Dispositional Contempt Scale


The Dispositional Contempt Scale (DCS) developed by Schriber et al. (2017) included 10-items measuring contempt on a 5-point rating scale.


The authors provided the following instructions on the downloaded form.

Below are a series of statements that may or may not relate to you. Please read each statement carefully, considering each one by one, and indicate the extent to which each describes you by using the response options. There are no right or wrong answers. Please answer honestly, as we are interested in how you actually think, feel, and behave.


1. I tend to disregard people who fall short of my standards.

2. I often lose respect for others.

3. Feeling disdain for others comes naturally to me.

4. I tend to accept people regardless of their flaws.

5. I would never try to make someone feel worthless.

6. I often feel like others are wasting my time.

7. I hardly ever think others are inferior to me.

8. All in all, I am repelled by others' faults.

9. Others tend to give me reasons to look down on them.

10. I often feel contempt for others.

Read more at The Psychology of Contempt


The authors state that the scale scores is the total score for the ten items. Items 4,5, and 7 are reverse scored.


The higher the score, the higher the level of contempt as a disposition or personality trait.


After developing the scale, their third sample revealed an average item mean of 2.48, SD  of .88 and alpha of .89. The DSC was significantly correlated with shame (Other as Shamer Scale, Goss et al., 1994) r = .85. Additional studies revealed DCS means in the range of 2.34 to 2.41 with SDs ranged from .70 to .92. The alpha values ranged from .88 to .90.

The authors compared the DCS to other measures and found significant relationships with aggression, hubristic price and dispositional envy. As you might expect, high DCS scores were significantly inversely related with the Big % trait of agreeableness. See Shriber et al. (2017) for details.




I downloaded the scale from Tilburg University.


 Learn more about assessment in Applied Statistics for Counselors

Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index


Goss, K., Gilbert, P., & Allan, S. (1994). An exploration of shame measures–

1: The Other as Shamer scale. Personality and Individual Differences,

17, 713–717. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(94)90149-X


Schriber, R. A., Chung, J. M., Sorensen, K. S., & Robins, R. W. (2017). Dispositional

contempt: A first look at the contemptuous person. Journal of Personality and Social

Psychology, 113, 280-309.

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