This scale is based on a paper by Kaufman and Jauk (2020).

Being selfish is generally considered bad. But some selfishness can be good as it ensures that you look after yourself. Ultimately, it is all about a balance. It would not be healthy if you would not look after your self, hence the term healthy selfishness.

Kaufman and Jauk (2020) write that the famous psychologist Maslow "noted that “healthy selfishness”— a healthy respect for one’s own health, growth, happiness, joy, and freedom— can have a positive impact both on the self and on others." Maslow (1943/1996).

The Healthy Selfishness scale was developed by Kaufman and Jauk (2020) to measure healthy selfishness.

Scores and interpretation

There are 10 items which are averaged into one score. A higher score means more healthy selfishness.

The scores can range between 1 and 5.

The authors tested a diverse sample (mean age 37.67 years old) with 370 participants of whom 76% reported to live in the US. They had a score of 3.69.

Higher scores were "related to higher levels of psychological well-being and adaptive psychological functioning as well as a genuine prosocial orientation" (cited from Kaufman and Jauk (2020)).

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It seems that the HS can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (References).


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: hsagree
- Disagree strongly
- Disagree
- Neither agree nor disagree
- Agree
- Agree strongly

l: hs
t: scale hsagree
o: buildup
q: How much do you agree with each of the following?
- I have healthy boundaries.
- I have a lot of self-care.
- I have a healthy dose of self-respect, and don’t let people take advantage of me.
- I balance my own needs with the needs of others.
- I advocate for my own needs.
- I have a healthy form of selfishness (e.g., meditation, eating healthy, exercising, etc.) that doesn’t hurt others, but brings me greater appiness.
- Even though I give a lot to others, I know when to recharge.
- I give myself permission to enjoy myself, even if it doesn’t necessarily help others.
- I take good care of myself.
- I prioritize my own personal projects over the demands of others.

l: hsscore
t: set
- mean $hs

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Healthy Selfishness scale is {$hsscore}


  • Kaufman, S.B. & Jauk, E. (2020). Healthy Selfishness and Pathological Altruism: Measuring Two Paradoxical Forms of Selfishness. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. Open Access

  • Maslow, A. H. (1943/1996). “Is human nature basically selfish?” in Future Visions: The Unpublished Papers of Abraham Maslow, E. Hoffman (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications), 107–114.