Irritability is state of mind in which people get more easily frustrated, annoyed, and angry than normally. Most people will have been irritable at some point in their life. Irritability is a side effect of many medical conditions. It also has been reported to occur following caffeine (the stimulant in coffee and tea) or nicotine (the stimulant in tabacco) withdrawal.

Read 7 tips on how to reduce irritability in this Psychology Today article.

Canadian researchers (Holtzman et al., 2015) have developed a 5-item questionnaire to measure irritability reliably. Each item is measured on a six point scale.

The Holtzman paper is a good paper to learn more about scale construction.

In the study, 887 students (around 20 years old) and 229 patients (around 57 years old) with chronic pain were studied. The average BITe score in the whole sample was 2.6 points. In the student sample it was lower (2.51 points) than in the patient group (2.92). For details of these numbers, see The page 111 of the paper.

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The BITe can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Holtzman et al., 2015).


This is a simple scale question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: howoften
- Never
- Rarely
- Sometimes
- Often
- Very often
- Always

l: bite
t: scale howoften
o: buildup
q: Please indicate how often you have felt or behaved in the following ways, <b>during the past two weeks, including today</b>.
- I have been grumpy
- I have been feeling like I might snap
- Other people have been getting on my nerves
- Things have been bothering me more than they normally do
- I have been feeling irritable

l: bite_score
t: set
- mean $bite

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your BITe score is {$bite_score} points (on a scale from 1 to 6).<br>
The student population average is around 2.5 points.