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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Character Quiz: Does Your Character Have Trust Issues?

I stumbled across this little quiz while doing research for one of my relationship classes. This is the Trust Scale (developed by Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna in 1985) that measures the level of trust within close interpersonal relationships.

I got to thinking that so many characters nowadays have trust issues. They were burned in their past and just can't see putting their neck out there again. Why might that be?

According to Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna, there are 3 components of trust that come into play:

1) Predictability - the consistency and stability of a partner's specific behaviors. This is based on past experience.

2) Dependability - the qualities of the partner which warrant confidence in the face of risk and potential hope. This is based on the partner's disposition.

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

You'll see Ps, Ds, and Fs next to the questions below that let you know which item in the quiz is measuring one of the above components (called subscales when doing psychological testing).

So what are you waiting for? Instructions are below:

Using the 7 point scale shown below, indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements as they relate to someone with whom you have a close interpersonal relationship.  Place your rating in the box to the right of the statement.

          Strongly Disagree                  Neutral                       Strongly Agree
           -3              -2             -1              0                1                 2                3

My partner has proven to be trustworthy and I am willing to let him/her engage in activities which other partners find too threatening.
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.
I am never certain that my partner won’t do something that I dislike or will embarrass me.
My partner is very unpredictable. I never know how he/she is going to act from one day to the next.
I feel very uncomfortable when my partner has to make decisions which will affect me personally.
I have found that my partner is unusually dependable, especially when it comes to things which are important to me.
My partner behaves in a very consistent manner.
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.
F am an even-tempered person.another person.t me.ant.h Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164-172.ality Assessme
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.
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 sometimes avoid my partner because he/she is unpredictable and I fear saying or doing something which might create conflict.
I can rely on my partner to keep the promises he/she makes to me.
When I am with my partner, I feel secure in facing unknown new situations.
Even when my partner makes excuses which sound rather unlikely, I am confident that he/she is telling the truth.

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

The total measurement of Trust is the sum total of the 3 subscales. So how did your character fare? Trust issues? Send them my way. :)

Blog Tour Buddies: I'm doing a Q&A over at Susie Dietze's blog, Tea and a Good Book. Stop over and say hello!

Fans of Historical Fiction: I'm giving away a copy of Elizabeth Camden's new debut novel with Bethany House! Click here to enter to win The Lady of Bolton Hill!


Susanne Dietze said...

I'm going to take this quiz for my current H/H! Thanks!

Thanks, too, for being my guest on Tea & a Good Book today. Loved the interview.

Unknown said...

Interesting! Glad to have found this resource. Thanks!

Miss Sharp said...

A lot of readers can apparently identify with trust issues and therefore like to read about characters who have them. Wonder what this says about our society?

Jeannie, I wanted to let you know about this post from an agent's blog congratulating writers in general about the uptick in quality of submissions:

I've added you to the roster of blogs that help writers reach amazing new heights!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks for having me, susie!


and miss! thanks so much for your support. :)

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.