The Daily Spiritual Experience Scale: Overview and Results
: The Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) is a 16-item self-report measure designed to assess ordinary experiences of connection with the transcendent in daily life. It includes constructs such as awe, gratitude, mercy, sense of connection with the transcendent and compassionate love. It also includes measures of awareness of discernment/inspiration and a sense of deep inner peace. Originally developed for use in health studies, it has been increasingly used more widely in the social sciences, for program evaluation, and for examining changes in spiritual experiences over time. Also it has been used in counseling, addiction treatment settings, and religious organizations. It has been included in longitudinal health studies and in the U.S. General Social Survey which established random-sample population norms. It has publications on its psychometric validity in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Mandarin Chinese. Translations have been made into twenty languages including Hindi, Hebrew and Arabic and the scale has been effectively used in a variety of cultures. The 16-item scale does not have a psychometrically representative shorter form although a 6-item adaptation has been used. The DSES was developed using extensive qualitative testing in a variety of groups, which has helped its capacity to be useful in a variety of settings. It was constructed to reflect an overlapping circle model of spirituality/religiousness and contains items that are more specifically theistic in nature, as well as items to tap the spiritual experience of those who are not comfortable with theistic language. The scale has been used in over 70 published studies. This paper will provide an overview of the scale itself, describe why it has proved useful, and discuss some studies using the scale. See http://www.dsescale.org/ for more information on the scale.