Life Satisfaction means, a feeling of 'contentment' from within. Life satisfaction is assumed to be one of the important aspects of human well-being. It has emerged as one of the indicators of subjective health and has been shown to predict long-term health outcomes. It has also been shown to predict longevity and psychiatric morbidity. It has been seen that it defines one of the important parameter of being successful and stay healthy. Poor subjective well being has been recognized to be a health hazard in itself.

It has long been realized that mental and somatic health are interwoven. Dissatisfied people are at risk of developing several diseases and also become predisposed to anger, frustration and restlessness leading to poor quality of life. Based upon available evidence it seems logical to assume that there is perhaps a need of quantify peoples' satisfaction or may be measure it with 'satisfaction quotient'. This can help us identify dissatisfied individuals and do any intervention if needed.

Keywords: Life satisfaction; Satisfaction Quotient; Satisfaction predictors; Dissatisfaction


Satisfaction refers to a feeling of "contentment" and is one of the universally acknowledged human feelings. Oxford Dictionary defines satisfaction as, "fulfillment of one's wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this". Some identify life satisfaction with happiness and others with well being [1]. An empirical definition of satisfaction is that satisfaction is the state of being 'whole and complete'; no deficiency and nothing missing. However, naturally, such an ideal state would be difficult to achieve. Dissatisfaction, the antonym of satisfaction seems to be a prevalent human feeling and studies are increasingly linking it with both health and disease1. From a philosophical standpoint; few things are likely to seem more platitudinous than that it matters whether people are satisfied with their lives. Some would even say that this is basically all that matters. This state is available to all healthy people but is somewhat rarely experienced by most. Since several different variables constitute happiness; the concept of being happy [1] will vary from person to person.

Human beings constantly seek satisfaction, spoken again from a philosophical angle. Someone said, 'satisfaction is death of desire'[2]. People believe that satisfaction is linked with happiness. President Lincoln once said, "We can be as happy as we make up our mind to be" [1]. This is equally applicable to satisfaction. We can be as satisfied with our past as we make up our mind to be. It's the opposite of a vicious cycle: Healthy people might be happier, and a new study shows that people who are happy and satisfied with their lives might be healthier. A recent study of around 10,000 adults showed that there is evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health [1]. This study showed that happier people and those who were more satisfied with their lives at baseline reported better health (self-rated health; absence of limiting, long-term conditions; and physical health) at the 2-year follow-up when adjusted for baseline health and other relevant covariates.

Life satisfaction has been correlated with both health and disease and has important potential implications [1,2]. Considering the widespread potential impact of life satisfaction and consequences associated with it; it seems plausible to assume that there could be a quantitative way to assess individuals' satisfaction levels and indentify them using 'satisfaction quotient'(SQ). This may probably provide as the potential opportunity to identify predisposed people and intervene at the right time for their better health and lifestyle.


Lack of life satisfaction i.e. dissatisfaction is highly prevalent human emotion and has been reported widely among various professionals including health care workers e.g. physicians [3] and nurses [4]. Job satisfaction has been highlighted as a contributing factor to intent to leave and turnover, yet this is a complex area with many elements affecting its measurement [5].

Job factors (e.g. job demands, job control, collegial support, income, and incentives have been linked to professional satisfaction. However, dissatisfaction can involve virtually any other spheres as well such as personal, professional, marital etc. For example, partner dissatisfaction has been associated with depressive symptoms [6]. A recent done in Finland has shown that lower life satisfaction scores are associated with greater risk of adverse health outcomes [7]. It has been demonstrated that life dissatisfaction has a long-term effect on the risk of suicide, and this seems to be partly mediated through poor health behavior. Similarly, a 20 year follow up study concluded that life satisfaction seems to be a composite health indicator [8]. It has been found that positive psychological well-being has a favorable effect on survival in both healthy and diseased populations [9].

Life satisfaction has been studied in nearly 30,000 adults from Finland over 20 year period (1975-1995) and the study concluded that dissatisfied individuals are more prone to injuries both intentional and unintentional (fatal and non fatal) [10]. Another large study consisting of 22,000 adults showed that over a period of time of 11 years; dissatisfaction with life can predict subsequent work disability [11]. It has also been associated with male mortality [11].

What could be the probable mechanisms [10] behind dissatisfaction and its association with various variables such as health. Probably, dissatisfied people may have poor health habits, or may even self-destructive behavior. Dissatisfaction may also affect health and injury behavior via alcohol intoxication. Life dissatisfaction may produce stress [9-11], introversion and alexithymia. Studies done in recent years seem to suggest a possible quantitative relationship could perhaps be developed to screen individuals and assign 'life satisfaction scores'. It could be then probably be correlated with their career advancement, well being and diseases.

Satisfaction in Contemporary Times

There seems an unending race to do better. Standards of living, performance, profession; all of them are changing constantly. There is therefore, an untold pressure upon individuals to perform better and to strive for excellence. People may want to do lot of things in a short span of time. This pressure of expectation may take a toll both on mental and physical health and in turn might reduce life satisfaction levels. Life satisfaction has been associated with health, health behavior, social situation, and personality features [8]. Low life satisfaction scores have consistently been associated with depression and risk of suicide [8]. Dissatisfied individuals are also at risk cardiovascular events [12].

Measuring Satisfaction

To measure satisfaction, we may have to have a workable definition of satisfaction in various spheres of life and then define what 'dissatisfaction'. This should be objectively measurable and once, we do know; we ought to know the prevalent level of dissatisfaction in population. Then a mathematical scoring system could be devised to find out their satisfaction quotient so that we could identify people who are 'dissatisfied' in the most objective manner. These should be followed up for long term to know the impact of having low satisfaction quotient (Sat Q) on personal, professional, and health parameters. Then this might become an established tool to screen people at risk. It has been proposed that assessment of life satisfaction might help in early detection of population groups with cumulated risk factors for suicide [8]. Furthermore, assessment of life satisfaction, in part, promotes the early identification of depressive persons who have not necessarily been in reach of psychiatric evaluation [8]. Considering the potential implications of life satisfaction scores; subjective assessment of well being has been suggested to be incorporated in health promotions, injury prevention and in clinical practice [13]. Moreover, in young people, most significant predictor of death attitude has been shown to be life satisfaction [14]. It has been seen that though several variables can affect level of satisfaction across ages; qualitative nature of life satisfaction remains constant across ages in adult life [15]. Two interesting studies noted that young people who use internet have better life satisfaction [16], while those who are dependent upon opioids have poor life satisfaction [17]. This suggests that low satisfaction is amenable to modification. It has been suggested that as a result of overall growing population's life expectancy, it has become increasingly important to ensure not only that the elderly have greater longevity but also happiness and life satisfaction [18]. Psycho-education has been suggested as a means of improving general well being [19]. Similarly, positive emotions too can improve life satisfaction [20]. It has been suggested that intervention should be done to improve life satisfaction of young people as they are experiencing increased rates of important mental and physical health problems [21]. Yoga, a life popular life style technique has been found to increase life satisfaction scores [22].

Why Do We Need Satisfaction Quotient?

The burgeoning field of positive psychology has highlighted the need to discover what makes life worth living. Recent research demonstrates that perception of life satisfaction among youths has important implications for their psychological, social, and educational functioning [15]. It has been seen that health and life satisfaction are related to each other [2]. As stated earlier, poor satisfaction seems to be a predictor of stress induced psychosomatic disorders. It can help in predicting someone's direction in life. Poor satisfaction has the potential to affect job creativity, productivity and quality. We have come a long way [23] since mental intelligence quotient (IQ) was the only type of intelligence we measured. In 1995, Daniel Goleman added another dimension by assessing our Emotional Quotient (EQ) and competencies. Later, Dana Zohar coined the term Spiritual Quotient (SQ) to evaluate our spiritual intelligence and well-being. Based upon available evidence we propose to include satisfaction quotient (Sat Q) to assess individual in a new and quantitative way. There are already some hints that quantitative analysis could be useful. The measurement of individual welfare, using data on reported subjective well-being, has made great progress and lead to a new field of subjective well-being research in economics [24].

Why Do We Need Satisfaction Quotient?

It has been one of the major challenges of contemporary behavioral sciences to know what predictors of satisfaction/well being or happiness are. Research suggest that both genetic and environmental factors are involved [25,26]. It seems tempting to believe that happiness may be related to assume if money, good job, leisure and general happiness could be predictors of satisfaction in life? Studies have shown that personality traits are a significant predictors [26,27]. The traits most closely associated with subjective well being were repressive-defensiveness, trust, emotional stability, locus of control-chance, desire for control, hardiness, positive affectivity, private collective self-esteem, and tension. When personality traits were grouped according to the Big Five factors, Neuroticism was the strongest predictor of life satisfaction, happiness, and negative effect. Positive affect was predicted equally well by extraversion and agreeableness [28,29].


Life satisfaction seems to be relative term and its value varies from individual to individual. However, there are several tools are available to measure it objectively. However, it has been seen that satisfaction correlates both physical and mental health. Moreover, simple human behaviors like being religious are associated with better life satisfaction [27]. Based upon available evidence, it seems plausible to think that satisfaction needs to be measured and quantified. There seems a need to devise a scale that can measure satisfaction and put life satisfactions scores mathematically like 'satisfaction quotient'. Prospective cohorts of these individuals can further be taken up to prove the relevance of this scale.

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