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Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale

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Cantril’s Ladder; Ladder of life


The Cantril self-anchoring striving scale or in short the Cantril-ladder is an instrument to measure people’s attitudes towards their life and its components in various respects. The original scale contains a ladder with 11 steps, and the end points of the scale are defined by the respondents in terms of their best and their worst life experience.


The Cantril self-anchoring striving scale is clearly described in Cantril’s main publication from 1965: “A person is asked to define on the basis of his own assumptions, perceptions, goals and values the two extremes or anchoring points of the spectrum on which some scale measurement is desired – for example he may be asked to define the ‘top’ and ‘bottom,’ the ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ the ‘best’ and the ‘worst.’ This well-defined continuum is then used as our measuring device” (Cantril, 1965, p. 22).

If a certain person is asked to evaluate his life using a Cantril-ladder, he is going...

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Correspondence to Wolfgang Glatzer .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Glatzer, W., Gulyas, J. (2014). Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht.

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