Measuring well-being. An analysis of different response scales

This paper reports on three experiments relating to measuring well-being in which several scale types have been tested. First, we compared  the current 5-point scales with verbal labels for happiness and satisfaction with life to a numerical 11-point scale ranging from 0 to 10 with verbal labels only for the end points of the scale. In a second experiment we tested three different types of numerical scales and in the third experiment we focused on respondents’ interpretation of numerical scales. Based on the results of these experiments Statistics Netherlands has decided to opt for a numerical 10-point scale ranging from 1 to 10 with verbal labels at the end points of the scale to measure well-being in the future.