Psychometric evaluation of the Trust in Science and Scientists Scale

Sarah M. Wolff, Glynis M. Breakwell, Daniel B. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reliable and valid measurement of trust in science and scientists is important. Assessing levels of such trust is important in determining attitudes and predicting behaviours in response to medical and scientific interventions targeted at managing public crises. However, trust is a complex phenomenon that has to be understood in relation to both distrust and mistrust. The Trust in Science and Scientists Scale has been adopted with increasing frequency in large-scale public health research. Detailed psychometric evaluation of the scale is overdue and makes meaningful comparisons between studies that use the scale difficult. Here, we examine the scale’s dimensionality across five separate samples. We find that two factors emerge that are divided by their item polarity. Implications for scale use and trust in science measurement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231228
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number4
Early online date17 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024

Data Availability Statement

Data and code are available online at OSF [110]. Included are subsets of each dataset containing the items from the TISS, as well as data files prepared for Mplus analyses and correlation matrices for each dataset. Permission was granted from the authors to provide these item data here for transparency and reproducibility. Full datasets for Breakwell et al. [51], Jaspal et al. [49] and Nadelson et al. [22] are not provided. For Agley et al., full datasets can be freely accessed at [45].

Electronic supplementary material is available online [111].


  • mistrust
  • psychometrics
  • risk
  • science
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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