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Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale

Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale

What is TSIS

The Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale (TSIS) is a multi-faceted measure of social intelligence. The TSIS is a 21-item self report measure and assesses three related domains of social intelligence - Social information processing (SP), Social skills (SS), Social awareness (SA).

TSIS Printable PDF

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TSIS Scoring and Interpretation

For each item, participants indicate how well it describes them on a scale from: 1 (describes me extremely poorly) to 7 (describes me extremely well).

Interpretation (division of the items across the three subscales):

Social information processing: 1, 3, 6, 9, 14, 17, 19

Social skills: 4, 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20

Social awareness: 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 16, 21

Items 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 21 are negatively worded and should be reverse scored

Gender norms for TSIS subscales

Table 4

TSIS subscale





Social information processing (SP)





Social skills (SS)





Social awareness (SA)





PsyPack can automatically score the TSIS assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

TSIS sample result

Sample Report of TSIS


Intelligence, Social Intelligence

What does TSIS measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • measure social intelligence.



Type of outcome tool

Positive psychology

Assessment modes


Age and eligibility


Estimated time

About 5 minutes


As is true of any self-report instrument, respondents can consciously distort their response to the scale if they are motivated to do so.

Social intelligence measures have been shown to have useful applications in both clinical settings and personnel selection settings.

Researchers interested in cognitive aspects of social intelligence might emphasize the Social information processing (SP) and Social awareness (SA) subscales of TSIS, whereas researchers more interested in behavioral aspects of social intelligence might emphasize the Social skills (SS) subscale; however, the fact that these three distinct facets of social intelligence are represented in a single measure allows the possibility of comparing the relative importance of the different facets across different aspects of social behavior.

The TSIS items and subscales are reasonably free of social desirability response bias. And the subscales are relatively unbiased in terms of both gender and age.

Finally, a word of warning is necessary. The content of social competence and social intelligence is heavily influenced by cultural context. What may be considered to be socially intelligent in one culture may not be in another. For example, while Chinese people view acts aimed at supporting harmony and restoring balance between people as important aspects of socially intelligence, Germans judge obtaining one’s goals and being able to influence others as key aspects of social intelligence. Likewise, adjusting one’s behaviour in accordance with what is believed to be deemed socially acceptable or desirable may be interpreted as socially intelligent behaviour in one culture but considered undesirable behaviour in another. Thus, the meaning of social intelligence and its manifestation in specific situations are culture-dependent and any assessment needs to take these differences into account. Any measure of social competence or intelligence that is to be used in crosscultural studies would need to be operationalised or adapted in a way that it properly reflects culturespecific understandings of the concept.

Attribution and References

Silvera, D., Martinussen, M. and Dahl, T.I. (2001), The Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale, a self-report measure of social intelligence. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 42: 313-319.