The Assertiveness Inventory

by Psychology Roots

The Assertiveness Inventory

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About The Assertiveness Inventory

Scale Name

The Assertiveness Inventory

Author Details

Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons

Translation Availability

Not sure


The Assertiveness Inventory is a tool designed to assess an individual’s level of assertiveness. There are potentially several versions out there, but the most common one comes from Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons. This particular inventory isn’t a formal psychological test and doesn’t have right or wrong answers.

Instead, it uses a series of questions (usually around 40) to gauge your tendencies in various situations. You’ll likely be given a scale to rate yourself on, indicating how often you behave in a certain way. The questions explore scenarios where assertiveness is important, and aim to identify if you lean more towards passiveness, aggression, or assertiveness in your responses.

By reviewing your answers, you can gain insight into areas where you might be lacking assertiveness and potentially hindering yourself. This self-assessment can be a springboard for developing stronger assertiveness skills, allowing you to express yourself more confidently and effectively in your interactions with others.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

  • Copies of the Assertiveness Inventory questionnaire. This can be a physical paper form or a digital version.
  • Pens or pencils for marking answers (if using a paper form).
  • Introduction: Briefly explain the purpose of the inventory – to assess assertiveness levels. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers and encourage honesty for an accurate assessment.
  • Instructions: Provide clear instructions on how to complete the inventory. Explain the rating scale (usually a 0-3 scale or similar) and what each number represents (e.g., 0 – Never, 1 – Sometimes, 2 – Often, 3 – Always).
  • Time Allotment: Allocate sufficient time for participants to complete the questionnaire comfortably. This typically takes around 10-15 minutes depending on the length of the inventory.
  • Anonymity: If desired, you can offer the option for anonymous completion by collecting the questionnaires without requiring names.

Reliability and Validity

The Assertiveness Inventory, particularly the version by Alberti and Emmons, shows promising results in terms of reliability and validity. Here’s a breakdown of what that means:


  • Refers to the consistency of the inventory’s measurements.
  • Studies have shown the Assertiveness Inventory to have good internal consistency, meaning the questions within the inventory tend to measure the same underlying concept (assertiveness) effectively.
  • Commonly used measures like Cronbach’s Alpha show values around 0.8, which indicates good internal consistency.
  • Test-retest reliability, assessing consistency over time, has also been found to be acceptable, with correlations between scores taken at different points in time typically ranging from moderate to high (around 0.7 to 0.8).


  • Refers to the extent the inventory actually measures what it’s intended to measure (assertiveness in this case).
  • The Assertiveness Inventory demonstrates evidence of both construct validity and discriminant validity.
  • Construct validity suggests the inventory captures the theoretical aspects of assertiveness, with scores correlating with other measures of assertiveness or social anxiety (assertiveness often being negatively linked to social anxiety).
  • Discriminant validity indicates the inventory can differentiate between assertiveness and other relevant constructs. For instance, scores shouldn’t be strongly correlated with measures of social desirability (tendency to give answers considered favorable).

Available Versions



Emmons, M. L., & Alberti, R. E. (1982). Your perfect right: A guide to assertive living.

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?
A tool to assess your level of assertiveness.

Who made it (most common)?
Robert E. Alberti & Michael L. Emmons

Is it a test?
No, a self-assessment with no right or wrong answers.

How does it work?
Answers questions about how you typically behave in situations.

What does it measure?
Tendency towards assertiveness, passiveness, or aggression.

How long does it take?
Around 10-15 minutes.

Is it reliable and valid?
Yes, generally shows good reliability and validity for assessing assertiveness.

Not a definitive diagnosis, self-reported information.


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