Tolerance for Disagreement Scale (TFD)

The tolerance for disagreement scale is designed to measure the degree to which an individual can tolerate other people disagreeing with what the individual believes to be true. This conceptualization is similar to that of argumentativeness. People with high argumentativeness are likely to be able to deal with more disagreement than those people who are low in argumentativeness. It is believed that conflict in interpersonal communication is in large part (in conjunction with the level of liking between the people) a function of the tolerance of disagreement of the interactants. Alpha reliability estimates for the TFD scale can be expected to be in the neighborhood of .85.

Instructions: This questionnaire involves people's feelings and orientations. Hence, there are no right or wrong answers. We just want you to indicate your reaction to each item. All responses are to reflect the degree to which you believe the item applies to you. Please use the following system to indicate the degree to which you agree that the item describes you:
5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree

___ 1. It is more fun to be involved in a discussion where there is a lot of disagreement.

___ 2. I enjoy talking to people with points of view different than mine.

___ 3. I don't like to be in situations where people are in disagreement.

___ 4. I prefer being in groups where everyone's beliefs are the same as mine.

___ 5. Disagreements are generally helpful.

___ 6. I prefer to change the topic of discussion when disagreement occurs.

___ 7. I tend to create disagreements in conversations because it serves a useful purpose.

___ 8. I enjoy arguing with other people about things on which we disagree.

___ 9. I would prefer to work independently rather than to work with other people and have disagreements.

___10. I would prefer joining a group where no disagreements occur.

___11. I don't like to disagree with other people.

___12. Given a choice, I would leave a conversation rather than continue a disagreement.

___13. I avoid talking with people who I think will disagree with me.

___14. I enjoy disagreeing with others.

___15. Disagreement stimulates a conversation and causes me to communicate more.


Step 1. Add the scores for the following items: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 14, 15.

Step 2. Add the scores for the following items: 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Step 3. Complete the following formula: TFD = 48 + total of Step 1 - total of Step 2.

Scores above 46 indicate High TFD. Scores below 32 indicate Low TFD. Scores between 32 and 46 indicate moderate TFD.


Teven, J. J., Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (1998). Measuring tolerance for disagreement. Communication Research Reports, 15, 209-217.

Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (2001). Organizational communication for survival: Making work, work (2nd Ed.) Chapter 14. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.