Happiness and the term more commonly used in psychology, subjective wellbeing, are frequently studied in the field of psychology (including in positive psychology) and related applied areas, such as social care.

There are a number of measures of subjective well-being (see also the children’s happiness scale here in the survey library).

Which countries have the happiest people? Another interview with Ed Diener

In the above interview Ed Diener lists three kinds of happiness

  • Life Satisfaction (check on the PsyToolkit survey library)

  • Positive Feelings (enjoying life currently)

  • Negativity (depression, anger, etc)

The Subject Happiness Scale Lyumbomirsky & Lepper (1999) is a short questionnaire (4 7-item Likert questions). It is a highly cited measure. In 2015, it was cited nearly 500 times in other academic publications.

Run the demo

It seems that the SHS can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Lyumbomirsky & Lepper, 1999).


This is implemented with the range item (sliders)

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
l: shs
t: range
q: For each of the following statements and/or questions, please indicate the point on the scale that you feel is most appropriate in describing you
- {min=1,max=7,left=not a very happy person,right=a very happy person} In general, I consider myself:
- {min=1,max=7,left=less happy,right=more happy} Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself:
- {min=1,max=7,left=not at all,right=a great deal} Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you?
- {min=1,max=7,left=not at all,right=a great deal,reverse} Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extend does this characterization describe you?

l: score
t: set
- mean $shs

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your SHS score on a scale from 1 to 7 is {$score}.<br><br>
Check the PsyToolkit survey for a comparison to other people.<br>
Link back to the PsyToolkit survey follows next.


  • Lyubomirsky, S. & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happines: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social indicators research, 46, 137-155.