A part of subjective well-being and happyness is how satisfied people are with their life. The Satisfaction with life scale (SWLS) measures this. It is a short 5-item scale.

Why moving to sunny California won’t make you happy, according to world-famous psychologist Daniel Kahneman speaking about life satisfaction.

On the SWLS website, the scale is defined as follows: "The SWLS is a short 5-item instrument designed to measure global cognitive judgments of satisfaction with one’s life. The scale usually requires only about one minute of a respondent’s time."

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On the SWLS website it says: "The scale is copyrighted but you are free to use it without permission or charge by all professionals (researchers and practitioners) as long as you give credit to the authors of the scale: Ed Diener, Robert A. Emmons, Randy J. Larsen and Sharon Griffin as noted in the 1985 article in the Journal of Personality Assessment."


This is a straightforward question with scale items. No reverse scoring. Note that the scale "agree" has its custom scoring, starting with 7. Custom scoring is set in the curly brackets, like {score=7}.

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: agree
- {score=7} Strongly agree
- {score=6} Agree
- {score=5} Slightly agree
- {score=4} Neither agree nor disagree
- {score=3} Slightly disagree
- {score=2} Disagree
- {score=1} Strongly disagree

l: swls
t: scale agree
q: Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree<br>
with. Using the scale below, indicate your agreement with each<br>
item by clicking the appropriate selection.<br>
Please be open and honest in your responding.<br>
- In most ways my life is close to my ideal.
- The conditions of my life are excellent.
- I am satisfied with my life.
- So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
- If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

l: swlsscore
t: set
- sum $swls

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your satisfaction with life score is {$swlsscore}.<br>
The score ranges from 5 to 35<br>
<li>31-35 Extremely satisfied
<li>26-30 Satisfied
<li>21-25 Slightly satisfied
<li>20 Neutral
<li>15-19 Slightly dissatisfied
<li>10-14 Dissatisfied
<li>5-9 Extremely dissatisfied


  • Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

  • Pavot, W. G., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57, 149-161.

  • Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164-172.

  • Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The Satisfaction With Life Scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 137–152