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Response Styles as Personality Variables: A Theoretical Integration of Multivariate Research USPHS

Damarin, Fred; Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute of Mental Health, United States Public Health Service (USPHS), Personality Studies, Personality Traits, Response Style (Tests)


Factor analytic and correlational studies of response styles have been reviewed for evidence relating stylistic responding to objective or performance measures of personality traits. The evidence strongly suggests that correlations among measures of any one style, such as acquiescence, are determined by more than one basic personality disposition. At least two such basic traits operate in the area of acquiescence; two more appear in the area of desirable responding, and two or three may underlie extremity of response. The evidence also tends to suggest that scores on many current response style variables are nonlinear functions of the basic trait variables. Theories about the psychological nature of these underlying traits are discussed, developed, and compared with findings in the current literature.

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