Social Desirability Responding In Children: The Effects of Three Test Administration Procedures On Socially Desirable Responding and a Self-Report Personality Inventory

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

John Alcorn

Advisor Department



This study investigated the effects of three methods of self-report inventory administration on the social desirability response set and self-esteem scores in children. Fifty-one 10, 11, and 12-year-old children completed a self-esteem inventory and a social desirability questionnaire under three conditions: (a) oral administration with oral responding, (b) oral administration with written responding, and (c) self administration with written responding. A MANOVA yielded no group differentiation with regard to the dependent variables of social desirability score, a Lie score, and self-esteem score. There were significant correlations between socially desirable responding and self-esteem scores in all participants, as well as participants when pooled within groups. Results are discussed with regard to trends in scores related to perceived anonymity of the test-taker under differing conditions and future development of inventories suspicion-free of the social desirability response set.