Uncertainty Intolerance

Aamir Ranjha

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Uncertainty Intolerance

Uncertainty Intolerance

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About Uncertainty Intolerance

Scale Name

Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale – Short Form (IUS-12) (Uncertainty Intolerance)

Author Details

Carleton, Norton, & Asmundson

Translation Availability

Not Sure

Uncertainty Intolerance
Uncertainty Intolerance


The IUS-12 is a short version of the original 27-item Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (Freeston, Rhéaume, Letarte, Dugas, & Ladouceur, 1994) that measures responses to uncertainty, ambiguous situations, and the future (Carleton, in press). The 12 items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all characteristic of me) to 5 (entirely characteristic of me).

The Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale – Short Form (IUS-12) has a strong correlation with the original scale, rs = .94 to .96 (Carleton, Norton, et al., 2007; Khawaja & Yu, 2010), a continuous latent structure (Carleton, Weeks et al., 2012), and has been shown to have two factors (Carleton, Norton, et al., 2007; McEvoy & Mahoney, 2011), prospective IU (7 items; e.g., “I can’t stand being taken by surprise”) and inhibitory IU (5 items; e.g., “When it’s time to act, uncertainty paralyzes me”), both with identically high internal consistencies, α = .85 (Carleton, Norton, et al., 2007).

The IU construct has been found to be ubiquitous, with scores comparable across anxiety disorders and depression (Carleton, Mulvogue et al., 2012). The IUS-12 was selected to measure IU because it is comparable to, but briefer than, the longer original IUS (Khawaja & Yu, 2010) and the new symptom-focused Intolerance of Uncertainty Index (IUI; Carleton, Gosselin, & Asmundson, 2010; Gosselin et al., 2008).

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

  • Provide the participant with a copy of the IUS-12 questionnaire.
  • Instruct the participant to read each item carefully and rate how characteristic each item is of them using the following scale:
  • Ensure that the participant completes all 12 items.
  • Score the questionnaire by adding up the participant’s responses to all 12 items.
  • Interpret the participant’s score using the following guidelines:
    • Scores of 36 or less indicate low IU
    • Scores of 37 to 48 indicate moderate IU
    • Scores of 49 or more indicate high IU

Reliability and Validity

Good convergent and discriminant validity, as well as internal consistency, have been demonstrated by the total score and both subscale scores (Carleton, Norton, et al., 2007; McEvoy & Mahoney, 2011).

Available Versions



Freeston, M., Rhéaume, J., Letarte, H., Dugas, M. J., & Ladouceur, R. (1994). Why do people worry? Personality and Individual Differences, 17, 791-802. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(94)90048-5Carleton, R. N. (in press). The intolerance of uncertainty constructs in the context of anxiety disorders: Theoretical and practical perspectives. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.

Important Link

Scale File:


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I am a senior clinical psychologist with over 11years of experience in the field. I am the founder of Psychology Roots, a platform that provides solutions and support to learners and professionals in psychology. My goal is to help people understand and improve their mental health, and to empower them to live happier and healthier lives.

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