The correlation between social desirability and endorsement rate of test items using the SNAP and NEO-FFI

Cynthia A Pedregon, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Classic studies in the 1950s indicated that endorsement rates of personality test items are very highly correlated with the items’ social desirability (Edwards, 1953; Hanley, 1956). The present study attempted to recreate those findings using two contemporary personality tests: the NEO Five Factor Inventory short form (NEO-FFI) and 59 randomly selected items from the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP). Also included were 7 Rare Virtue items and 7 Common Fault items from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire, Brief Form. Participants (N = 286) were randomly assigned to one of four groups, which rated the items for “true of self” (TOS), “true of other people in general” (TOG), “true of friends and family” (TFF), or social desirability (SD). Consistent with the studies from the 1950s, high correlations were found between TOS and SD for the items of the SNAP (r = .857, p < .01) and NEO ( r = .810, p < .01). TFF was also highly correlated with SD for the SNAP (r = .828, p < .01) and NEO (r = .803, p < .01). In contrast, TOG exhibited much lower correlations with SD, TOS, and TFF for both the NEO and SNAP (all rs < .45). For Common Fault and Rare Virtue items, the patterns of correlations were very different from each other and from the patterns observed for the NEO and SNAP personality items.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Pedregon, Cynthia A, "The correlation between social desirability and endorsement rate of test items using the SNAP and NEO-FFI" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1461162.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1461162

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