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Measuring the closeness of relationships: a comprehensive evaluation of the 'Inclusion of the Other in the Self' scale

Gaechter, Simon; Starmer, Chris; Tufano, Fabio

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Authors

SIMON GAECHTER simon.gaechter@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor, Psychology of Economic Decision Making

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CHRIS STARMER chris.starmer@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Experimental Economics

Fabio Tufano



Abstract

Understanding the nature and influence of social relationships is of increasing interest to behavioral economists, and behavioral scientists more generally. In turn, this creates a need for tractable, and reliable, tools for measuring fundamental aspects of social relationships. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of the 'Inclusion of the Other in the Self' (IOS) Scale, a handy pictorial tool for measuring the subjectively perceived closeness of a relationship. The tool is highly portable, very easy for subjects to understand and takes less than 1 minute to administer. Across our three online studies with a diverse adult population (n=772) we show that six different scales designed to measure relationship closeness are all highly significantly positively correlated with the IOS Scale. We then conduct a Principal Component Analysis to construct an Index of Relationship Closeness and find that it correlates very strongly (?=.85) with the IOS Scale. We conclude that the IOS Scale is a psychologically meaningful and highly reliable measure of the subjective closeness of relationships.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 12, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 17, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 17, 2015
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 6
Article Number e0129478
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129478
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/754571
Publisher URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129478

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