• This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does niot tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal re- liability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SW~S 1s suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed. Recent years have seen an increase in need to ask the person for their overall research on subjective well-being (Dien- evaluation of their life, rather than sum- er, 1984). In this research, three separa- ming across their satisfaction wit11 spe- ble components of subjective well-being cific domains, to obtain a measure of have been identified: positive affect, overall life satisfaction. As Tatarkiewicz negative affect, and life satisfaction (An- (1976) wrote, ". . .happiness requires drews & Withey, 1976). The first two total satisfaction, that is satisfiiction compodents refer to the affective, emo- with life as a whole" (p. 8). tional aspects of the construct; the latter Scales of general life satisfaction have to the cognitive-judgmental aspects, A1- been, developed. Unfortunately, many though several scales for the assessment of these scales consist only of a single of affect exist (Bradburn, 1969; Kam- item. Such single item scales have a mann & Flett, 1983; Kozma & Stones, number of problems associated with 1980), the measurement of general life them (see Diener, 1984, for a detailed satisfaction has received less attention. discussion of these measures). Also, Life satisfaction refers to a cognitive, many of the existing scales have been judgmental process, Shin and Johnspn designed and are appropriate only for (19'78) define life satisfaction as "a glo- geriatric populations, such as Neugarten, bal assessment of a person's quality of Havighurst, and Tobin's (1961) Life Sat- life according to his chosen criteria" (p. isfaction Index and LawtonYs(l975) Phila- 478). Judgments of satisfaction are de- delphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale. pendent upon a comparison of one's cir- Furthermore, many of these scalles do cumstances with what is thought to be not appear to be tapping solely the an appropriate standard. It is important judgmental quality of life satisfaction. to point out that the judgment of how For example, the Life Satisfaction In- satisfied people are with their present dex, despite its name, includes a factor state of affairs is based on a comparison of zest vs. apathy (Neugarten ~:t al., with a standard which each individual 1961). Thus, these scales are not, strictly sets for him or herself; it is not externally speaking, measures only of life. saitisfac- imposed. It is a hallmark of the subjec- tion, tive well-being area that it centers on the Thus, there exists a need for a )multi- person's own judgments, not upon some item scale to measure life satisfaction as criterion which is jpdged to be impor- a cognitive-judgmental process. The pur- tanr by the researcher (Dienes, 1984). pose of the present studies is to design For example, although health, energy, and partially validate such a measure, and so forth may be desirable, particular the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SINLS). individuals may place different values The scale is designed around the idea on them. It is far this reason that ive that one mmt ask subjects for an oiverall ()
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