Carnegie Mellon University

Reactive Responding


MacArthur Reactive Responding Scale - Short Form



Copyright Information

The MacArthur Reactive Responding Scale is not copyrighted, and may be used and reprinted at no charge.  However, the authors request that publications using data collected with the Reactive Responding Scale cite Taylor & Seeman (1999).

Primary Reference

Taylor, S. E. & Seeman, T. E. (1999). Psychosocial resources and the SES-Health relationship. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 896, 210-225.


To gauge self-regulatory skills in the areas of emotional reactivity (tendency to be highly responsive to situational cues), goal orientation (creation of long-term goals and opportunities), and vigilance (monitoring the environment for threatening cues)


Participants read a series of statements and indicate the extent to which they agree with each of the items.


5=Strongly Agree, 4=Agree, 3=Neutral, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly Disagree

Number of Items


Sample Items

  • "I let my emotions cool before I act" (reversed; Emotional Reactivity)
  • “I have many long-term goals that I work to achieve" (Goal Orientation)
  • "I'm on my guard in most situations" (Vigilance)


Emotional Reactivity: Sum Items 1, 5R, 7R
Goal Orientation: Sum Items 2, 5, 8R
Vigilance: Sum Items 3, 6R, 9R