File(s) under permanent embargo

The gold standard for life satisfaction: confirmation and elaboration using an imaginary scale and qualitative interview

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1999, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor, Robert CumminsRobert Cummins, C Loquet
It has now been established that normative samples drawn from Western populations report mean levels of life satisfaction that lie within 70-80 percent of the scale maximum. This study tests whether such consistency is an artifact of Likert scales, and also examines the cognitive processes people employ in making such judgements. Forty-two undergraduate psychology students were asked to describe an imagined worst and best life for themselves. They then rated their current life on a 100 point imaginary scale connecting their worst and best life, and completed a standard life satisfaction scale. The values obtained from the imaginary scale yielded a mean of 76.1 percent and correlated 0.79 with the standard scale. It was concluded that the normative standard for life satisfaction was not an artifact of scale construction. Life satisfaction judgement was found to be dominated by the life domain of intimacy and to confirm the types of comparisons predicted by multiple discrepancies theory.

History

Journal

International journal of social research methodology

Volume

2

Issue

4

Pagination

263 - 278

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1364-5579

eISSN

1464-5300

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1999, Taylor & Francis

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Exports