Item-pair measures of acquiescence : the artificial inflation of socially desirable responding
2021, Vésteinsdóttir, Vaka, Asgeirsdottir, Ragnhildur Lilja, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Thorsdottir, Fanney
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of socially desirable responding in an item-pair measure of acquiescence from the Big Five Inventory. If both items in an item-pair have desirable content, the likelihood of agreeing with both items is increased, and consequently, the type of responding that would be taken to indicate acquiescence. In Study I, item content desirability was evaluated for each of the 32 items belonging to the item-pairs in two samples of 214 and 68 university students. The item-pair desirability was then correlated with the percentage of respondents who agreed with both items in a separate sample of 895 students. Results showed a substantial correlation between item-pairs’ desirability and the percentage of estimated acquiescence, indicating an inflation of acquiescence when item-pairs have desirable content. The finding was further supported by Study II, in which acquiescence and item difficulty, assessed with cognitive interviews, were unrelated.
An item level evaluation of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale using item response theory on Icelandic Internet panel data and cognitive interviews
2017-03, Vésteinsdóttir, Vaka, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Joinson, Adam, Thorsdottir, Fanney
The Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS) is commonly used to validate other self-report measures within social and health research. Concerns over the scale's length (33 items) have repeatedly been raised. Nevertheless, prior efforts to develop psychometrically sound short forms of the MCSDS have not led to consistent findings. The purpose of this study was to develop a short form of the MCSDS, in accordance with guidelines for best practices in short form and scale development. Information on item properties, obtained with item response theory (IRT) and cognitive interviews (CogI), were used to eliminate items with poor properties and select items for a short form to be administered via the Internet. The IRT analyses were based on responses from 536 Internet panel members and the CogI sample consisted of 40 interviewees. Ten items were dropped due to poor psychometric properties and out of the 23 remaining items a ten item short form was developed.
Questions on Honest Responding
2019-04, Vésteinsdóttir, Vaka, Joinson, Adam, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Danielsdottir, Hilda Bjork, Thorarinsdottir, Elin Astros, Thorsdottir, Fanney
This article presents a new method for reducing socially desirable responding in Internet self-reports of desirable and undesirable behavior. The method is based on moving the request for honest responding, often included in the introduction to surveys, to the questioning phase of the survey. Over a quarter of Internet survey participants do not read survey instructions, and therefore, instead of asking respondents to answer honestly, they were asked whether they responded honestly. Posing the honesty message in the form of questions on honest responding draws attention to the message, increases the processing of it, and puts subsequent questions in context with the questions on honest responding. In three studies (nStudy I = 475, nStudy II = 1,015, nStudy III = 899), we tested whether presenting the questions on honest responding before questions on desirable and undesirable behavior could increase the honesty of responses, under the assumption that less attribution of desirable behavior and/or admitting to more undesirable behavior could be taken to indicate more honest responses. In all studies the participants who were presented with the questions on honest responding before questions on the target behavior produced, on average, significantly less socially desirable responses, though the effect sizes were small in all cases (Cohen's d ranging between 0.02 and 0.28 for single items, and from 0.17 to 0.34 for sum scores). The overall findings and the possible mechanisms behind the influence of the questions concerning honest responding on subsequent questions are discussed, and suggestions are made for future research.
Psychometric properties of measurements obtained with the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale in an Icelandic probability based Internet sample
2015, Vésteinsdóttir, Vaka, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Joinson, Adam, Thorsdottir, Fanney
Internet surveys have become a very popular research tool. Relatively little attention has, however, been devoted to the possible changes in psychometric properties when measurements are obtained with Internet surveys. The Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS) is the most widely used instrument for measuring the tendency to respond in a socially desirable way and is often used to validate other measures. The purpose of the current research is to evaluate the dimensionality and reliability of measurements obtained with the MCSDS and short forms of the scale in an Internet sample of the general public in Iceland. An e-mail invitation was sent to a sample of 1200 panel members drawn from the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) probability based panel, of those 536 participants completed all items on the MCSDS. Reliability estimates were in line with results from previous studies (α = .81 for the MCSDS data and α ranging from .59 to .75 for short forms). Using confirmatory factor analysis, a good fit was obtained for a one-factor model of measurements obtained with the MCSDS and its short forms (apart from significant chi square values in all cases but one), which generally supports the assumption of unidimensionality.
Social desirability in spouse ratings
2019, Vésteinsdóttir, Vaka, Steingrimsdottir, E.D., Thorsdottir, Fanney, Joinson, Adam N., Reips, Ulf-Dietrich
Whether or not socially desirable responding (SDR) is a cause for concern in personality assessment has long been debated. For many researchers, McCrae and Costa (1983) laid the issue to rest when they showed that correcting for SDR in self-reports did not improve the agreement with spouse ratings on the NEO Personality Inventory. However, their findings rest on the assumption that observer ratings in general, and spouse ratings in particular, are an unbiased external criterion. If spouse ratings are also susceptible to SDR, correcting for the bias in self-rated measures cannot be assumed to increase agreement between self-reports and spouse ratings, and thus failure to do so should not be taken as evidence for the ineffectiveness of measuring and correcting for SDR. In the present study, McCrae and Costa’s influential study was replicated with the exception of measuring SDR with the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, in both self-reports and spouse ratings. Analyses were based on responses from 70 couples who had lived together for at least one year. The results showed that both self-reports and spouse ratings are susceptible to SDR and thus McCrae and Costa’s conclusion is drawn into question.