SocioCommunicative Style Scale (SCS)

Sociocommunicative style refers to others' perception of a communicator's assertiveness and responsiveness behaviors. This instrument is designed to measure the perceptions of these behaviors. Generally, these perceived behaviors are uncorrelated. These are two of the three components of the SCS construct. The third component is variously labeled as "versatility" or "flexibility." This third component is best measured by the "Cognitive Flexibility" scale. The alpha reliability estimates for the measures of assertiveness and responsiveness are generally above .80. The predictive validity of this instrument has been demonstrated in numerous studies. It is believed that the components of SCS (assertiveness, responsiveness, and versatility/flexibility) are the essential behavioral components of general communication competence.

In the instructions below we indicate that "Some Person" is the target to whom the observer should respond. This can be replaced by either a person's name or by a description of the person (e.g., 'your supervisor," "your teacher," "your spouse," "your physician").

INSTRUCTIONS: The questionnaire below lists twenty personality characteristics. Please indicate the degree to which you believe each of these characteristics applies to (Some Person) while interacting with others by marking whether you (5) strongly agree that it applies, (4) agree that it applies, (3) are undecided, (2) disagree that it applies, or (1) strongly disagree that it applies. There are no right or wrong answers. Work quickly; record your first impression.

_____ 1. helpful

_____ 2. defends own beliefs

_____ 3. independent

_____ 4. responsive to others

_____ 5. forceful

_____ 6. has strong personality

_____ 7. sympathetic

_____ 8. compassionate

_____ 9. assertive

_____ 10. sensitive to the needs of others

_____ 11. dominant

_____ 12. sincere

_____ 13. gentle

_____ 14. willing to take a stand

_____ 15. warm

_____ 16. tender

_____ 17. friendly

_____ 18. acts as a leader

_____ 19. aggressive

_____ 20. competitive


For the assertiveness score, add responses to items 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 14, 18, and 20.

For the responsiveness score, add responses to items 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17.


McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1996). Fundamentals of human communication: An interpersonal perspective. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (1990). Reliability and separation of factors on the assertiveness-responsiveness scale. Psychological Reports, 67, 449-450.