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Psychological Constructs-Social Desirability

Psychological Constructs-Social Desirability

Psychological Constructs-Social Desirability

Social desirability is a psychological construct that defines the behavior depicted by a defensive tendency of responding in a way that we feel elicits less criticism or portrays us as more socially acceptable or in compliance with the social norms (Grimm, 2010). Notably, social desirability is different from social approval. The latter is described as the need to get an affirmative response from other people. An example of social desirability behavior is when one is asked how much alcohol they consume in a day, assuming they drink more than five drinks a day, and the socially acceptable alcohol limit per day is two, they are bound to base their answer on the two-drink limit. Other common social desirability examples include weight, height, and income.

Social desirability is measured using a scale known as the social desirability scale (SDS). This scale was created back in 1960 by David Marlowe and Douglas P. Crowne, the (MC-SDS) (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). The scale is adjusted according to the test being conducted. An example of an MC-SDS scale is one containing yes or no answers to various questions. The questions would be, “Do you ever lie?”, “do you break the rules often?”, “Do you always keep your promises?” High scores on these tests indicate high levels of social desirability.

The impact of social desirability research is to indicate that people tend to conform to what is socially acceptable despite having differing thoughts. As such, social desirability affects a person’s decision. As a result, this raises several questions, like how much social desirability influences our choices, work, relationships, and other important elements in our lives (Tan et al., 2021). Therefore, a social desirability test is important, especially when it comes to crucial decisions, like those of judges, publishing of articles, and other decisions based on choices that affect many people.


Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology24(4), 349.

Grimm, P. (2010). Social desirability bias. Wiley international encyclopedia of marketing.

Tan, H. C., Ho, J. A., Teoh, G. C., & Ng, S. I. (2021). Is social desirability bias important for effective ethics research? A review of the literature. Asian Journal of Business Ethics10(2), 205-243.


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Researchers, experimenters, psychologists, and other scientists collect and analyze information to understand the world around us. In this discussion, identify 1 psychological finding or construct (e.g., social desirability) and describe at least 1 way this finding has been researched or used in experiments.

Psychological Constructs-Social Desirability

Psychological Constructs-Social Desirability

Please include the following information:

a) the name and explanation of the finding or construct

b) how it was or is studied

c) the impact of this research.

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