Trust is fundmental in a committed relationship. Without it, people can’t be sure that their partner is really there for them. Most of us believe that trust is an idea, a belief, but trust is really an action. We trust because of what our partners do to us and this impacts how we treat them in return. Trust springs from the choice to take care of our partner at our own expense and vice versa. The Rempel & Holmes, (1986) Trust Scale is a measure of trust within close interpersonal relationships. It can help you to evaluate whether there is a healthy level of trust in your relationship.
Print out the page and then use the correct number from the scale below to indicate how strongly you agree, or disagree, with each statement. Write the appropriate number beside the statement.
1 = strongly disagree
2 = moderately disagree
3 = mildly disagree
4 = neutral
5 = mildly agree
6 = moderately agree
7 = strongly agree
The Trust Scale
|1. I know how my partner is going to act. My partner can always be counted on to act as I expect. P
|2. I have found that my partner is a thoroughly dependable person, especially when it comes to things that are important. D
|3. My partner’s behavior tends to be quite variable. I can’t always be sure what my partner will surprise me with next. P*
|4. Though times may change and the future is uncertain, I have faith that my partner will always be ready and willing to offer me strength,come what may. F
|5. Based on past experience I cannot, with complete confidence, rely on my partner to keep promises made to me. D*
|6. It is sometimes difficult for me to be absolutely certain that my partner will always continue to care for me; the future holds too many uncertainties and too many things can change in our relationship as time goes on.F*
|7. My partner is a very honest person and, even if my partner were to make unbelievable statements, people should feel confident that what they are hearing is the truth. D
|8. My partner is not very predictable. People can’t always be certain how my partner is going to act from one day to another. P*
|9. My partner has proven to be a faithful person. No matter who my partner was married to, she or he would never be unfaithful, even if there was absolutely no chance of being caught. D
|10. I am never concerned that unpredictable conflicts and serious tensions may damage our relationship because I know we can weather any storm. F
|11. I am very familiar with the patterns of behavior that my partner has established and expect that he or she will behave in certain ways. P
|12. If I have never faced a particular issue with my partner before, I occasionally worry that he or she won’t take my feelings into account. F*
|13. Even in familiar circumstances, I am not totally certain my partner will act in the same way twice.P*
|14. I feel completely secure in facing unknown, new situations because I know my partner will never let me down.F
|15. My partner is not necessarily someone others always consider reliable. I can think of some times when my partner could not be counted on.D*
|16. I occasionally find myself feeling uncomfortable with the emotional investment I have made in our relationship because I find it hard to completely set aside my doubts about what lies ahead.F*
|17. My partner has not always proven to be trustworthy in the past, and there are times when I am hesitant to let my partner engage in activities that make me feel vulnerable.D*
|18. My partner behaves in a consistent manner P|
The scale consists of 3 subscales which are indicated by the capital letter at the end of each statement.
P stands for Predictability. Predictability emphasizes the consistency and stability of a partner’s specific behaviours based on past experience.
D represents Dependability. Dependability concentrates on the dispositional qualities of the partner which warrant confidence in the face of risk and potential hurt.
F is for Faith. Faith centres on feelings of confidence in the relationship and the responsiveness and caring expected from the partner in the face of an uncertain future.
Add up your scores for each question marked P, D and F.
Questions with an asterisk are reverse scored, so instead of adding that number to your calculation, you need to subtract it.
Your total Trust measure is the final sum of the 3 subscale totals with asterisked questions subtracted.
There is no right or wrong result, but higher scores mean higher levels of trust – and that is a very good predictor of a successful relationship.
Rempel, J.K., Holmes, J.G. & Zanna, M.P. (1985). Trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 95-112.
Rempel, J.K. & Holmes, J.G. (1986). How do I trust thee? Psychology Today, February 1986, 28–34.