well-being of nations. Why measure the well-being of nations?

Countries have relied largely on economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of national progress. There is growing awareness, however, that economic measures alone do not fully reflect a nation’s progress and well-being. Multi-dimensional measures of well-being can supplement economic indicators to more accurately represent how a nation is doing and to better inform public policy.

Public policy follows from what we measure. If a society focuses largely on measuring economic output, people are likely to focus more attention and energy on economic output, sometimes to the detriment of other values. If a society measures well-being, people will focus more of their attention on well-being. We measure what we value, and we value what we measure. Click here to learn more on this perspective.

Criticism and modifications

The frustration-aggression hypothesis exerted a very strong influence on decades of research. Nevertheless, the hypothesis was severely criticized on the grounds of theoretical rigidity and overgeneralization clearly, it was necessary to limit the scope of the hypothesis to establish its validity. For instance, the initial hypothesis failed to distinguish hostile forms of aggression, in which the actor’s goal is to inflict harm, and instrumental forms of aggression, in which aggression is simply a means to attain other goals (such as control or domination). This criticism can be dealt with rather easily by confining the frustration-aggression hypothesis to cases of hostile aggression alone.

Critics also challenged the premise that any interference with ongoing goal-directed behaviour would evoke frustration. According to the American psychologist Abraham Maslow and others, legitimate (or justified) interferences do not necessarily produce frustration. Only forms of interference that seem illegitimate (or arbitrary or otherwise unjustified), they argued, should lead to frustration. Research indicated that aggressive behaviour is indeed a prevalent response to what are viewed as deliberate and unfair efforts to interfere with an individual’s goal-attainment opportunities.

Finally, the nature of the connection between perceived frustration and the display of violence also turned out to be more complicated than Dollard and his collaborators realized. In the most empirically successful modification of the original frustration-aggression hypothesis, the American social psychologist Leonard Berkowitz suggested that frustration is a psychologically aversive state that can create a predisposition to behave aggressively. According to Berkowitz, frustration will lead to aggression to the extent that it elicits negative emotions. Moreover, frustration is only one form of unpleasant negative affect that can provoke violent responses.

The general idea was that aversive experiences produce negative emotions and feelings, as well as related thoughts and memories of past reactions to negative events. Berkowitz noted that such negative emotions and thoughts lead automatically to the fight-or-flight response. The choice between “fight” and “flight” was thought to depend on the intensity of the negative emotion as well as on the subjective appraisal and interpretation of the situation.

Do IAT scores relate to real-world behavior?

Another central question about implicit bias and the IAT is how it relates to discriminatory behavior. Arguably, what people actually do is most important, particularly when trying to understand how individual biases might lead to societal disparities.

And, in fact, researchers have demonstrated that people’s scores on the IAT predict how they behave. For example, one study showed that physicians with higher levels of implicit race bias were less likely to recommend appropriate treatment for a black patient than a white patient with coronary artery disease. A meta-analysis of more than 150 studies also supports the idea that there is a reliable relationship between implicit bias, measured by the IAT, and real-world behavior.

This is not to say, however, that there’s a one-to-one correspondence between implicit bias and behavior someone with strong pro-white implicit bias might sometimes hire a black employee, and someone with little or no implicit pro-white bias might sometimes discriminate against a black person in favor of a less qualified white person.

While the link between race bias and behavior is robust, it is also fairly small. But small does not mean unimportant. Small effects can have cumulative consequences at both the societal level (across lots of different people making decisions) and at the individual level (across lots of different decisions that one person makes). And some implicit biases are more related to behavior than others for example, implicit political preferences have a very strong relationship with voting behavior.

Certainly more work is needed to understand the precise conditions under which the IAT will predict behavior, and how strongly, and for what attitudes. But in the aggregate, across people and settings, there is a substantial body of evidence indicating that the IAT is related to behavior.

Job applicants at a career fair might be up against the implicit biases of the hirer. BYU–Hawaii, CC BY-NC-ND

The Two Ways to Stop Feeling Frustrated

When it comes to stopping your frustration, there are only two ways that it can be done.

1) Find a Satisfying Response

You can end frustration by doing something to satisfy the unfulfilled need that was causing you to feel frustrated in the first place.

The first, and also most desirable way, is to find a satisfying response to the pain caused by your feelings. This would involve taking some course of action which is effective in fulfilling your currently unfilled need.

For example, if you are lonely, and as a result of your actions you find a good friend or companion, then your feelings of loneliness will quickly fade away. Since you have now successfully satisfied your need for a relationship, your feelings of frustration from trying to find a partner will also disappear.

This is the ideal approach, and what we should all aim for, as it’s the only true way to feel satisfaction and fulfilment in your life.

2) Stop Trying to Fulfill Your Needs

Not going after the thing you keep failing at can end your frustration, but it won’t necessarily make you feel any better in the long run.

The second approach to ending your frustration is to stop trying to fulfil your needs altogether. This will result in a reduced level of frustration, but because you are no longer taking any action, your needs remain unfulfilled and so you will continue to experience the pain that comes from its associated feeling.

So using the previous example, if you are lonely then you could stop looking for people to form a relationship with. This will end the frustration that comes from being unable to find a friend or companion, but will still leave you feeling lonely.

Watch the video: Τριχόπτωση λόγω άγχους: Με αυτούς τους τρόπους θα την αντιμετωπίσετε (June 2022).


  1. Macalpine

    I congratulate, the bright idea and timely

  2. Fenuku

    And really creative ... super!

  3. Frayne

    Your phrase is just great

  4. Upwode

    Sorry for my interfering ... I understand that question. I invite to the discussion.

  5. Corybantes

    I agree, this is a great answer.

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