Are You Really Happy? Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire

Have you ever wondered what your happiness level is? Are you “happy”, “Just Happy” or just “too happy”? Find out in this three-minute happiness test designed by psychologists at Oxford Brookes University

The prevailing question is; Can happiness be truly 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 2002 in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, it is considered to be one of the countless measures of happiness also termed “subjective wellbeing” designed by scientific research psychologists.

This test will help you in designing a personal happiness strategy, mainly because when you spend time considerably on a subject matter and measure your progress, you unluck more possibilities of improving on yourself and getting more understanding of the strategy and how it works.

We strongly recommend that you try this happiness test several times over an extended period of time: take the test now, and return a few weeks later and take the test again, comparing scores (perhaps after trying some exercises to increase happiness). The test will take just 3 minutes as there are only 29 very simple questions.

We recommend that you read the statements carefully because some are phrased positively and others negatively. Don’t spend too much time on any question; Answers to any of the questions are neither “Wrong” nor “Right”. Just settle for the first answer that falls on your mind. If you find some of the questions difficult, give the answer that is true for you in general or for most of the time.

Welcome to your Oxford Happiness Questionnaire

Interpretation of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire Score, by Stephen Wright

Score: 1 – 2

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.

Score: 2 – 3

Somewhat unhappy. Try starting a gratitude journal or gratitude list, or make a gratitude visit.

Score: 3 – 4

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!

Score: 4 – 5

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

Score: 5 – 6

Very happy. Being happy comes with so many benefits both medically and otherwise. It’s correlated with advantages in health, better marriages, and with attaining your goals. A base of happiness allows you to broaden and build toward greater success.

The Oxford Happiness Survey is from Personality and Individual Differences, Vol.33, #7, pp. 1080-1081 and developed by: Peter Hills and Micahel Argyle from The Oxford Happiness Project, School of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK.

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


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