Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS)
Recommended frequency: Every 4 weeks
The Satisfaction With Life Scale (“SWLS”) is an instrument developed to measure an individual’s perceived satisfaction with life. The scale addresses life satisfaction generally and does not assess satisfaction with specific life domains, such as health or finances, but allows subjects to integrate and weigh these domains in whatever way they choose. This instrument is 5 questions long. Scores on the SWLS have been shown to correlate with measures of mental health, and be predictive of future behaviours such as suicide attempts.
The SWLS is a 7-point Likert style response scale. The possible range of scores is 5-35, with a score of 20 representing a neutral point on the scale. Scores between 5-9 indicate the respondent is extremely dissatisfied with life, whereas scores between 31-35 indicate the respondent is extremely satisfied. The coefficient alpha for the scale has ranged from .79 to .89, indicating that the scale has high internal consistency. The scale was also found to have good test-retest correlations (.84, .80 over a month interval).
For a detailed psychometric description of the SWLS see: Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The Satisfaction With Life Scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 137–152.
Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 1 – 7 scale below, indicate your agreement with each item by placing the appropriate number on the line preceding that item. Please be open and honest in your responding.
A total score is calculated by adding up the scores for each item. The possible range of scores is 5-35, with a score of 20 representing a neutral point on the scale. Scores between 5-9 indicate the respondent is extremely dissatisfied with life, whereas scores between 31-35 indicate the respondent is extremely satisfied. The following chart provides cutoff scores to be used as benchmarks.
Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.