This Meaning in Life quiz has been used to help people around the world understand and track their perceptions about their lives. It has been included in numerous studies and is being used internationally in public health and population surveying by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and the International Wellbeing Study.
Read each statement and respond as truthfully as you can on a scale from 1 (absolutely untrue) to 7 (absolutely true).
1 Absolutely untrue
2 Mostly untrue
3 Somewhat untrue
4 Can't say true or false
5 Somewhat true
6 Mostly true
7 Absolutely true
Presence of meaning
1. I understand my life's meaning.
2. My life has a clear sense of purpose.
3. I have a good sense of what makes my life meaningful.
4. I have discovered a satisfying life purpose.
5. My life has no clear purpose.
Searching for meaning
1. I am looking for something that makes my life feel meaningful.
2. I am always looking to find my life's purpose.
3. I am always searching for something that makes my life feel significant.
4. I am seeking a purpose or mission for my life.
5. I am searching for meaning in my life.
Source: University of Minnesota; Michael F. Steger
Scoring the Meaning in Life quiz
• If you scored above 24 on presence questions and above 24 on search questions:
You feel your life has a valued meaning and purpose, yet you are still openly exploring both. You are likely satisfied with your life, generally optimistic, experience feelings of love frequently and rarely feel depressed or anxious. You may be somewhat active in religious activities, but even if you aren't, you are likely to feel that spirituality is important to you. You are generally certain of your views and beliefs. People who know you would describe you as conscientious, thoughtful, easy to get along with, open to new experiences and generally easygoing.
• If you scored above 24 on presence questions and below 24 on search questions:
You feel your life has a valued meaning and purpose. You are not exploring or seeking meaning. You are probably highly satisfied with your life, optimistic and have a healthy self-esteem. You frequently experience feelings of love and joy and rarely feel afraid, angry, ashamed or sad. You probably hold traditional values. You are probably active in and committed to religious pursuits. People who know you would describe you as conscientious, organized, friendly, easy to get along with and socially outgoing.
• If you scored below 24 on presence questions and above 24 on search questions:
You probably do not feel your life has meaning and purpose, and you are actively searching for it. You are probably not always satisfied with your life. You may not experience emotions like love and joy that often. You may occasionally, or even often, feel anxious, nervous or sad and depressed. You are probably questioning the role of religion in your life and may be working hard to figure out whether there is a God and which religion, if any, is right for you. People who know you would describe you as liking to play things by ear. They might find you to be worried on occasion and not particularly socially active.
• If you scored below 24 on presence questions and below 24 on search questions:
You probably do not feel your life has meaning and purpose, and don't find thinking about your life's meaning is interesting or important. You may not always be satisfied with your life, or yourself, and you might not be particularly optimistic about the future. You may not experience emotions like love and joy that often. You may occasionally, or even often, feel anxious, nervous or sad and depressed. You probably do not hold traditional values. People who know you would describe you as sometimes disorganized, occasionally nervous or tense, and not particularly socially active or especially warm toward everyone.
Source: Michael F. Steger