I always thought happiness was unquantifiable—it was just a random, pleasant emotion that came and went, depending on whether it was raining or I’d recently eaten a really good sandwich. But according to psychologist Christopher Peterson, the creator of the Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire, your level of overall happiness can be measured on a scale of 1 (least happy) through 5 (most happy).
Peterson created the 24-question quiz to determine your level of “authentic happiness,” a term that measures the happiness you choose to feel in three distinct areas: positive emotion (feeling warmth, pleasure and comfort), engagement (staying present and in the moment) and meaning (fulfilling your life’s purpose). There’s even a “happiness” course at Yale that requires its students to take the quiz as a prerequisite.
I took the test—it’s free, so it’s worth a shot, right?—and was surprised by my results. I always consider myself a fairly cheery person, but I’d somehow scored a 2.7. I guess the quiz couldn’t see through my sarcastic cynicism, and I had a hard time choosing answers like “I have so much enthusiasm that I feel I can do most anything” with a straight face. So I put the entire PureWow office to the test, and as it turns out, it’s a lot harder to get a 5 than I expected.
Our office averaged a 3.53 overall, with the top scorers just barely cracking a 4. I also noticed that the sales department seemed to be the happiest overall, with editorial team as a whole scoring significantly lower—could socializing with clients and closing deals be a more fulfilling way to spend the day than scanning copy for errant commas?