Psychometrics Properties of the Epistemic Trust, Mistrust and Credulity Questionnaire (ETMCQ) in Iranian Society

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.A in Clinical Psychology, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Psychology at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant professor, Department of Social and Cultural Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Developmental Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.

5 Associate professor, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom.



Aim: The purpose of this research was to investigate factor structure, validity, and reliability of the Epistemic Trust, Mistrust, and Credulity Questionnaire (ETMCQ) in Iranian Society.
Method: The research method was in terms of purpose, applied and the data collection method was descriptive correlational. The statistical population included all Iranian females and males above 18 years old in the year 2022. After translating and obtaining the face validity and the content validity of the questionnaire by experts, 690 adults were selected using convenience sampling and answered the Persian version of the ETMCQ. The factor validity of the ETMCQ, by confirmatory and exploratory analysis methods, and internal consistency by Cronbach's alpha were obtained. Also, to investigate the convergent and divergent validity, The Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire (ECR), The Mentalization Scale (MentS), The Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO), and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) were used.
Results: The results showed that the three-factor structure of the questionnaire in the Iranian sample had a good fit with the data. Internal consistency for the epistemic trust, epistemic mistrust, and epistemic credulity was 0/66, 0/56, and 0/79, respectively. Also, the construct validity, the convergent validity, and the divergent validity of the instrument were confirmed.
Conclusion: The findings of the current research confirmed the psychometric characteristics of the Epistemic Trust, Mistrust, and Credulity Questionnaire. Therefore, this questionnaire can be considered a suitable instrument for measuring the epistemic stances of adults in various research fields.


Main Subjects

Ale Behbahani, Marjan., Mohammadi, Nourollah. (2007). Examining the psychometric properties of the Kernberg's the Inventory of personality organization. Psychology, No. 42, 197-185. [link]
Allen, J. G. (2018). Mentalizing in the development and treatment of attachment trauma. Routledge. [link]
Amini, Mostafa. (2022). The mediating role of epistemic trust in the relationship between attachment and mentalization with personality organization in adults. Master's thesis, field of clinical psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology. [link]
Bateman, A., Campbell, C., Luyten, P., & Fonagy, P. (2018). A mentalization-based approach to common factors in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Current opinion in psychology, 21, 44-49. [link]
Bernstein, D. P., Stein, J. A., Newcomb, M. D., Walker, E., Pogge, D., Ahluvalia, T., & Zule, W. (2003). Development and validation of a brief screening version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Child abuse & neglect, 27(2), 169-190. [link]
Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment: An integrative overview. Attachment theory and close relationships, 46, 76. [link]
Butters, J. L. (2016). Learning to Trust, trusting to Treat: Epistemic Trust and Significant Learning Moments for Psychotherapy Trainees in their Own Therapy (Doctoral dissertation, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology). [link]
Campbell, C., Tanzer, M., Saunders, R., Booker, T., Allison, E., Li, E., ... & Fonagy, P. (2021). Development and validation of a self-report measure of epistemic trust. PloS one16(4), e0250264. [link]
Corriveau, K. H., Harris, P. L., Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Elliott, L., ... & De Rosnay, M. (2009). Young children’s trust in their mother’s claims: Longitudinal links with attachment security in infancy. Child development80(3), 750-761. [link]
Csibra, G., & Gergely, G. (2009). Natural pedagogy. Trends in cognitive sciences13(4), 148-153. [link]
Dimitrijević, A., Hanak, N., Altaras Dimitrijević, A., & Jolić Marjanović, Z. (2018). The Mentalization Scale (MentS): A self-report measure for the assessment of mentalizing capacity. Journal of personality assessment100(3), 268-280. [link]
Ebrahimi, H., Dejkam, M., Seghatoleslam, T. (2014). Childhood Traumas and Suicide Attempt in adulthood. IJPCP 2014; 19 (4) :275-282. [link]
Egyed, K., Király, I., & Gergely, G. (2013). Communicating shared knowledge in infancy. Psychological science24(7), 1348-1353. [link]
Fonagy, P. (2018). Epistemic Trust and Epistemic Injustice, Trying to Understand The Way Psychological Therapies Work For Persistent Mental Health Problems. [link]
Fonagy, P., & Allison, E. (2014). The role of mentalizing and epistemic trust in the therapeutic relationship. Psychotherapy, 51(3), 372. [link]
Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., & Allison, E. (2015). Epistemic petrification and the restoration of epistemic trust: A new conceptualization of borderline personality disorder and its psychosocial treatment. Journal of personality disorders29(5), 575-609. [link]
Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Allison, E., & Campbell, C. (2017). What we have changed our minds about: Part 2. Borderline personality disorder, epistemic trust and the developmental significance of social communication. Borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation4(1), 1-12. [link]
Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Campbell, C., & Allison, L. (2019). Epistemic trust, psychopathology and the great psychotherapy debate. Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. [link]
Kampling, H., Kruse, J., Lampe, A., Nolte, T., Hettich, N., Brähler, E., ... & Riedl, D. (2022). Epistemic trust and personality functioning mediate the association between adverse childhood experiences and posttraumatic stress disorder and complex posttraumatic stress disorder in adulthood. Frontiers in Psychiatry13. [link]
Kernberg, O. F., & Clarkin, J. F. (1995). The inventory of personality organization. White Plains, NY: The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. [link]
Lenzenweger, M. F., Clarkin, J. F., Kernberg, O. F., & Foelsch, P. A. (2001). The inventory of personality organization: psychometric properties, factorial composition, and criterion relations with affect, aggressive dyscontrol, psychosis proneness, and self-domains in a nonclinical sample. Psychological assessment13(4), 577. [link]
Liotti, M., Milesi, A., Spitoni, G. F., Tanzilli, A., Speranza, A. M., Parolin, L., ... & Giovanardi, G. (2023). Unpacking trust: The Italian validation of the epistemic trust, mistrust, and credulity questionnaire (ETMCQ). Plos one18(1), e0280328. [link]
McCraw, B. W. (2015). The nature of epistemic trust. Social epistemology29(4), 413-430. [link]
Orme, W., Bowersox, L., Vanwoerden, S., Fonagy, P., & Sharp, C. (2019). The relation between epistemic trust and borderline pathology in an adolescent inpatient sample. Borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation6(1), 1-9. [link]
Panaghi, L., Maleki, G., Zabihzadeh, A., Poshtmashhadi, M., Soltaninezhad, Z. (2014). Validity, Reliability, and Factor Analysis of Experiences in Close Relationship (ECR) Scale. IJPCP 2014; 19 (4) :305-313. [link]
Safari Mousavi, S. S., Sadeghi, M., & Sepahvandi, M. A. (2020). The Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties of Mentalization Questionnaire: A Self-Report Measure for the Assessment of Mentalizing Capacity. Research in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences10(1), 123-134. doi: 10.22108/cbs.2021.127401.1492. [link]
Schröder-Pfeifer, P., Georg, A. K., Talia, A., Volkert, J., Ditzen, B., & Taubner, S. (2022). The Epistemic Trust Assessment—An experimental measure of epistemic trust. Psychoanalytic Psychology39(1), 50. [link]
Schroder-Pfeifer, P., Talia, A., Volkert, J., & Taubner, S. (2018). Developing an assessment of epistemic trust: a research protocol. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome21(3). [link]      
Sperber, D., & Wilson, D. (1995). Relevance: Communication and cognition. Malden, MA: Blackwell. [link]
Sperber, D., Clément, F., Heintz, C., Mascaro, O., Mercier, H., Origgi, G., & Wilson, D. (2010). Epistemic vigilance. Mind & Language25(4), 359-393. [link]
Talia, A., Duschinsky, R., Mazzarella, D., Hauschild, S., & Taubner, S. (2021). Epistemic Trust and the Emergence of Conduct Problems: Aggression in the Service of Communication. [link]
Tanzer, M., Campbell, C., Saunders, R., Luyten, P., Booker, T., & Fonagy, P. (2021). Acquiring knowledge: Epistemic trust in the age of fake news. [link]
Thomas, N., & Jenkins, H. (2019). The journey from epistemic vigilance to epistemic trust: service-users experiences of a community mentalization-based treatment programme for Anti-Social personality disorder (ASPD). The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology30(6), 909-938. [link]
Wickham, A. L. (2019). The Role of Epistemic Trust in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (Doctoral dissertation, UCL (University College London)). [link]