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A Note on Social Desirability Response Style and Learning

Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Recall (Psychology), Response Style (Tests), Sex Differences, Social Desirability, Verbal Learning


In Brown's study of the learning of personality items which were paired with nonsense syllables, a major finding was that social desirability response style was related to learning measures for women but not men. A reanalysis of these results found that social desirability response style was related to delayed recall for both men and women, and confidence and immediate recall for women only. It was not related to trials to mastery, learning time, and blockings. It was concluded that this study partially supports Edwards' social desirability response style reinterpretation of studies of anxiety and learning, but that many previous studies do not.

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