Evidence of the properties of an ambiguity tolerance measure: the Multiple Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance Scale-II (MSTAT-II)

Psychol Rep. 2009 Dec;105(3 Pt 1):975-88. doi: 10.2466/PR0.105.3.975-988.


Despite widespread interest in ambiguity tolerance and other information-related individual differences, existing measures of ambiguity tolerance are conceptually disparate and are often psychometrically weak. This paper presents evidence of reliability and validity for a 13-item measure of ambiguity tolerance (MSTAT-II) based on a definition of ambiguity tolerance as an orientation, ranging from aversion to attraction, toward stimuli that are complex, unfamiliar, and insoluble. The MSTAT-II addresses each basic type of ambiguous stimulus, contains fewer items than many other scales, and reduces references to specific contexts and objects not directly related to ambiguity. Data from three studies using diverse samples and measures, including other popular ambiguity tolerance scales, were examined, and the results suggest the MSTAT-II may improve upon other paper-and-pencil measures of ambiguity tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk-Taking
  • Social Conformity
  • Uncertainty*
  • Young Adult