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MEANING is a seven point scale that indicates how meaningful the activity was to the respondent.

MEANING is collected for three randomly selected activities for each respondent. For activities to be eligible for selection, they must be at least five minutes in duration and may not include the following ACTIVITY codes: sleeping (0101xx), grooming (0102xx), personal activities (0104xx), refusal (500105), don't know (500106). Other activity-level affect data are available in the following variables: SCHAPPY, SCPAIN, SCSAD, SCSTRESS, and SCTIRED. One other quality of life measure is also available: INTERACT.

This variable is available via extracts that are hierarchical or rectangular (activity) (more info on extract formats). If you request a hierarchical extract and plan to construct time use variables in your statistics package, this variable may be useful to you. If you request a rectangular extract and plan to construct time use variables through the extract system, MEANING will not be included in your extract, as persons are the unit of observation for rectangular extracts rather than activity or who records.

These data were collected as part of the Well-being Module of the ATUS interview. Research using MEANING should apply AWBWT as the statistical weight.


This variable is comparable across years.


  • Well-being module activities.


  • 2010, 2012-2013, 2021


This variable has no flags.