Social desirability: the role of over-claiming, self-esteem, and emotional intelligence
JESSICA MESMER-MAGNUS , CHOCKALINGAM VISWESVARAN, SATISH DESHPANDE & JACOB JOSEPH
Socially desirable responding (SDR) has been widely studied with regards to personality assessment due to fears it may attenuate the predictive validity of decisions made using such assessments (e.g., in personnel selection). A number of scales have been employed to assess individual differences in response distortion. We expand the nomological net for a popular measure of social desirability – the Marlowe-Crowne scale – by correlating individual differences in SDR to measures of over-claiming, self-esteem, and emotional intelligence. Survey results (n = 198) yielded a significant positive correlation between SDR and both self-esteem and emotional intelligence. Over-claiming was found to be negatively related to self-deceptive enhancement, a form of SDR, but not to SDR overall. Regression analyses revealed emotional intelligence explains significant variance in SDR, over and above that which is explained by self-esteem and over-claiming alone (ΔR2 = .16, p < .01). Implications for personality assessment are discussed.
Key words: social desirability response distortion, marlowe-crowne, self-deceptive denial, self-deceptive enhancement
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