English Speaking Therapists in Barcelona

Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire

Where would you sit on a scale stretching from ‘not happy’ to ‘too happy’? Find out in this five-minute test from psychologists at Oxford Brookes University

Can happiness be measured? The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire attempts to do just that. Developed by Michael Argyle and Peter Hills of Oxford Brookes University, and originally published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, it’s one several measures of “subjective wellbeing” (aka happiness) constructed by scientific research psychologists.

It may be helpful in charting your own sense of happiness. When you pay attention to something, and measure it, you’re more likely to find ways to improve it, and to know whether those methods really work.

You might try the assessment several times over some extended period: take the questionnaire now, and return at a later date to take it again, comparing scores (perhaps after trying some exercises to increase happiness). There are just 29 questions, so it won’t take long.

Please read the statements carefully, because some are phrased positively and others negatively. Don’t take too long over individual questions; there are no “right” or “wrong” answers (and no trick questions). The first answer that comes into your head is probably the right one for you. If you find some of the questions difficult, give the answer that is true for you in general or for most of the time.

Happiness questionnaire

Interpreting the score, by Stephen Wright

Between one and two

Not happy. You may be seeing yourself and your situation as worse than it really is. Try taking the depression symptoms test (CES-D Questionnaire) at the University of Pennsylvania’s “Authentic Happiness” Testing Centre. You’ll have to register, but this is beneficial because there are a lot of good tests there and you can re-take them later and see how your scores have changed.

Between two and three

Somewhat unhappy. Try starting a gratitude journal or gratitude list, or make a gratitude visit . Or take a look at the “Authentic Happiness” site mentioned above.

Between three and four

Neutral – not really happy or unhappy. A score of 3.5 would reflect an equal number of happy and unhappy responses. Exercises designed to increase happiness have been tested in scientific studies and have been shown to make people lastingly happier. Try some!


Somewhat happy or moderately happy – satisfied. This is what the average person scores.

Between four and five

Rather happy; pretty happy. Check other score ranges for suggestions and information.

Between five and six

Very happy. Being happy has benefits beyond simply feeling good. It’s correlated with advantages in health, with better marriages, and with attaining your goals. A base of happiness allows you to broaden and build toward greater success.


Too happy. That’s right – it’s possible to be too happy. Research seems to indicate that there’s an ideal level of happiness to do well at work or school, or for your health, and that being too happy may be associated with poorer performance in these areas.

Stephen Wright is a visiting scientist at Georgetown University’s Brain and Language Lab, and founder of meaningandhappiness.com


If you find your score is low, you can contact Therapy in Barcelona to look at improving your wellbeing.


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