This 54-question self-test measures people’s tendency to notice and report a broad array of physical symptoms and sensations. Those with high symptom reports tend to be more nervous, distressed, and unhappy.
Completing this Psychological Screening Test
The questionnaire includes a list of 54 common physical symptoms and sensations. Please select from the menu of buttons after each, how frequently you have experienced that symptom or sensation.
Take the Quiz
Please note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each one of the questions. Please also check our disclaimer on psychological testing and our psychological testing privacy guarantee.
About Scoring this Psychological Questionnaire
- 0 points Have never or almost never experienced
- 1 point Less than 3 or 4 times per year
- 2 points Every month or so
- 3 points Every week or so
- 4 points More than once every week
Scores on the PILL can range from 0 to 216, although most people generally score between about 34 to 84 (the mean is 59 with a standard deviation of 25).
When your quiz is scored, one of 4 different information pages will appear to describe the results for scores in your range.
Screening test scoring ranges:
- 0 to 21, Below Normal Range
- 22 to 66, Well Within Normal Range
- 67 to 84, Slightly Above Average, Within Normal Range
- 85 or Above, Top 25 Percent
The PILL has been used in a large number of medical and psychological studies to understand the nature of symptom reporting. People who report a large number of physical symptoms tend to go to physicians at higher rates, suggesting that their health is worse. Many high symptom reporters, however, are objectively as healthy as low symptom reporters. Interestingly, high symptom reports tend to be more nervous, distressed, and unhappy. They are more likely to have had major upheavals in their childhoods and tend to keep these upheavals secret. Several studies have found that people who are asked to write about emotional upheavals in their lives tend to show drops in symptom reports in the weeks and months afterwards. Physical symptoms, then, reflect people’s psychological states almost as much as they say something about their biological condition.
If you would like to learn more about questionnaires such as the PILL, check out some of the following links:
- Pennebaker’s (1982) book, The Psychology of Physical Symptoms, NY: Springer-Verlag
- Watson & Pennebaker (1989) article on Negative Affectivity in the journal Psychological Review
- Pennebaker (1999) book chapter, on the psychological factors linked to symptoms.
- Issues dealing with writing about emotional upheavals: www.psy.utexas.edu/Pennebaker
In This Section
- Psychological Self-Tests and Quizzes
- Adult ADHD Screening Tests
- Alcohol and Drug Use Tests
- Bipolar and Mania Tests
- Depression Tests
- Disclaimer: Limitations of Psychological Self-Tests
- Miscellaneous Psychological Tests
- Psychological Self-Tests and Your Privacy
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by