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Trust Game for Couples (TGC)

About the Trust Game for Couples (TGC)

The Trustgame for Couples (TGC) is an interactive, incentivized game paradigm to measure trust between romantic partners (i.e., each individual's trust towards the romantic partner).


When to use this test

  • The TGC was designed to measure trust in romantic relationships in scientific studies.
  • The TGC in its current form is typically applied offline (i.e., both partners should be present), but may be adapted for online measures as well.
  • The TGC may also be used to measure trust in other dyadic relationships, such as friends, family members, or colleagues, by adapting the items to fit expectations in these relationships.
  • We recommend to use real monetary incentives in accordance to the payoff rules of the paradigm


Administration time

10-15 minutes


Task format

  • The TGC consists of 15 items, each including three decisions in a forced-choice response format
  • First, participants respond to a statement (Correct vs Incorrect)
  • Second, participants estimate their partner's response (Correct vs Incorrect)
  • Third, participants can place a bet on this estimation to be true (0-50 cents)
  • The game is played simultaneously, which means that if it takes one partner longer to make a decision, the other will wait.
  • The game is played anonymously: Participants receive no information on decisions by their partner, and both partners will receive a shared payment.



The TGC automatically generates various measures in the "session" table in zTree, including:

  • Q1_X = First decision item X (X = 1-15; own decision; 1 = Correct, 0 = Incorrect)
  • Q2_X = Second decision item X (X = 1-15; estimation of partner's decision; 1 = Correct, 0 = Incorrect)
  • Q3_X = Third decision item X (X = 1-15; bet; 0 = 0 cents, 1 = 10 cents, 2 = 20 cents, 3 = 30 cents, 4 = 40 cents, 5 = 50 cents)
  • ProfitX = Profit for item X (X = 1-15; 0 to 65 cents)
  • Gambling_Einschaetzung = Estimation of the partner's dice roll (0 = even, 1 = odd)
  • Gambling_Einsatz = Bet (0 to 50 cents)
  • Gambling_Wuerfelergebnis = Result of own dice roll (0 = even, 1 = odd)
  • Profit_Own = Total individual profit (in cents)
  • Profit_Own_nogambling = Individual profit without dice game (in cents)
  • Profit Other = Total profit of the partner (in cents)
  • Profit_total = Joint profit (in cents)
  • VX = Separate trust score for item X (X = 1-9; score of -6 to 6; only for trust-relevant items)
  • Vertrauensscore = Trust score (average of the nine trust-relevant items) 



Kleinert, T., Schiller, B., Fischbacher, U., Grigutsch, L. A., Koranyi, N., Rothermund, K., & Heinrichs, M. (2020). The Trust Game for Couples (TGC): A new standardized paradigm to assess trust in romantic relationships. PloS One, 15(3), e0230776.



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