Assessing and understanding hospitality: The Brief Hospitality Scale


  • Robert Biswas-Diener Noba
  • Kostadin Kushlev Georgetown University
  • Rong Su University of Iowa
  • Fallon Goodman George Mason University
  • Todd Kashdan George Mason University
  • Ed Diener University of Virginia, University of Utah and the Gallup Organization



hospitality, positive psychology, wellbeing, flrouishing, personality


Although hospitality is a valued social and cultural phenomenon, it has been largely overlooked in the psychology research literature. Our studies are designed to advance the understanding of hospitality by creating a brief measure of it that can be used across cultures. In Study 1, we employed a large sample of Americans to create and begin validation of a measure of hospitality: the Brief Hospitality Scale, or BHS. In all nations and both studies, the scale had a single strong factor and high internal consistency. In Study 2, we administered the measure to respondents from 11 nations and found that people in some countries (e.g.,Iran) are significantly more hospitable than people in others (e.g.,Singapore). The strongest personality correlates of hospitality were those associated with social characteristics such as extraversion, agreeableness, and feelings of group belonging. The very strongest association with hospitality was the ability to see the perspective of others. Thus, hospitality represents more than simple sociability, and seems to rest on feelings of togetherness with others, concern for their wellbeing, and positive feelings toward them. We found in both studies that hospitality is associated with higher levels of wellbeing, for example, optimism, psychosocial flourishing, and positive affect.


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