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Satisfaction means to be inwardly balanced and not to ask for anything other than what you have, or to agree with the given circumstances, achievements or the like, to have nothing to complain about. Adjectively , one is satisfied (for example with oneself and the world).

The increased satisfaction with oneself is the satisfaction. It doesn't have to reveal itself to the outside world, unlike pride . If pride in oneself seems too cheap, it is criticized as complacency .

The antonym to satisfaction is dissatisfaction .

Satisfaction as a virtue

Satisfaction or frugality as resolution and worldview is often religiously based, as can be found in the folk song What do I ask a lot about money and goods / When I'm satisfied by Johann Martin Miller (1776, setting by Christian Gottlob Neefe , also 1776) is.

Satisfaction as a goal

In the process of coping with life, satisfaction can be a human goal that can lead to satisfaction. It is a goal that, on the one hand, wants to be discovered and, on the other hand, is associated with efforts in its realization. Satisfaction does not appear automatically in life, but rather it has to assert itself in the constant confrontation with dissatisfaction. Whoever slips into total dissatisfaction will end up in misery. Ultimately, those people will be more satisfied and happy who knows how to manage or control their inner experiences and to process negative experiences in a positive way.

Satisfaction, illness and success in psychotherapy

Being satisfied is an important part of biological, psychological and social well-being, which in general has a decisive influence on health and quality of life . Satisfaction has a significant impact on individual success, especially in work and training. Satisfied people generally develop little or no symptoms. Seen in this way, satisfaction can also be used as a criterion for successful psychotherapy. In order to be professionally satisfied, (self) reflective behavior helps.

Survey of satisfaction

Life satisfaction worldwide

For years, satisfaction with life in general as well as with individual aspects has been asked at EU level ( Eurobarometer Survey) and now increasingly in Great Britain. The aim of the surveys of these satisfaction indicators (“Subjective Well-Being”) is to learn more about the factors for satisfaction and, in the long term, to increase the satisfaction of the citizens, to be able to achieve and measure it directly. A final analysis of the collected data is still pending.

In Bhutan, a state commission for gross national happiness regularly determines the satisfaction of the population. The four criteria fields of gross national happiness are socially just social and economic development, the promotion of cultural values, environmental protection and good administrative structures. There is a discussion about giving constitutional status to increasing gross national happiness.

Problems with surveys

The main problem with surveys and surveys on the subject of satisfaction lies in the subjectivity of the definition or in the subjectivity of the perception “satisfaction”. For this reason, many researchers in the field of customer or job satisfaction define this for the sake of simplicity as "absence of dissatisfaction", with dissatisfaction itself being defined as "failure to meet expectations". Questions are asked about the expectations of the individual and the degree to which these expectations are fulfilled. If expectations are not only met but exceeded, a feeling of satisfaction arises.

Of course, in surveys on the subject of satisfaction, attention must be paid to compliance with the basic requirements of scientific research in qualitative or quantitative research methods so that the results are meaningful. Most of such surveys on the Internet or in magazines cannot meet these requirements.

In marketing there is, among other things, the CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index, or DZG, service satisfaction ) method that tries to determine customer satisfaction . The survey is based on the simultaneous determination of the quality (evaluation of the performance) and the survey of the respondent's expectations for a property or performance. The algorithmic combination of the two results then gives the value of satisfaction.


  • “Compare yourself to those who are better off and you are dissatisfied. Compare yourself to those who are worse off and you will have more than enough. "(China)
  • "Dissatisfied people cannot find a comfortable chair." ( Benjamin Franklin )
  • "Never be satisfied with yourself, except for example episodically, so that your satisfaction only serves to strengthen you to new dissatisfaction." ( Christian Morgenstern )
  • "Comparing is the end of happiness and the beginning of dissatisfaction." ( Søren Kierkegaard )
  • "Most people make themselves dissatisfied only by exaggerated demands on fate." ( Wilhelm von Humboldt )
  • "People, like animals, are rarely satisfied with what they have and consider the chunks to be the best that they can snatch away from someone else." ( Ludwig Thoma )
  • "What do I ask about money and property when I am satisfied." ( Johann Martin Miller )
  • “Friends, the things you desire give you as little satisfaction as drinking salt water. Therefore practice contentment. "( Atisha )

See also


  • Journal Journal of Happiness Studies , ISSN  1389-4978
  • Rudolf Sponsel: Life and self-satisfaction as a control of psychotherapy success. Practical systematics of psychological treatment research . IEC, Erlangen 1984
  • Ruut Veenhoven: is happiness relative? Reflections on happiness , mood and satisfaction from a psychological point of view. In: Report Psychology. Vol. 16, July 1991, pp. 14-20. (
  • Ruut Veenhoven: The life satisfaction of the citizens. An indicator for the 'viability' of societies? In: H.-H. Noll (Ed.): Social reporting in Germany. Concepts, methods and results for areas of life and population groups . Juventa Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-7799-0396-2 , pp. 267-293. (
  • Ruut Veenhoven: The return of inequality to modern society? The distribution of life satisfaction in the EU countries from 1973 to 1996. In: Wolfgang Glatzer , Roland Habich, Karl-Ulrich Maier (Hrsg.): Social change and social long-term observation. Festschrift for Wolfgang Zapf. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2002, ISBN 3-8100-3368-5 , pp. 273-294.

Web links

Wiktionary: satisfaction  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: satisfied  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. ^ E. Kaibara: The way to satisfaction. Frankfurt 2002.
  2. J. Wilker: The multiplication table of satisfaction: happiness and stay. Bielefeld 2007.
  3. HJ Rahn: To the meaning of life. Hamburg 2012, p. 281.
  4. ^ UK Sustainable Development - Wellbeing ( Memento from May 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  5. Advice from Atisha's heart