The items below were adapted by from the “Authenticity Scale” used by researchers in England. In this form, it is not a “scientific” measurement, but the results can help you understand how authenticity might play out in your daily life. For each statement, give yourself a “score” between 1 (does not describe me at all) and 7 (describes me very well).
____ 1. “I think it is better to be yourself, than to be popular.”
____ 2. “I don’t know how I really feel inside.”
____ 3. “I am strongly influenced by the opinions of others.”
____ 4. “I usually do what other people tell me to do.”
____ 5. “I always feel I need to do what others expect me to do.”
____ 6. “Other people influence me greatly.”
____ 7. “I feel as if I don’t know myself very well.”
____ 8. “I always stand by what I believe in.”
____ 9. “I am true to myself in most situations.”
____10. “I feel out of touch with the ‘real me.’”
____11. “I live in accordance with my values and beliefs.”
____12. “I feel alienated from myself.”
To “score” yourself and understand more about what each item above means, keep reading:
FOR YOUR SCORE: Add up your score and divide by 12. If you are between 7 and 6, you are probably living an authentic life. If you scored at the low end, say between 1 and 2, you might want to work on being truer to yourself. Scores aside, most of us have room for improvement!
Aside from your overall score on the test, your answers to specific items suggest where you stand on the three “aspects” of authenticity:
• Items 2, 7, 10, and 12 measure “self-alienation.” If you put 1, 2, or 3 next to these statements, you are, more or less, in touch with yourself. But if you gave yourself a 5, 6, or 7, you lean more toward self-alienation. Your conscious awareness and actual experience don’t always jive. Trauma victims tend to be self-alienated, as do children who don’t have much hope. They stop tuning into their own needs. Most self-alienated individuals also rank high on stress and anxiety.
• Items 1, 8, 9, and 11 reflect whether your public self matches your private self. No one walks around with their deepest secrets on display, and no one says what’s on her mind all of the time. But if you identified strongly with those statements (scored 5, 6, or 7), your emotions and thoughts, values and beliefs, are in synch with what you say and how you act and react most of the time. You’re probably living an authentic life.
• Items 3, 4, 5, and 6 measure the degree to which you are influenced by others and whether you accept their beliefs as your own. We all go with the majority and give in at times. And sometimes we don’t speak up in order to avoid confrontation. However, if you identified strongly with these statement, you might want to work on bending less to the will or opinions of others. Typically, people who constantly acquiesce and, most important, feel like they’re being inauthentic, tend to also report lower self-esteem and depression.