Happiness On A Scale From 1 To 10 (How To + Implications) (2023)

Ever since I started tracking my happiness, I have seen a lot of different scales being used. My method of tracking happiness uses a scale from 1 to 10. Over the years, I have received a lot of questions and comments about this happiness scale. There are many reports, platforms, surveys and apps that track happiness on a different scale!

This article discusses why the Tracking Happiness method is based on a happiness scale from 1 to 10. I also explain the different pro's and cons to other happiness scales, and why in the end it really doesn't matter all that much what scale you use.

Before we dive into the article, let's have a look at our happiness scale from 1 to 10.

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Why I track happiness on a scale from 1 to 10

Can you guess why I track my happiness on a scale from 1 to 10? There are actually numerous advantages to using this happiness scale, but the by far the biggest advantage is that it'seasy to use and explain.

Here in the Netherlands (...and the rest of Europe and most of the world actually), the school system grades students on a similar scalefrom 1 to 10.

Every test that I made as a student was graded from 1 to 10. The average is 5.5, which is the most commonly used threshold for passing a test. I was a prettylousystudent, so I always knew exactly how much I needed to score in order to pass mytests.

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Since most of the world uses this system, it's the easiest to explain this happiness scale to anybody.

If you feel miserably unhappy, you rate your day with a 3. If you are extremely happy then you rate your day with a 9. An unhappy day should theoretically be rated <5,5. It's that simple.

Another advantage of using this system is thatit's the most convenient data format to calculate and analyze.

We track our happiness on a scale from 1 to 10, which are numerical values. These numerical values can be directly used for mathematical analysis. If that's what you want (which we do here at Tracking Happiness) then this is the easiest, most straightforward happiness scale.

The last advantage I want to mention is that this happiness scale is linear and evenly distributed. With that, I mean that the difference between a 2 and 3 is theoretically the same as the difference between a 3 and a 4.

If you have ever designed a survey then you likely know what I'm talking about.

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Tracking your happiness allows you to steer your life in the best direction possible. This article is just the tip of the "tracking happiness iceberg". Learn more about how you can track your happiness in order to become happier in the biggest free guide on how to be happy!

Other scales for happiness tracking?

Some apps, surveys or platforms want you to define your happiness on a different scale. Instead of using the happiness scale from 1 to 10, these others tools want you to define happiness in other symbols or units.

(Video) rate your mood on a scale of 1-10!😁 #shorts

What do I think of that?

I think that's totally fine as well, although there are certain pros and cons for all these different happiness scales.

Happiness on a scale from A to F?

This happiness scale might make sense to you if you're from the USA. Schools in the USA grade test scores on a scale from A to F, where A is the highest rating and F is the lowest.

There are a number of disadvantages to this scale.

First, this happiness scale makes it difficult to analyze the recorded data. You can't apply math to these letters without first converting them to numerical values.

And that's challenging, because what value would you correlate to the letters? Would an A be a 10? A 100? A 5? or a 1?

Second, if you rate your happiness strictly using A, B, C, D, or F, then you only have 5 options.

So converting the letters A - F to the numbers 1 - 5 would make the most sense, right? Would you feel like this is enough?

If today you feel slightly happier then yesterday, which you rated with a B, then would you rate today with an A or still a B? Or would you perhaps rate your day with a B+/A-? That would introduce additional challenges when turning those letters into numerical values. HEADACHES!

Third and last, this scale doesn't seem to be linear, as shown in the image below

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The difference between an F and a D could be far more than the difference between an A and a B.

Also, what happened to the E?

These are all reasons why it wouldn't make real sense to use this happiness rating scale.

Happiness on a scale from?to?(using icons or emojis)

Some apps want you to forget about numbers and letters entirely and just ask for an emoji instead.

(Video) On a Scale of 1 to 10 - the Silent Epidemic [FULL FILM]

Hell, YouTube and Facebook are now surveying for your emotions only via thumbs up or thumbs down.

And it makes sense, as this is probably the easiest to use and explain. You just pick the emoji which most resembles your emotion. No need to think about numbers and all that. Just simple and intuitive.

And it apparently works! People are much more likely to answer questions using icons or emojis as opposed to numerical values.

Just look at this example from Runkeeper below.

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However, we still need toconvert these emojis into numerical values, and most surveys using this system only offer you to choose between 5 emojis.

The most popular mood tracking app right now - Daylio - uses a similar emoji scale.

This introduces the same problems as with the scale from A to F. Are 5 options really enough to accurately track your happiness on a day to day rate?

Happiness on a scale from 0 to 10?

Some may argue that a scale from 0 to 10 makes more sense since the average would be a round-number (5). Anything below a 5 is unhappy, anything above it means happy.

Sounds pretty easy right?

However, what I find difficult about this is that 0 is a strange number from a mathematical point of view. What I mean isthat division by 0 results in errors. It can't be done.

So if you ever want to go the extra mile with your data analysis and divide the count of happiness factors with the happiness rating, then you might run into errors.

This is obviously not going to be a problem for everyone, but still... 😉

Why in the end it really doesn't matter that much

In the end, what scale you use really doesn't matter all that much. There are some scales that I personally think are better than others, but still the main take away here remains the same:

The best happiness scale is the one you use!

Whatever works for you is great! If you are tracking your happiness using smileys, that doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. Absolutely not!

(Video) Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED

The most important thing to take away here is that tracking happiness is great and valuable either way, no matter what scale you use. Whether you rate your happiness on a scale from 1 to 10, 0 to 10, A to F, or 923 to 100448 for all I care, it seriously does not matter.

You might need to add a few steps in your data calculations if you want to analyze some aspects, but that doesn't mean your data is less useless

The most important part of tracking happiness

In the end, the only thing that really matters is that you keep it up. Tracking happiness is about consistently judging your own happiness. And for that, you need to use the same scale from day to day.

Human beings are biased, and rating something as subjective as happiness is obviously going to be prone to these biases. It is therefore important to acknowledge that and to simply remain consistent in your judgment. That includes using the same happiness scale.

One happiness rating in itself has basically no analytical value. But as many statisticians know, the more data you collect, the more reliable, interesting and eye-opening the results are going to be.

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, we've condensed the information of 100's of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

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Download Our FREE Mental Self-Care Cheat Sheet!

(Video) Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 instant tips for your mental health.

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Join the fun!

If you want to have a go at tracking happiness yourself, I'd love you to join our community! This website is about sharing experiences regarding happiness, and I believe every person has something unique to bring to the table.

If you're up for it, I'll gladly host you on the Happy Blog where you can share your experiences with the world.

So what are you waiting for?

Start tracking your happiness today, and don't worry too much about what happiness scale you use! 😉

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Hugo Huijer Founder of Tracking Happiness

Hi! I'm from the Netherlands, love skateboarding, ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). I consider myself to be a data junkie and have tracked my happiness for over 10 years.

(Video) After watching this, your brain will not be the same | Lara Boyd | TEDxVancouver

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How do you interpret the happiness scale? ›

If you're past college age, and your happiness score is lower than 5.6, then you're less happy than the average person. To put it another way, more than 50 percent of people in our age group rate themselves higher on the scale. If your score is greater than 5.6, then you're happier than the average person.

What scale is used to measure happiness? ›

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) is a way of scoring individuals' judgment on their life as a whole using five statements scored between 1 (strongly disagree) and 7 (strongly agree; Diener et al., 1985).

How is happiness measured in psychology? ›

Happiness can be measured by these three factors: the presence of positive emotions, the absence of negative emotions, and life satisfaction (Ryan & Deci, 2001). It is a uniquely subjective experience, which means that nobody is better at reporting on someone's happiness than the individuals themselves.

What is the subjective happiness scale questionnaire? ›

Description: The Subjective Happiness Scale seeks to conduct a global, subjective assessment of whether a person is happy or unhappy. Response options: 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 7. Total score: Responses to the four items are averaged, yielding a range from 1 to 7.

Why is happiness score important? ›

Happiness Index can be used to measure the satisfaction with life and the condition of life. Happiness Index is used to define income inequality, trust in government, and sense of community and other aspects of wellbeing within specific demographics of a population.

What factors determine happiness? ›

So, happiness is good. But, how do we get it? Diener identifies five factors that contribute to happiness: social relationships, temperament/adaptation, money, society and culture, and positive thinking styles. Happy people have strong social relationships.

What to you is the true measure of happiness? ›

The most powerful measure of happiness is linked closely to both integrity and emotional intelligence. Emotions are fickle things. And sometimes, even when we feel an emotion strongly, we wonder to ourselves what the limits are, if it's possible to feel it even stronger.

What are the scales to measure positive emotions? ›

Description: The Dispositional Positive Emotion Scale consists of seven subscales (joy, contentment, pride, love, compassion, amusement and awe) that measure ones dispositional tendencies to feel positive emotions towards others in their daily lives.

How is happiness measured operationally? ›

For most, the term happiness is interchangeable with “subjective well-being,” which is typically measured by asking people about how satisfied they feel with their lives (evaluative), how much positive and negative emotion they tend to feel (affective), and their sense of meaning and purpose (eudaimonic).

What are the 6 factors that are used to measure happiness? ›

The results tend to be predicted by six factors that contribute to whether people view their lives positively. These are GDP, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. The top 10 happiest countries are 1.

Is happiness a measure of success? ›

When it comes right down to it, both happiness and success are interconnected in a sense. Happiness affects your level of success and your level of success affects your happiness. Happiness is really a choice you can choose to make.

What is happiness assessment? ›

Your Happiness Assessment assesses fourteen different factors (see below) that influence happiness. By evaluating yourself, you can determine what areas can help you create the conditions for greater happiness in your life. Take test. No login required to obtain results.

What questions to ask to measure happiness? ›

Get details on what makes your respondents happy or sad. How happy do you usually consider yourself? What are the things that make you happy? In what area of your life would you like to increase your feelings of happiness?

What is the happiness test? ›

This test is made up of two types of questions: scenarios and self-assessment. For each scenario, answer according to how you would most likely behave in a similar situation. For the self-assessment questions, indicate the extent to which you agree with the given statements.

What are 3 major influences on happiness? ›

Many psychologists believe that there are at least three fundamental elements of happiness, including emotional, social and cognitive conceptions. Emotional component causing a positive emotional state while social component has led to widespread and positive social relationships with others.

What are the 4 key elements of happiness? ›

The Big Four are friendliness, cheerfulness, compassion, and gratitude.

What are the two most important criteria for happiness? ›

In conclusion, there are two most important criteria for happiness: the individual's life priorities and awareness of happiness. According to this criterion, happiness is individual for everyone, and the state of happiness could be improved and extended by an individual's focus on the goal of achieving happiness.

What is the golden rule of happiness? ›

The golden rule of happiness is that “the more you make others happy: the happier you will be”.

Can I measure my own happiness? ›

Can happiness be measured? Yes – but only you can measure your own innate feelings of happiness and the more you tap into the feeling that is there within you, waiting for you, the more you will experience happiness, like breathing, is a natural state for you to live you life from.

Is happiness difficult to measure? ›

Happiness is a vague and complex concept. Clearly and precisely defining the term is a challenge for researchers and policymakers, because individuals have unique ideas of what happiness means to them.

How is mood scale measured? ›

The BMIS scale is an open-source mood scale consisting of 16 mood-adjectives to which a person responds (e.g., Are you "happy"?). The scale can yield measures of overall pleasant-unpleasant mood, arousal-calm mood, and it also can be scored according to positive-tired and negative-calm mood.

What scale is the most emotional? ›

The minor scale is the pattern in western music typically associated with sad feelings.

What is the feeling scale? ›

It is a 13-item scale used to measure how individuals view their emotions, how they relate to them (including whether they accept them as is or try to change them), and how they control them (e.g., “I try very hard to make my feelings as ideal as possible”).

What are the 5 key elements of happiness? ›

researched in an effort to disseminate specific information. Seligman has identified five elements that are important for happiness- positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement. The acronym for these elements, PERMA, is the term that they are most often referred to.

What is the greatest determinant of happiness? ›

Family relationships: In almost every study of the determinants of happy lives, your family relationships and your close private life are deemed to have the greatest impact on your overall happiness.

How does happiness affect success? ›

Setting career goals can lead to stress and disappointment, while focusing on being happy first can help you succeed. A groundbreaking 2021 study on nearly 1 million people suggests that those who feel optimistic and happy going into a job have more career success.

How does happiness affect your life? ›

“Being happy doesn't just make us feel better, it improves our health. It helps us eat healthier, be more active and sleep better.” Because happiness leads to healthier behaviors, it helps stave off high blood pressure and excess body fat, resulting in lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, she said.

Which comes first happiness or success? ›

There is a plethora of of neuroscience and psychology studies that show that happiness leads to higher productivity, higher profits, and higher success rates. In other words, rather than becoming happy after a certain milestone is reached, happiness contributes more to success than the other way around.

What do problems with measuring happiness include? ›

One problem with measuring happiness is that the surveys use an ordinal scale. In an ordinal scale, it is not possible to quantify the difference between values, which must be known and exactly equal for an accurate ranking to occur.

What is subjective happiness level? ›

Subjective well-being (SWB) is the scientific term for happiness and life satisfaction—thinking and feeling that your life is going well, not badly. Scientists rely primarily on self-report surveys to assess the happiness of individuals, but they have validated these scales with other types of measures.

What do subjective rating scales measure? ›

Abstract. Subjective rating scales are widely used in almost every aspect of ergonomics research and practice for the assessment of workload, fatigue, usability, annoyance and comfort, and lesser known qualities such as urgency and presence, but are they truly scientific?

What is subjective rating scale? ›

Subjective rating is a rating that a person gives based on their opinions, feelings, etc. It is generally done on a scale from 0 (no significance) to 9 (highly significant). Subjective ranking is when a subject is asked to order a set of items according to given criteria.

What is subjective wellbeing scale? ›

The BBC Subjective Well-Being Scale is a 24-item self report questionnaire designed to measure people's subjective experiences across the physical health, psychological health, independence, social relationships, environment and spiritual quality of life.

What are examples of level 3 happiness? ›

Examples of Level 3 happiness include: commitment, giving, loyalty, care, concern, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion and above all self-sacrifice. This is a good thing to do and National Feel Good Day is about recognising this and doing it.

What is personal level of happiness? ›

Personal Happiness is derived from an accumulated range of positive emotions such as joy, interests, and pride. It is the relationship with satisfaction, pleasure, and appreciation of the current situation and accomplishments.

What is an example of subjective measurement? ›

The three main types of subjective instruments are recall questionnaires, physical activity logs, and physical activity diaries. Individual data obtained from self-report measures are typically converted into estimates, which allow researchers to categorize or rank individuals or populations by physical activity level.

Is rating scale subjective or objective? ›

Rating scales are popular subjective instruments used to assess abstract events and internal experiences, such as food intake, emotional arousal to daily activities, asthma, and service satisfaction.

What is the significance of rating scale? ›

The scale is commonly used to gain feedback or to evaluate. It can be used to gain insight into the performance of a product, employee satisfaction or skill, customer service performance, etc.

What is a good rating scale? ›

The four-point rating scale. Many organizations have used the standard three-point rating scale. However, in our research on the distribution of performance responses, we have found that a 4-point rating scale is often the best option.

How do you measure subjective performance? ›

Common subjective criteria include personality, attitude, appearance, demeanor and social interaction. The evaluator might rate the employee on each subjective criteria using a scale that ranges from poor to excellent, as opposed to objective evaluations that more often have a numerical score attached to the criteria.

What are the three types of rating scale? ›

Popular Types of Rating Scales

Numerical rating scale. Descriptive rating scale. Comparative rating scale.

What are the three types of subjective wellbeing? ›

Subjective well-being has three components: life satisfaction (LS), positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA) (Andrews & Withey, 1976). Individuals are said to have high SWB if they experience LS and frequent PA (e.g., joy, optimism) and infrequent NA (e.g., sadness, anger).

What is objective happiness? ›

This shows us that happiness is not entirely subjective. Our brains react in an objectively measurable way to particular stimuli, and we can justifiably say that some of these stimuli represent objectively happy impressions, while others objectively cause a reaction of unhappiness in the brain.

What is the best way to measure subjective wellbeing? ›

Subjective well-being is most commonly measured by asking people a single question, such as, “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?” or “Taken all together, would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” Such questions elicit a global evaluation of ...


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