An evaluation of subjective well-being measures


Larsen, R. J., Diener, E. D., & Emmons, R. A. (1985). An evaluation of subjective well-being measures. Social Indicators Research, 17(1), 1-17.


A number of subjective well-being scales were compared and evaluated. The Satisfaction With Life Scale emerged as a good measure of general life satisfaction and the Affective Intensity Measure appeared to adequately assess the characteristic level of emotional intensity. Most other scales seemed to reflect both life satisfaction and duration of positive versus negative affect. Of the single item measures, those created by Fordyce were the strongest, whereas for the multi-item scales, several performed at adequate levels. The widely used Bradburn scales showed several undesirable psychometric properties and alternative scales are suggested.

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