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Desirability Judgments and Self-Reports as Predictors of Social Behavior NICHD

Jackson, Douglas N.; Messick, Samuel J.; Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health, Ontario Mental Health Foundation, Personality Measures, Response Style (Tests), Self Report Measures, Social Desirability


This study investigated the usefulness of desirability judgments of personality items as an indirect measure of the judge's personality. Self-reports and judgments were compared on separate forms of five personality scales. With a few striking exceptions, the two kinds of measures were generally unrelated, and they had markedly different patterns of correlations with behavioral measures of conformity. In general, self-reports only correlated with conformity for subjects who were unsuspicious about the conformity procedures, but judgments correlated with conformity for unsuspicious and suspicious subjects. Both self-reports and judgments correlated with response styles and intelligence, but the self-reports were more extensively involved with the response styles. The differential functioning of the two kinds of measures could not be attributed to the operation of response styles or intelligence, nor did these latter variables moderate the relationship between self-reports and judgments.

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