This is one of the many excellent tests that are available at the Authentic Happiness website at http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu. Even if they can’t give you a definitive answer they at least get you thinking.
I last did the Authentic Happiness Inventory two years ago and my score was OK, I think. I was as happy as or happier than 60-odd percent of participants, and that surprised me at the time, I think, because I thought that my “issues” and lack of focus might be getting me down more than they obviously were.
This time around, though, my scores were a lot lower. Am I less happy than two years ago? Or is it a dodgy test?
Well, let’s think about this. If the test is dodgy then there’s no point in me doing it. But happiness is a subjective thing, and so it makes sense that my subjective feeling about myself and my life might change over time.
And in fact this is probably the answer. The test asks you to answer the questions according to how you felt in the last week. In the last week I have had a flu – a nasty, head-spinning, stomach-churning, back-aching, tired-making virus that nothing seems to help. I felt bad physically, I felt guilty for not getting anything constructive done, and I felt bad about myself for letting myself and everyone else down.
So of course my score on a happiness scale is going to be lower than when I am fit and not feeling so bad about myself. I tried to be honest in answering the questions, basing the answers on how I felt last week and not on how I feel now, which is much better.
Perhaps if I do the test again next week my score will be back up where it was two years ago, Iyt map even be higher, especially if I have achieved anything substantial in the last week!