skip to main content skip to footer

Suspicion of Deception in a Conformity Study NICHD

Jackson, Douglas N.; Messick, Samuel J.; Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health, Conformity, Deception, Psychological Studies, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Suspiciousness


This paper was presented at the American Psychological Association meetings in New York in September 1966. The purpose of the study reported was to assess the extent of subjects' suspicions about deceptions and to determine some of the characteristics of suspicious subjects, using data routinely obtained in the course of a large study of conformity. The sample consisted of 190 paid volunteers, 101 males and 89 females, who were either in the eleventh or twelfth grades of high school or had just graduated. The authors indicate that the most striking findings of the study were the wide extent and generality of suspicion. Another important finding cited was that subjects' suspicions were generally related to their responses to the conformity procedures--suspicious subjects conforming less. The most general findings about the personality correlates of the suspicion measures concern their negative correlations with acquiescence to scales whose content consists of attitudes, aphorisms, and generalities, and the greater suspicion measure for males than females.

Read More