The scale you completed was the Need for Uniqueness Scale, developed by Michael Lynn and C. R. Snyder (2002).

The scale measures the degree to which you want to be different from others. A higher score on the scale suggests that you strongly seek uniqueness, and a low score suggest you uniqueness does not matter much to you. Research says everyone wants to be moderately dissimilar, but people vary in how strong this desire is for them. The graph below shows your need for uniqueness with your score (in green) compared to men and women.

Some people pursue uniqueness by identifying with small, exclusive groups. Others search for innovative or scarce consumer products. However, there are general ways in which people want to be unique:
  • Self-relevance
  • People want to have unique characteristics that reveal something about them as people – something that fits their self-concepts.
  • Difficulty of falsifying
  • People tend to focus on seeking uniqueness in vague characteristics, such their internal traits (e.g., attitudes) rather than external ones (e.g., appearance). It is more difficult to dispute the uniqueness of one’s thoughts than appearance.
Why is seeking uniqueness good for well-being? People are happier if they feel unique, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. In our pursuit of uniqueness, we sometimes come upon new experiences and learn new skills, which make us feel like we’re autonomous (i.e., choosing for ourselves) and competent in what we do. Also, when we seek uniqueness, our goals become different from the goals of others. This way, there can be less competition and social comparison.

How should I seek uniqueness? The pursuit of uniqueness will be most beneficial if you seek it in a community that values it – if the people around you appreciate differences rather than pressure others to conform. Additionally, it is better to seek uniqueness through what you do and what you think rather than the items you purchase. Very often, we expect too much of what our material purchases can do for our self-image and end up disappointed.

Do you have ideas on improving this study? Or did you encounter any difficulties in answering the questions? Click here to send a message to the creators of this study.

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