The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS)

The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) is a 5-item measure of an individual's own judgement of their overall life satisfaction. The scale is designed to be used as a global measure of subjective well-being across different age groups.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Instructions: Below are five statements with which you may agree or disagree. Using the 1-7 scale below, indicate your agreement with each item by placing the appropriate number on the line preceding that item. Please be open and honest in your responding.

1. In most ways my life is close to ideal.
2. The conditions of my life are excellent.
3. I am satisfied with my life.
4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Response Options:
Strongly agree - 1
Disagree - 2
Slightly disagree - 3
Neither agree nor disagree - 4
Slightly agree - 5
Agree - 6
Strongly agree - 7

Scoring Procedures

Each of the 5 items are scored from 1 to 7, therefore a score of 5 represents the lowest possible satisfaction and 35 represents the highest possible satisfaction.

Original Citation

Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction With Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71-75. doi: 10.1207/ s15327752jpa4901_13

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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