Willingness To Communicate (WTC)
Willingness to communicate is the most basic orientation toward communication. Almost anyone is likely to respond to a direct question, but many will not continue or initiate interaction. This instrument measures a person's willingness to initiate communication. The face validity of the instrument is strong, and results of extensive research indicate the predictive validity of the instrument. Alpha reliability estimates for this instrument have ranged from .85 to well above .90. Of the 20 items on the instrument, 8 are used to distract attention from the scored items. The twelve remain items generate a total score, 4 context-type scores, and 3 receiver-type scores. The sub-scores generate lower reliability estimates, but generally high enough to be used in research studies.
Directions: Below are 20 situations in which a person might choose to communicate or not to communicate. Presume you have completely free choice. Indicate the percentage of
times you would choose to communicate in each type of situation. Indicate in the space at the left of the item what percent of the time you would choose to communicate. (0 = Never
to 100 = Always)
_____1. Talk with a service station attendant.
_____2. Talk with a physician.
_____3. Present a talk to a group of strangers.
_____4. Talk with an acquaintance while standing in line.
_____5. Talk with a salesperson in a store.
_____6. Talk in a large meeting of friends.
_____7. Talk with a police officer.
_____8. Talk in a small group of strangers.
_____9. Talk with a friend while standing in line.
_____10. Talk with a waiter/waitress in a restaurant.
_____11. Talk in a large meeting of acquaintances.
_____12. Talk with a stranger while standing in line.
_____13. Talk with a secretary.
_____14. Present a talk to a group of friends.
_____15. Talk in a small group of acquaintances.
_____16. Talk with a garbage collector.
_____17. Talk in a large meeting of strangers.
_____18. Talk with a spouse (or girl/boyfriend).
_____19. Talk in a small group of friends.
_____20. Present a talk to a group of acquaintances.
Group Discussion: Add scores for items 8, 15, & 19; then divide by 3.
Meetings: Add scores for items 6, 11, 17; then divide by 3.
Interpersonal: Add scores for items 4, 9, 12; then divide by 3.
Public Speaking: Add scores for items 3, 14, 20; then divide by 3.
Stranger: Add scores for items 3, 8, 12, 17; then divide by 4.
Acquaintance: Add scores for items 4, 11, 15, 20; then divide by 4.
Friend: Add scores for items 6, 9, 14, 19; then divide by 4.
To compute the total WTC score, add the sub scores for stranger, acquaintance, and friend. Then divide by 3.
All scores, total and sub-scores, will fall in the range of 0 to 100
Norms for WTC Scores:
Group discussion >89 High WTC, <57 Low WTC
Meetings >80 High WTC, <39 Low WTC
Interpersonal conversations >94 High WTC, <64 Low WTC
Public Speaking >78 High WTC, <33 Low WTC
Stranger >63 High WTC, <18 Low WTC
Acquaintance >92 High WTC, <57 Low WTC
Friend >99 High WTC, <71 Low WTC
Total WTC >82 High Overall WTC, <52 Low Overall WTC
McCroskey, J. C. (1992). Reliability and validity of the willingness to communicate scale. Communication Quarterly, 40, 16-25.
McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1987). Willingness to communicate. In J. C. McCroskey & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Personality and interpersonal communication (pp. 119-131). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.