Subjective Happiness Scale

The Subjective Happiness Scale is a 4-item self-report measure of individual subjective happiness. The items ask respondents about the extent to which they perceive themselves to be happy, in absolute terms, as well as relative to their peers.


Geographies Tested: Russia,United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Instructions: For each of the following statements andor questions, please circle the point on the scale that you feel is most appropriate in describing you.

1. In general, I consider myself:

Response options:
Not a very happy person - 1
- 2
- 3
- 4
- 5
- 6
A very happy person - 7

2. Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself:

Response options:
Less happy - 1
- 2
- 3
- 4
- 5
- 6
More happy - 7

3. 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?
4. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extent does this characterization describe you?

Response options:
Not at all - 1
- 2
- 3
- 4
- 5
- 6
A great deal - 7

Scoring Procedures

A final score of subjective happiness is calculated by averaging the responses to the four items, with the 4th item's response being reverse coded (i.e., 7 turns to a 1, 6 turns to a 2, etc.). The final scores range from 1.0 to 7.0. Higher scores reflect greater subjective happiness.

Original Citation

Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H.S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46(2), 137-155.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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