The field of consumer psychology studies the thinking and behavior of consumers. This research is particularly relevant as part of applied psychology.

Obviously, advertisers want to know if potential consumers take advertisements seriously and generally how advertisements are cognitively and emotionally processed. One scale tapping into this is the SKEP, which has 9 Likert items.

In the original study by Obermiller and Spangenberg (1998), over a thousand students and faculty members were included. Here are their average scores on the SKEP (from Obermiller & Spangenberg, 1998, p.173, which has more details).

The SKEP score can, in principle, range from 9 to 45.
Group score

Secondary school students


Undergraduate students


MBA students


Faculty members


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It seems that the SKEP can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Obermiller & Spangenberg, 1998).


This is a simple scale question with some reverse coded items.

In the PsyToolkit implementation, the negatively worded items have some highlighting which are not in the original. Also note that Obermiller and Spangenberg suggeste the negatively worded items to prevent a response bias, although they did not find that it made a difference in their samples (Obermiller & Spangenberg, 1998,p. 172).

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- strongly agree
- agree
- neutral
- disagree
- strongly disagree

l: skep
o: width 50%
t: scale agree
q: Select for each of the statements below how much you agree (ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree).
- We can depend on getting the truth in most advertising.
- Advertising's aim is to inform the consumer.
- {reverse} I believe advertising is <b>not</b> informative.
- Advertising is generally truthful.
- {reverse} Advertising is <b>not</b> a reliable source of information about the quality and performance of products.
- Advertising is truth well told.
- {reverse} In general, advertising <b>does not</b> present a true picture of the product being advertised.
- I feel I've been accurately informed after viewing most advertisements.
- {reverse} Most advertising <b>does not</b> provide consumers with essential information.

l: skep_score
t: set
- sum $skep

l: feedback
t: info
q: The possible range on the SKEP runs from 9 to 45 points.<br>
The higher the score, the more skeptical you are towards advertising.<br>
Your score on the SKEP is {$skep_score}.<br>
Check the accompanying PsyToolkit website for population averages.


  • Obermiller, C. & Spangenberg, E.R. (1998). Development of a scale to measure consumer skepticism toward advertising. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 7, 159-186.