# AmAre as an assessment tool: subjective and comparable

December 21, 2010

Numbers help in keeping track other time about how performances, how we perceive them, etc. Also, when we want to compare result in cross-sectional studies, we need to have an assessment tool which is flexible enough to be used in subjective ways, but also objective enough to be compared with other respondants’ results.

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If you want to use a spreadsheet, where you can insert the values and see them automatically calculated, you can use: http://spsh.amareway.org/

This is how to interpret the numerical values resulting from the table. Please keep in mind that AmAre formula (Happiness is being: Aware and Accepting + Meaningful and Motivated + Active and Attentive + Resilient and Respectful + Eating Properly and Exercising) is meant to be descriptive and preventive, but not predictive. That is, it quantifies the current situation, and the strengths and weaknesses we should be aware of and act upon. Regardless of what the number says, we are always responsible, here and now, for our happiness, so a high result means we should keep building our happiness as we have successfully done so far, and a lower result means there are aspects to act upon to improve our lives.

One of the formula’s strengths is its unlikeness to reach One, the perfect score, or Zero. This formula is useful so we can improve our awareness about the situation so far, and build a better present. Once the formula served its purposes, we can move on. Because the ultimate happiness is not reaching number 1, it is in finding and renewing the appropriate life-dynamics. If we can accept the way life is, and the fact that different people assign different weights and grades to the pillars of their happiness, and still respect and care about all of us, doing our best for the mutual happiness, we are on the way to build together a lasting happy living.

This is a scale to interpret the overall result of the formula:
0-0.3: This is an unlikely result, so please double check each value inserted. If values are correct, it is possible the perception of your Subjective Well-Being (SWB) tends toward emphasizing the non-positive aspects, or that there is a short-term serious issue. This means there is a need to work on all your priorities to make them more satisfying to you in the medium term.
0.31-0.60: Your level of SWB could be higher, if you are closer to 0.31 result. If you are closer to 0.5, you are near an exact average value where you perceive the same value of positive and non-positive components in your life. In both cases, by working on the AmAre variables (starting from the ones with higher weight and lower grade), you can substantially improve your well-being.
0.61-0.90: You tend towards an optimal level of SWB. You feel happy, and likely experienced most or at least many of the happiness “fringe benefits”. You likely live joyfully everyday: no matter the ups and downs we all have, you can make the best of them for yourself and the people around you.
0.91-1: This result is unlikely to be reached, so please double check each value inserted. If values are correct, you are achieving the maximum level of SWB, which you can sustain by living joyfully.

To interpret the value of each AmAre variable, you can use the same scale. If a variable is high in weight, and low in grade, then it requires attention and action to improve it. If a variable is low in weight, and high in grade, then you may ask yourself if its grade is slightly over estimated.

We suggest calculating your AmAre Index once per week for the first 5 weeks. Then, to calculate it once per month. Please make sure to start from scratch at each calculation, meaning you should not check values assigned in the past; after calculating your current AmAre Index, you can then check what changed compared to the previous calculations. If you want to be reminded about monthly calculation, you can register the AmAre newsletter on http://www.amareway.org/