Talkaholic Scale

The talkaholic scale is a measure compulsive communication. Some people are driven to talk. They are highly verbal people and have great difficulty (and often little desire) being quiet in the presence of other people. While these individuals are "high talkers" or "talkaholics," they usually are not the people that others refer to as one who "talks too much." The term "talks too much" usually is applied to people who are saying things another person doesn't want them to say, or they are ineffective communicators. While the term appears to be a quantitative description, it actually is a qualitative reference. Considerable research had determined that the more a person talks (in most cases, unless the person is an incompetent communicator or saying things that are offensive to others) the more positively that person is evaluated by others. They are more likely to be seen as a leader, as being more competent, and more positively on a variety of other person perception variables.

Read the following questions and select the answer that corresponds with what you would do in most situations. Do not be concerned if some of the items appear similar. Please use the scale below to rate the degree to which each statement applies to you. Use the following responses: 

Strongly Disagree =1; Disagree = 2; Neutral = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly Agree = 5

_____1. Often I keep quiet when I should talk

_____2. I talk more than I should sometimes

_____3. Often, I talk when I know I should keep quiet

_____4. Sometimes I keep quiet when I know it would be to my advantage to talk

_____5. I am a "talkaholic"

_____6. Sometimes I feel compelled to keep quiet

_____7. In general, I talk more than I should

_____8. I am a compulsive talker

_____9. I am not a talker; rarely do I talk in communication situations

_____10. Quite a few people have said I talk too much

_____11. I just can't stop talking too much

_____12. In general, I talk less than I should

_____13. I am not a "talkaholic"

_____14. Sometimes I talk when I know it would be to my advantage to keep quiet

_____15. I talk less than I should sometimes

_____16. I am not a compulsive talker

Scoring: To determine the score on the Talkaholic Scale, complete the following steps:

Step 1: Add the scores for items 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 14.

Step 2: Add the scores for items 13 and 16.

Step 3: Complete the following formula: Total Score = 12 + Total from Step 1 - Total from Step 2.

NOTE: Items 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 15 are filler items and are not scored.

The score should be between 10 and 50. Most people score below 30.

People who score between 30 and 39 are borderline talkaholics, and are able to control their talking most of the time, but sometimes they find themselves in situations where it is difficult to be quiet, even if it would be very much to their advantage not to talk.

People with scores above 40 are talkaholics. They are truly compulsive communicators.


McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1993). Identifying compulsive communicators: The talkaholic scale. Communication Research Reports, 11, 39-52.

McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1995). Correlates of compulsive communication: Quantitative and qualitative characteristics. Communication Quarterly, 43, 39-52.