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The scale you completed on the first page was the "Satisfaction with Life Scale," developed by Ed Diener, the leading researcher on happiness, at the University of Illinois.

The scale is a measure of your general happiness level. Despite its simplicity, the scale has been found to do a good job of measuring people's general state of "subjective well-being." It is widely used, in many nations.

We are interested in measuring happiness on this site because many studies have found that religious people are happier than non-believers, and some have found that politcally conservative people are slightly happier than are political liberals, even after controlling statistically for religiosity. A recent Gallup survey found that religiosity was associated with better mental health for Republicans, but it didn't make a difference for Democrats. We want to investigate these complex relationships among happiness, morality, religion, and ideology.

In the graph below, your score is shown in green. The scores of all people who have taken the scale on our site and who say that they go to religious services never, or just a few times a year, are shown in blue. The scores of all people who have taken the scale on our site and who said (during registration) that they go to religious services a few times a month or more are shown in red. Scores run from 1 (the lowest possible score, least happy) to 7 (the highest possible score, most happy).






In addition, we asked you some questions on the second page about your mental health. That recent Gallup poll showed that conservatives and religious people report having better mental health when asked using a single question ("how would you rate your mental health?"). We want to see if their finding holds up using a more specific scale, so we asked you to report on a variety of symptoms related to depression and anxiety, which are the most common kinds of mental health symptoms that people report. In the graph below, your score is shown in green. High scores mean MORE mental health complaints. Scores run from 1 (the lowest possible score, no symptoms at all) to 5 (the highest possible score, people who responded "extremely" to all items). As before, the blue bar shows the score of the less religious people; the red bar shows the average score of the most religious people.








To learn more about Diener's research on happiness, and about his "Satisfaction with Life" scale and how to compare your score to others, please see Diener's website.




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