Assessment name: Purpose in Life Scale (PIL)
Scale overview: The Purpose in Life Scale (PIL) uses 20 items to measure a person’s view of their purpose in life or the meaningfulness of life.
Authors: Crumbaugh and Maholick
Part A: A self-report 7-point rating scale.
Part B: 13 sentence-completion items about one’s life purpose
Part C: respondents are asked to write a paragraph, which includes such concepts as life goals, hopes, and so forth.
Research has focused on the part A items. The unique anchors have been changed to a 7-point scale of agreement by other researchers.
Sample Scale items
Sample Part A Item 1 original format
I am usually
1=Completely bored‚ 2‚ 3‚ 4=Neutral‚ 5‚ 6‚ 7 = exuberant‚ enthusiastic
Sample Part A Item 2 revised rating anchors from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree
Life to me seems always exciting.
High scores represent a greater sense of meaning in life and low scores indicate a loss of meaning. The items are related to the work of Viktor Frankl.
See Crumbaugh, J. C., & Maholick, L. T. (1964) for early psychometric properties. Other studies support adequate reliability values and support for validity. The scale is also available in other languages. See the PsychINFO database for additional studies.
Online format by Existential Family Therapy: https://hipaa.jotform.com/220904141017038
Reference for the original scale
Crumbaugh, J. C., & Maholick, L. T. (1964). An experimental study in existentialism: The psychometric approach to Frankl’s concept of noogenic neurosis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 20, 200–207.
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