A New Measure of Life Satisfaction: The Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale

Seth Margolis, Eric Schwitzgebel, Daniel J. Ozer, and Sonja Lyubomirsky 

Journal of Personality Assessment (forthcoming)

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) has been the dominant measure of life satisfaction since its creation over 30 years ago. We sought to develop an improved measure that includes indirect indicators of life satisfaction (e.g., wishing to change one’s life) to increase the bandwidth of the measure and account for acquiescence bias. In three studies, we developed a 6-item measure of life satisfaction, the Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale, and obtained reliability and validity evidence. Importantly, the Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale retained the high internal consistency, test-retest stability, and unidimensionality of the Satisfaction With Life Scale. In addition, the Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale correlated with other well-being measures, Big Five personality traits, values, and demographic information in expected ways. Although the Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale correlated highly with the Satisfaction With Life Scale, we believe it improves the Satisfaction With Life Scale by appropriately increasing construct breadth and reducing the potential for bias.

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