The General Confidence Scale: Coping With Environmental Uncertainty and Threat


Carmen Keller, ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions, Consumer Behavior, Universitätstrasse 22, CHN J75.2, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland E-mail:


We investigated general confidence as a psychological buffer for coping with environmental uncertainty and threat. In Study 1, a new scale to measure general confidence was developed and cross-validated with different samples. Study 2 examined general confidence as a moderator of the influence of environmental stress on individual strains. Two groups of participants were presented with photographs either of terrorist attacks or of neutral scenes. We found a significant interaction between presented scenes and general confidence. Study 3 examined the effect of general confidence on acceptance of mobile phone stations while controlling for relevant variables. The results showed good incremental validity for the General Confidence Scale over related personality and social psychological constructs.