The SWLS consists of 5-items that are completed by the individual whose life satisfaction is being measured. Each item requires a rating on a 7-point Likert scale anchored by the extent of agreement with each statement. Administration is brief––rarely more than a minute or two––and can be completed by interview (including phone) or paper and pencil response. The instrument should not be completed by a proxy, though a proxy can ask questions to the individual and convey answers to an interviewer (for instance, if the respondent can not be interviewed directly by phone).
Items of the SWLS are summed to create a total score that can range from 5 to 35. In the general population, the following ranges can be interpreted (for more information see Diener's description of score ranges (Diener, 2006)):
5-9 Extremely dissatisfied with life
10-14 Dissatisfied with life
15-19 Slightly below average in life satisfaction
20-24 Average life satisfaction
25-29 High satisfaction with life
30-35 Very highly satisfied with life
The SWLS is in the public domain. Permission is not needed to use it. Further information regarding the use and interpretation of the SWLS can be found at the author's website <http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/~ediener/SWLS.html>. The website also includes links to translations of the scale into 27 languages.
Satisfaction With Life Scale
Diener, E., Emmons, R., Larsen, J., & Griffin, S. (1985).
The Satisfaction With Life Scale. J Personality Assessment,
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. The 7-point scale is as follows:
1 = strongly
2 = disagree
3 = slightly
4 = neither
agree nor disagree
5 = slightly
6 = agree
7 = strongly
1. In most ways my life is close to my 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.