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Table 1 Overview of the self-report measures included in the survey and hypotheses

From: How do you feel during the COVID-19 pandemic? A survey using psychological and linguistic self-report measures, and machine learning to investigate mental health, subjective experience, personality, and behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic among university students

Questionnaires and survey items Hypotheses
Mental Health  
Depression  
Questionnaire: PHQ-2 [38]  
Screening for depressive symptoms
Cut off score (> 3): risk of depression
Symptom assessment (last 2 weeks)
- Presence of depressive symptoms
- Prevalence of depressive symptoms in the present student sample probably higher than reported in surveys before the pandemic
Anxiety  
Questionnaire: STAI [37]  
STAI-State (how do you feel right now)
STAI-Trait (anxiety proneness, how do you feel in general)
Cut off scores: (> 40/44) high versus low state anxiety, high versus low trait anxiety
- High prevalence of state anxiety and trait anxiety, probably higher than reported in surveys before the pandemic
Threat perception  
Survey Items: How does the current pandemic situation make you feel?  
• Answers on 9-point SAM scales [41] (valence, arousal, dominance)  
(a) valence (negative/unpleasant-positive/pleasant, 1–9)
(b) arousal (low/calm-high/aroused; 1–9)
(c) dominance (low/no control–high/in control; 1–9)
- Higher negativity/unpleasantness than positivity/pleasantness
- High arousal ratings
- Lack of dominance (not in control of the situation)
• Answers: discrete emotions:  
- happy, neutral, surprise, disgust, anger, fear, or sadness
  Scales: “yes”, “no” (“no” indicates no change)
- Feeling more often afraid, angry, sad than happy or surprised or neutral
Feelings during the pandemic  
Survey Item: Describe your feelings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by completing the prompt “I feel ….”
Answer: free text, five words
High number of negative words expressing negative feelings than positive words expressing positive feelings
Difficulties in emotion perception
(relative to before the pandemic)
 
Questionnaire: TAS-20 [42]  
Cut off score > 60  
3 subscales:
- difficulties on describing feelings
- difficulties in identifying feelings
- externally oriented thinking
- Difficulties describing and identify feelings and externally oriented thinking style
Worries about health and perceived changes in health behaviour during the pandemic  
Single survey items
(created for this survey)
 
- worries about mental health
- worries about physical health
- perceived changes in physical activity
exercise less (one item)
exercise more (one item)
- Worries in mental and physical health expected
- Perceived changes expected in all health domains (less physical activity, more eating, weight gain, and change in sleeping)
- perceived changes in eating behaviour
eat more (one item)
eat less (one item)
- perceived changes in sleeping behaviour
sleep more (one item)
sleep less (one item)
 
- perceived changes in weight
weight gain (one item)
weight loss (one item)
- Increase expected in all bodily domains
Answers: now during the pandemic relative to before the pandemic
Scales: Scales: “yes”, “no” (“no” indicates no change)
- perceived changes in paying attention to bodily sensations and symptoms
taste
smell
cardiovascular
breathing/respiration
appetite/eating/drinking
Answers: now during the pandemic relative to before the pandemic
Scales: Likert type (1 = not at all/decreased, 10 = increased/very much)
 
Social behaviour  
Single survey items
(created for this survey)
 
 Following pandemic rules (social distancing)
  Difficulties in not going out
Answers: now during the pandemic relative to before the pandemic
Scales: Scales: “yes”, “no” (“no” indicates no change)
- Difficulties in social distancing
Teaching and Learning behaviour  
Single survey items
(created for this survey)
Difficulties in self-regulated learning
- Attention and effort:
unable to concentrate and focus
preoccupation with the current situation, lost in content
Answers: now during the pandemic relative to before the pandemic
Scales: Scales: “yes”, “no” (“no” indicates no change)
- Difficulties expected in self-regulatory capacities
Personality and Self-Concept
BIG Five
Questionnaire: BFI-40 [43]
 
Subscales
 - neuroticism
 - extraversion
 - openness
 - conscientiousness
 - agreeableness
Self-Concept
Linguistic task modified according to TST [45]
- Personality traits are expected to be correlated with self-reported changes in anxiety, depression and emotion perception
Describe your personality “I am …”
Answer: free text, five words
- Positive versus negative self-concept should be associated with positive or negative word use, respectively
  1. For detailed description, please also see sections “Methods”, and “Measures” and “Hypotheses