Moodscope's blog



Remind me: What are the 20 Moodscope cards. Friday October 20, 2017

In a recent Moodscope Blog comment I mentioned that a relatively new – but now very close – friend was incredulous that my Moodscope score was only 28% that day. In fact he found it a bit strange that I needed to use Moodscope at all. Of course we all know that there are many things about us that even close friends don't know: feelings that we mostly keep hidden, even feelings that we sometimes try to keep hidden from ourselves! He still doesn't know, and I won't tell him, that my scores have been much lower in the past and that my failed suicide attempt left me disappointed at the time.

Well... that discussion with my new friend got me thinking, got me into a philosophical frame of mind. I decided to look a little more deeply into the Moodscope Test answers I was giving. I guess I thought I ought to check the "calibration" of my current scores.

First I needed to remind myself what all the Moodscope cards are – personally I rattle through the test, taking each card as it gets dealt to me and have long ago lost that birds-eye view of the whole experience.

If you too have lost that overview then here are the Moodscope cards, each with the Moodscope definition of what they mean:

Active: Feeling full of energy
Afraid: Feeling frightened about something
Alert: Being quick to notice and react
Ashamed: Feeling shame for doing something wrong or foolish
Attentive: Paying close attention
Determined: Being resolute, showing determination
Enthusiastic: Showing eagerness
Excited: Looking forward to things
Guilty: Feeling regret for doing something wrong
Hostile: Feeling unfriendly towards others
Inspired: Feeling the desire to do something
Interested: Wanting to be involved in something
Irritable: Feeling easily annoyed.
Jittery: Feeling agitated and edgy
Nervous: Feeling nervous that something unpleasant will happen
Proud: Feeling a sense of achievement
Scared: Feeling alarmed about something
Strong: Feeling able to cope with difficulties
Upset: Feeling sad and troubled about things.

There are a series of fantastic Moodscope Blogs by Lex that go through each of the cards in much more detail from his personal perspective. If you search the archives (September to November 2013) then Lex's wonderful blogs are there for you to read.

I've re-read all of Lex's blogs, done some other research and now I've finished recalibrating my Moodscope score. My score has gone up, not dramatically but it has gone up. Maybe that's because I understand the questions better now or perhaps it's because doing the research has given me focus and improved my mood! (See INSPIRED and PROUD above).

In other blogs I will giving my personal interpretation of Lex's original posts and some intriguing aspects of my recent research.

Be yourself – rate yourself in your own terms: for me at least it's the trends that matter most.

Have a great day!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Orangeblossom Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 6:48am

Hi David thanks for the clear definition of the significance of the cards on Moodscope. Personally I enjoy the blogs which I find helpful & thought-provoking. It makes up my daily routine of things to read at the start of each day.

Molly Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 12:09am

I'm the same Orangeblossom.

Oli Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 8:24am

A little while back there was a "How many men are on Moodscope?" blog where some people were saying they didn't score themselves that often but mainly read the blogs. Well, since then I've read a few more blogs but I still score myself every day. I score myself every day because psychologists have shown that you can't trust your own opinion about how or why you do things - no matter what it *feels* like. It's a quirk of being human that we get it so wrong, so often.

I didn't look at my daily score results for a few years. And I didn't do any heavy analysis, (the cards are a modified PANAS-X test), just looking at the patterns and the brief comments I've made. I'm with David: it's the trends. What I discovered that surprised me:

1) Around the month of February I was scoring about 7% lower. I now take a break around then.
2) That incredible woman I still hold a torch for... the on/off relationship. I still love her but she's bad news: scores that look like the Himalayas... underwater.
3) The gf I didn't feel that attached to: I was probably daft to let her go -- a beautiful high plateau.
4) Alcohol -- well, the only surprise was the extent to which it wasn't helpful for me. I try and keep it out of my life now. It gives a curve of scores just like the gf in (2) -- (and I wasn't drinking in that relationship).

Thank you David for the blog.

The Gardener Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 12:23pm

Oli, I do the score most days - very unreliable - used to do it same time, as I did my diary - but one thing can throw me in the present emotionally charged atmosphere. A much looked to visit of a son (comes out twice a year) has thrown me, because he can only 'afford' me one night. Absolutely down, was I a bad mother? Am I boring? A nag? Or just modern generation? My mother had nothing good to say about my generation, am I going the same way? Scary. Thanks David for such clarification

Molly Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 1:20am

Dear Gardener, I believe it is the modern generation. I have a young brother, who visits at christmas and one other time in the year (if lucky). He rarely stays more than one night. He has his own life now that he wants to get back to. Other more younger members of my family are not interested in anything but their phones. Your son is making the effort to visit but only for one night. I feel your frustration and disappointment. Call it selfish on their part, but don't blame yourself. It does make me smile when you talk about generations and whether you are going the same way. I'm much younger than you but 'kids of today' I think it must happen to us all, as everything is changing at such a rapid pace. Enjoy his company, even for the short time, treasure every moment xx

LP Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 9:30am

Hi David,
I started to feel like I knew roughly what my scores would be on any given day, but haven't looked back at trends, maybe because I haven't stuck to scoring consistently. Mainly because I go onto Moodscope in the mornings and don't have the amount of time I'd like to read and comment on blogs and do scores.
I completely get the value of doing the scores and believe that the process will improve my trends, a bit like what your reasearch had done for you. Thanks for sharing it and I look forward to your ones to follow. Thanks and you have a great day too! :) Sending good wishes to All. LP :)

Wyvern Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 10:08am

Oh! What a useful blog, thanks so much, David. I had no idea that there was this series of blogs about the cards. I'll definitely look them up.

I have all my scores and comments from about 3 years ago onwards on a spreadsheet which I fill in alongside the Moodscope cards choosing.
The total scores are also on one big graph which I have laid out differently from the graph on the web site. This lets me see trends over the whole time and separate out 'blips' that buck the trend (usually one-off events that I've really enjoyed), such as last April time when we were having to find a care home for our mother, but in the midst of it I got a puppy, and went on a trip to the Harry Potter studios.
I can also see which individual cards are my nemesis and which ones I've got 'sorted'.

The Gardener Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 12:28pm

Wyvern, my 'highs' are caused by people staying - not that I cannot make my own entertainment but that any visitors spread the load of the awful, and inevitable boredom, of living with Alzheimers. A long period of lows is not depression, but that my actual situation puts a complete blanket over my personality - no good continuing with dreams and plans, no time, no money with a monster of a house (a beautiful house) staring me in the face, unsold.

waterfall Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 10:36am

Very interesting blog, when I have more time I'll read Lex from 2013. Some of the scores I've not understood fully, for instance I always give Proud a high score, because I treat it as being proud of my children?? wrong.
I always wished there was a card for feeling physically ill (that day) the scores can be totally different, it affects my mental state no end.
Thank you David.

David Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 1:12pm

You're more than welcome - it helped me to write it (does that sound very selfish?). I'm part way through a new seies of blogs doing a bit more in-depth review of the card meanings. As for that "proud" card you score yourself high, The Gardener gives a score that is not quite "fully" ... the most I ever seem to get to is "a little". I'm always hard on myself!

The Gardener Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 12:31pm

Waterfall, I agree that mental or physical state will 'warp' the scores - hence the need to write realistically what happened. I never score fully on 'proud' - I'm British, and one does not 'show off'. If I looked objectively at my achievements, to be seen in my shop, 60 years of photo albums, and scrap books of all my writings, I do not know why I can't jump that hurdle and say 'extremely' proud.

The Gardener Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 1:28pm

Down and out, and 'using and abusing' Moodscope as the only escape mechanism. I am looking at the 'hostile' card with a view to tomorrow's activities. This might interest anyone (I suspect many) who doggedly continues to give their time to voluntary organisations. It is the annual Parish 'State of the Union' type of thing. We've had our questionnaires, which have been processed and will be reported upon. We will divide into groups in our parishes (there are 16 in the Canton, probably no representatives for some). There is unlikely to be anybody under 50, few under 60. Our groups will report back as to what we see important to address in the coming year. Nothing will happen - then we will go to Mass. We, although anglicans in a Catholique country, have worked prodigiously and willingly in many ways for this parish. We live next to the church, I tend the vicarage garden. During the last two years the two priests have watched me cope with Mr G and the horrors of his going downhill. Neither of those priests has poked his nose in my kitchen door in that time - even for 10 minutes with Mr G to show he is not forgotten. I WILL be positive tomorrow, and not let my real feelings show - as an Anglican, of course, I can have no say in anything of a determinate nature. But I think 'Cynicism' could be added to the cards. Wyvern suggests a card for being physically ill that day - but I note in the description box happenings, like today, which will skew my score. Sorry about another lecture. Thanks David

Sandra Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 1:58pm

Your blog is really interesting David. I think it's important to take your time to calibrate each card but sometimes we don't take it. Maybe because our mind is in a negative place that day or simply because we don't have that time and I think this small detail may also affect our score.

Matthew Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 2:52pm

I struggle when scoring the cards with whether I am being honest with myself or being hard on myself. It's so much easier for me to give a negative 3 than a positive 3 (which almost never happens). No temporary mania for me with sometime peaks, just lots of valleys. On a good day I am in the flow and not taking time to record my score, but as those are few I regularly record my low scores daily. This pulls my average down I think. After over five years tracking scores, I think it is worthwhile to give yourself a break and go back to the good day you didn't score and put in a reconstructed score as best you can.

Cogitator Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 5:31pm

Wow, I have thought the same thing! I am only attracted to Moodscope when depressed. All my down episodes are neatly recorded with comments over the last five years. But none of the up or normal times. There is no need to Moodscope because I dont need the online support and I am not hyper sensitive to my mood. I was also thinking of going back to balance out my overall average. Dont think this will feel right.

Ach UK Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 6:02pm

Thank you David for putting the moodscope definitions of the cards out. And pointing me towards Lex's earlier blogs.
I find that I score fairly low and this I think reflects (like The Gardener) my early learning from home and schools that taught me not to boast and to under play my achievements. No one likes a smartass, top of a class, or a teacher's pet and then as one grew older one had to be 'modest' and underplay one's achievements.
Add to this, coming out of a really nasty high/low mood episode, I am very scared of tipping up into high again and so wary of anything in the way of feelings that might appear to be excessive. Result all my positive scores tend to be 0 to 1 and anything in the way of negative type cards also appear to be 0 to 1.
Mind you even within that I can get a very nice minor Himalayas on my graph :))

Ach UK Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 6:02pm

Thank you David for putting the moodscope definitions of the cards out. And pointing me towards Lex's earlier blogs.
I find that I score fairly low and this I think reflects (like The Gardener) my early learning from home and schools that taught me not to boast and to under play my achievements. No one likes a smartass, top of a class, or a teacher's pet and then as one grew older one had to be 'modest' and underplay one's achievements.
Add to this, coming out of a really nasty high/low mood episode, I am very scared of tipping up into high again and so wary of anything in the way of feelings that might appear to be excessive. Result all my positive scores tend to be 0 to 1 and anything in the way of negative type cards also appear to be 0 to 1.
Mind you even within that I can get a very nice minor Himalayas on my graph :))

Ach UK Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 6:07pm

Sorry David to peck, but I only count 19 cards ? Does anyone see which got left off please? And thank you again for setting them all out so clearly.

Oli Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 7:37pm

@Ach UK -- "Distressed" is missing. That's the one I simply think of as "Stressed".

Ach UK Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 9:42pm

Thank you Oli.

Cogitator Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 5:28pm

@Arch UK. Exactly it... I can fudge my own scores and have a tendency to bias, depending on whether I am going up or down.

Sal Fri, Oct 20th 2017 @ 11:10pm

Thank you David, you've inspired me to get on and do my test even though it's getting late in the evening. I hope you had a great day, and likewise tomorrow.

Molly Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 12:55am

Hi David. I used to do the test every day when I was working, over two years ago now. It was kind of on my 'to do' list for a bit of light relief and I felt it helped me to determine how my day would turn out and maybe what to avoid! My score fluctuated quite a bit.

I would always read the blog sent via email, (they were amongst all the other emails I had to deal with! ie light relief) then do my score, but I never commented until a few months ago, having more time on my hands.

Maybe it is a time issue, or a state of mind issue, but I am no longer interested in the test (regardless, my scores would be predicatably low these days) so now I read the blog (usually before the email version comes through - that's insomnia for you) and take part in the comments instead.

I am now wondering why the test was more interesting and beneficial to me when I was busy and living more of a life, I either got bored with it, or I got bored with myself!

LP Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 8:11am

I often feel tense, noticing clenched jaws so I consistently score it as jittery. I guess that it's physical rather than a mood though.

Cogitator Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 5:26pm

Hi David, this is great, thanks. And what I have been thinking about lately. And how scientific is the test? I have been on Moodscope for over 5 years (I am bipolar), and only drawn to it when I am depressed. Because when I am depressed I am navel gazing, aware of every minute of pain, and need the daily blogs too. When I am busy, engaged and flying, I dont even think about my mood or Moodscope. And I dont think that recording my mood when I am well is helpful - it just encourages more over-sensitivity to myself. I havnt read the 2013 blogs, but would prefer to wait for your next summary!

Oli Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 5:55pm

@@Cogitator As far as I'm aware the cards are a modified PANAS-X test. This is a test of positive and negative affect. PANAS = Positive And Negative Affect Schedule. This is a variation of the original and iirc Jon Cousins, founder of Moodscope, contacted the test's creators who said it was okay to modify the 5 point scale to the 4 point scale of "the cards". Essentially you total the positives and the negatives and cross reference the result on a look-up table to produce the overall score.
The PANAS test is adequately robust. It's mainly been used for groups. And what's nice about the card version, especially in online format, is that it's very easy to complete.

Caroline Ashcroft Sat, Oct 21st 2017 @ 9:16pm

Hi Oli, you're absolutely right - very well explained, thank you! Caroline

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.