The Harmony in Life Scale Complements the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Expanding the Conceptualization of the Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-Being


Conceptually, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al. in J Pers Assess 49(1):71–75, 1985) emphasizes evaluations comparing actual and expected life circumstances. Contrastingly we developed the Harmony in Life Scale (HILS) emphasizing psychological balance and flexibility in life. Study 1 (476 participants) developed the HILS. In Study 2 participants (N = 787, T1; N = 545, T2) answered well-being related questionnaires and generated words/texts related to HIL/SWL. The HILS yields satisfactory statistical properties, correlates as expected to well-being related scales, whilst HIL/SWL form a two-factor model. Hierarchical regressions reveal that HILS explains considerably more unique variance than SWLS in most included measures. Quantitative semantic analyses (employing latent semantic analyses) on words related to HIL/SWL reveal that they differ significantly in their semantic content. Word frequency analyses show that harmony significantly relate to peace, balance, etc. and satisfaction with job, money, etc. The HILS demonstrates validity, reliability, and uniqueness complementing the SWLS in forming a more holistic understanding of subjective well-being.

Soc Indic Res
Oscar Kjell
Oscar Kjell

I’m a researcher in Psychology interested measuring psychological construct with words and text responses analyzed with AI. In particular I am interested in well-being, harmony in life and sustainable living. I’m currently funded for an international postdoc at the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University and and University of Copenhagen. I am also carrying out research at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies at Lund University.