(MSQ) Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire

A Brief History of the MSQ

The Minnesota (Job) Satisfaction Questionnaire: Its birth, 59th birthday, and a potential future.  By David J. Weiss, August 4, 2022. Invited address presented at the conference of the American Psychological Association, Minneapolis MN.

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The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) is designed to measure an employee's satisfaction with his or her job. Three forms are available: two long forms (1977 version and 1967 version) and a short form. The MSQ provides more specific information on the aspects of a job that an individual finds rewarding than do more general measures of job satisfaction. The MSQ is also useful in exploring client vocational needs, in counseling follow-up studies, and in generating information about the reinforcers in jobs.


The MSQ is a paper-and-pencil inventory of the degree to which vocational needs and values are satisfied on a job. The MSQ can be administered to groups or to individuals, and is appropriate for use with individuals who can read at the fifth grade level or higher. All three forms are gender neutral. Instructions for the administration of the MSQ are given in the booklet. The MSQ Long Form requires 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The Short Form requires about 5 minutes. Unless the 15 to 20 minutes required for the Long Form is impractical, it is strongly recommended that the Long Form be used, as it provides much more information for the short additional administration time required.

Long-Form MSQ. Measures job satisfaction on 20 five-item scales:

  1. Ability Utilization
  2. Achievement
  3. Activity
  4. Advancement
  5. Authority
  6. Company Policies
  7. Compensation
  8. Co-workers
  9. Creativity
  10. Independence
  11. Moral Values
  12. Recognition
  13. Responsibility
  14. Security
  15. Social Status
  16. Social Service
  17. Supervision--Human Relations
  18. Supervision--Technical
  19. Variety
  20. Working Conditions

Additionally, a 20-item General Satisfaction scale can also be scored.

There are two versions of the long-form MSQ, a 1977 version and a 1967 version.

The 1977 version, which was originally copyrighted in 1963, uses the following five response choices:

  • Very Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • "N" (Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied)
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very Dissatisfied

Normative data for the 21 MSQ scales for 25 representative occupations, plus employed disabled and employed non-disabled workers, are in the MSQ manual.

A "ceiling effect" obtained with the rating scale used in the 1977 version tends to result in most scale score distributions being markedly negatively skewed--most responses alternate between "Satisfied" and "Very Satisfied."

The 1967 version adjusts for this ceiling effect by using the following five response categories:

  • Not Satisfied
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied
  • Extremely Satisfied

This revised rating scale resulted in distributions that tend to be more symmetrically distributed around the "satisfied" category, with larger item variance. Limited normative data are provided in the MSQ manual for the 1967 version. For this reason, the 1967 version of the MSQ is best used where normative data are not required, such as prediction studies or within-organization comparisons where external norms are not necessary.

Short-Form MSQ. This form consists of 20 items from the long-form MSQ that best represent each of the 20 scales. Factor analysis of the 20 items resulted in two factors--Intrinsic and Extrinsic Satisfaction. Scores on these two factors plus a General Satisfaction score may be obtained. The short-form MSQ uses the same response categories used in the 1977 long form. Normative data for the three scales for six selected occupations are in the manual.


The MSQ has been translated into a number of different languages.  These translations have been created by individual researchers who have provided VPR with copies.  VPR cannot take any responsibility for the accuracy or usefulness of these translations; users of these translations should ensure themselves of the accuracy of the translations before using them for any purpose.

Amharic 1977 short form
Arabic 1977 short form
Bahasa Malaysia 1977 short form
Chinese 1977 short form, 1
Chinese 1977 short form, 2
Chinese 1977 short form, 3
Chinese 1977 long form
Chinese--Traditional 1977 long form
Estonian 1977 short form
Filipino Tagalog 1977 long form, 1
Filipino Tagalog 1977 long form, 2
French 1977 short form
Greek 1977 long form
Greek 1977 short form
Korean short form
Lithuanian 1977 short form
Malay short form
Papiamento (Aruba) 1977 long form
Polish 1977 short form
Portuguese 1977 short form
Portuguese short form
Spanish 1967 long form, 1
Spanish 1967 long form, 2
Spanish, 1977, short form, 1
Spanish 1977 short form, 2
Spanish 1977 short form, 3
Swedish 1977 short form
Taiwanese--Mandarin short form
Turkish 1977 short form, 1
Turkish 1977 short form, 2
Turkish 1977 short form, 3
Urdu 1977 long form


The manual includes descriptions of the development and scoring of the two long-form MSQs and the short-form MSQ, reliability and validity data, and normative data on specific occupations. Since the publication of the manual, wording of the long and short forms has been revised to make MSQ items gender neutral.


The MSQ can be hand-scored by using information in the MSQ manual. Vocational Psychology Research does not offer scoring for the MSQ and cannot answer questions about its administration, use, or scoring .

MSQ Manual

MSQ Bibliography, 1967 - 1989

MSQ Long Form 1977

MSQ Long Form 1967 revision

MSQ Short Form 1977