The Social Intelligence Quiz
Toxic vs. Nourishing Scale
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Dr. Karl Albrecht
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In his landmark book Social Intelligence: the New Science of Success (Wiley, 2005), Dr. Karl Albrecht offers the following definitions:

  • Social Intelligence: the ability to get along well with others, and to get them to cooperate with you.

  • "Toxic" behavior: A consistent pattern of behavior that makes others feel devalued, inadquate, angry, frustrated, or guilty.

  • "Nourishing" behavior: A consistent pattern of behavior that makes others feel valued, capable, loved, respected, and appreciated.


"The deepest craving in every human being
is the desire to be appreciated."

~ William James, pioneer of
modern psychology

Buy the Book

For each of the pairs of opposite behaviors on the list below, think carefully — and honestly — about how they might describe you (or the person you're rating, if not yourself). Click one of the numbered columns from 0 through 4, to show how you or they typically behave one way vs. the other.

Click 0 if you often engage in the most toxic behavior, 1 for less often, 2 for an equal mixture of both toxic and nourishing behaviors, 3 for mostly nourishing behavior, and 4 for the most nourishing behavior.

The net "T-N" score will be the sum of all the individual scores. The highest possible score — all nourishing behaviors — would be 100 points. The lowest possible score — all toxic behaviors — would be zero. Items left unanswered will default to zero.

When you've selected all your ratings, click the "Get Your Score" button and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the net "T-N" score.

Note: the comparison questions (gender, age, etc.) are only used for anonymous statistical analysis. We do not set cookies, or identify you or your computer in any way. The name field is just for your convenience in studying the report.

Questions? Send Us an Email
About the person You're Rating:
Name of Person You're Rating: 
You're Rating: 
 Another Person
Age (if known, or approximate)? 
 Less than HS Diploma
 HS Diploma
 Some College
 College Degree
 Adv. Degree(s)
Click Score for Each Question:
# Toxic Behavior 0 1 2 3 4 Nourishing Behavior
1 Sullen, unfriendly demeanor, keep-away signals Wearing a friendly, inviting expression
2 Being moody, snapping at others Showing tolerance, being cheerful
3 Ignoring or snubbing others Acknowledging and affirming others
4 Condescending, patronizing, "parenting" others Communicating straight, adult to adult
5 Laughing loudly; annoying machine-gun laugh Laughing politely
6 Joking inappropriately, or in bad taste Using humor constructively
7 Overusing profanity or coarse language Suiting your language to the situation
8 Using racial, ethnic, or gender-based slurs Referring to other communities respectfully
9 Monopolizing the conversation Inviting others to share the air time
10 Disagreeing rudely or aggressively Disagreeing politely, exchanging views
11 Expressing dogmatic or intolerant opinions Acknowledging the value of others’ views
12 Interrupting others, talking over them Hearing others out
13 Ridiculing, humiliating, putting others down Affirming others; empathizing
14 Shooting down others' ideas Listening appreciatively, without judging
15 Bragging, scoring status points Praising others, giving them credit
16 Pessimistic, negative, defeatist language Optimistic, positive, upbeat language
17 Bitching, complaining, "dumping your bucket" Expressing tolerance, seeing the positive
18 Sarcasm, verbal barbs, zingers Kidding / joking affectionately
19 Playing head games, manipulating others Communicating openly and honestly
20 Playing the victim, martyr, or injured party Handling setbacks maturely and positively
21 Gossiping, violating confidences Keeping confidences
22 Breaking promises, not keeping your word Making only promises you will keep
23 Insisting on getting your way Compromising, cooperating, sharing
24 Criticizing, pushing unwanted advice Offering information, ideas, options
25 Passing blame, accusing others Accepting / sharing responsibility