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Development of a technique for the assessment of individual differences in social desirability and acquiescence response styles as related to personality assessment

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Item Summary

Title: Development of a technique for the assessment of individual differences in social desirability and acquiescence response styles as related to personality assessment
Authors: Wells, Kathleen M.
Keywords: Social desirability
Acquiescence (Psychology)
Personality assessment
Personality tests
Issue Date: 1979
Abstract: Subjects were 251 individuals ranging in age from 18-70 of predominantly Caucasian and Oriental ancestry. These individuals were administered a booklet of 498 personality items at university, Civil Service, and retirement home locations. The booklet of personality items contained 6 scales from the Personality Research Form (PRF) and 6 "matching" scales from the California Psychological Inventory (CPI); an "acquiescence" response style scale, the PRF "desirability" response style scale and 20 eight-item social desirability response style scales composed of items with homogeneous social desirability scale values. A procedure called the response style assessment technique (RSAT), based on the "Threshold Theory" of Douglas N. Jackson, was used to derive subject social desirability and acquiescence response style parameters from responses to the 20 eight-item social desirability response style scales. These parameters were then used to predict obtained subject scores on the 12 personality trait scales and the "acquiescence" and "desirability" response style scales. This procedure was devised to facilitate evaluation of the convergent and discriminant validity of personality trait scales and to assess the degree to which individual differences in response styles could be directly assessed for information relevant to personality. The size of the coefficient of determination resulting from regression of obtained trait scale scores on RSAT predicted trait scale scores was used to evaluate the discriminant validity of trait scales apart from response styles. Discriminant and convergent validity of trait scales relative to other trait scales was evaluated by intercorrelating residual trait scale variances resulting from the partialling of variance predicted via RSAT. Results indicate that the PRF scales achieve both a higher degree of discriminant validity apart from response style dimensions and a higher degree of discriminant validity apart from other scales in the inventory than do the CPI scales. Of the 6 pairs of trait scales matched for similarity, only the PRF and CPI "dominance" scales achieved a reasonable level of convergent validity. Factor analysis of the 2 response style scales, the 2 derived subject response style parameters and the 12 trait scales revealed 4 factors accounting for approximately 66 percent of total variance. The first two factors which were related to social desirability and acquiescence response styles, respectively, as indicated by the high loadings obtained by the response style indices on these factors, accounted for approximately 50 percent of total variance. The 251 subjects were separated into 9 response style groups according to low, moderate and high combinations of the derived subject social desirability and acquiescence response style parameters. These response style groupings were significantly related to obtained trait scale scores as determined by analysis of variance and significantly related to obtained personality profiles as determined via discriminant analysis. Two main conclusions were drawn: (1) the RSAT procedure is an effective aid in the evaluation of the convergent and discriminant validity of personality trait scales; (2) that individual differences in social desirability and acquiescence response styles are important personality traits in their own right and should be assessed. An approach to personality assessment based on the direct assessment of response style parameters is described and discussed.
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1979.
Bibliography: leaves [100]-104.
Microfiche.
v, 104 leaves 29 cm
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/9710
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Educational Psychology



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