Trust is an important concept in human relationships, even more so in close interpersonal relationships (e.g., romantic partners, married couples, etc).

The trust scale is from the often cited paper by Rempel and colleagues (1985) and measures trust in close relationships.

The trust scale distinguishes between three different dimensions of trust (for definitions see page 101 of the Rempel et al. paper paper).

  1. Predictability: "predictability emphasize the consistency and stability of a partner’s specific behaviors, based on past experience."

  2. Dependability: "the dispositional qualities of the partner, which warrant confidence in the face of risk and potential hurt (e.g., honesty, reliability, etc.)"

  3. Faith: "feelings of confidence in the relationship and the responsiveness and caring expected from the partner in the face of an uncertain future."

In the study, the sample consisted of the following couples:

  • 30 married couples

  • 5 cohabiting couples

  • 12 dating couples (exclusive dating)

The mean age was 31 for men and 29 for women. The average relationship has lasted 9.1 years and the couples with children had on average 2.4 children (p. 101 of Rempel et al., 1985).

dimension mean score number of items



5 items



5 items



7 items

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It seems that the trust scale can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Rempel et al., 1985).


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

This scale can be found on the internet in various forms. Be careful with using that one, though. Note, though, that it is unclear why those deviate from the scale reported in the 1985 paper. For example, Table 1 of the paper lists the item "I feel very uncomfortable when my partner has to make decisions which will affect me personally." as part of "Dependabilty", but the authors of that paper then state that it correlated best with Predictability and was thus reassigned to that dimension (p. 105). This is also how they then analyze it in the item analysis (Table 2). Further, some of the wording is changed. In the original paper, one of the items is "I usually know how my partner is going to act. He/she can be counted on." whereas on the online form it is reformulated as "I know how my partner is going to act. My partner can always be counted on to act as I expect." Altogether, the above listed internet source is either wrong or got a later version, although I think that is unlikely (they list a 1986 source — if you have a copy of 1986 source, please let me know).

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 disagree
- moderately disagree
- mildly disagree
- neutral
- mildly agree
- moderately agree
- strongly agree

l: ts
t: scale agree
o: width 50%
o: random
q: Rate each item about the <u><b>trustworthyness</b></u> of your partner.
- My partner has proven to be trustworthy and I am willing to let him/her engage in activities which other partners find too threatening.
- I have found that my partner is unusually dependable, especially when it comes to things which are important to me.
- I am certain that my partner would not cheat on me, even if the opportunity arose and there was no chance that he/she would get caught.
- I can rely on my partner to keep the promises he/she makes to me.
- Even when my partner makes excuses which sound rather unlikely, I am confident that he/she is telling the truth.
- Even when I don't know how my partner will react, I feel comfortable telling him/her anything about myself; even those things of which I am ashamed.
- Though times may change and the future is uncertain; I know my partner will always be ready and willing to offer me strength and support.
- Whenever we have to make an important decision in a situation we have never encountered before, I know my partner will be concerned about my welfare.
- Even if I have no reason to expect my partner to share things with me, I still feel certain that he/she will.
- I can rely on my partner to react in a positive way when I expose my weaknesses to him/her.
- When I share my problems with my partner, I know he/she will respond in a loving way even before I say anything.
- When I am with my partner I feel secure in facing unknown new situations.
- {reverse} I am never certain that my partner won't do something that I dislike or will embarrass me.
- {reverse} My partner is very unpredictable. I never know how he/she is going to act from one day to the next.
- {reverse} I feel very uncomfortable when my partner has to make decisions which will affect me personally.
- My partner behaves in a very consistent manner.
- {reverse} I sometimes avoid my partner because he/she is unpredictable and I fear saying or doing something which might create conflict.

l: predictability
t: set
- mean $ts.1 $ts.2 $ts.3 $ts.4 $ts.5

l: dependability
t: set
- mean $ts.6 $ts.7 $ts.8 $ts.9 $ts.10 $ts.11 $ts.12

l: faith
t: set
- mean $ts.13 $ts.14 $ts.15 $ts.16 $ts.17

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your scores on the Trust scale, in regard to your partner, are as follows:<br>
Predictability: {$predictability}<br>
Dependability: {$dependability}<br>
Faith: {$faith}<br><br>
Note: Scales range from 1 to 7.


  • Rempel, J.K., Holmes, J.G. & Zanna, M.P. (1985). Trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 95-112.