Are you willing to do whatever it takes to help a stranger in need? Do you make sacrifices to help the less fortunate reach their goals? Do you feel happy when others are happy? If you answered yes to these questions, then you would score pretty high on the Compassionate Love Scale.
In 2005, researchers Susan Sprecher and Beverley Fehr developed this scale to measure the level of compassionate love we have toward one another and to gauge our more altruistic side. Through 21 carefully crafted statements, the scale tells you how willing you are to help someone you don’t know. Depending on your answers, your score will range between 1 and 7—the higher your number, the more compassionate you are. You can even see how you compare against people of the same gender, occupation group and ZIP code.
Compassion is one of the keys to sustaining true happiness, according to psychologists and social scientists. This seemingly natural trait to relieve others of suffering gives us meaning and purpose, contributing to our own wellbeing. Aside from the emotional benefits we give and receive from being compassionate, we may not have evolved as a species without it. Charles Darwin even concluded that the communities that flourish most tend to have a greater number of sympathetic members.
To participate in the Compassionate Love Scale, go to authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu under the “Meaning Questionnaires” section.