Distinguishing between trait desirability and item desirability in predicting item scores : Is informant evaluation of personality free from social desirability?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Tianxue Cui
  • Chester Chun Seng Kam
  • Emily Hongzhen Cheng
  • Man Yee Ho

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number111708
Journal / PublicationPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume196
Online published13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Abstract

It is often assumed that informant, or peer evaluation is more trustworthy than self-evaluation because the former is less vulnerable to social desirability response style. The current study examines this assumption in three independent samples, conceptually distinguishing between two types of social desirability: desirability due to item characteristics and due to a person's trait characteristics. We found that self-ratings (Studies 1–3) and peer ratings (Studies 2–3) are equally liable to item desirability in two cultures (Canada and China) with the relation further moderated by rater's trait desirability. Results challenge the popular assumption that informant ratings are impervious to social desirability. Relationship closeness has a moderating role, with closer targets rated more favorably than more distant ones. Results demonstrate the importance of conceptually distinguishing between item and trait desirability and are discussed in terms of a motivational account of response inflation.

Research Area(s)

  • Informant rating, Response distortion, Self-rating, Social desirability

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).

Citation Format(s)

Distinguishing between trait desirability and item desirability in predicting item scores : Is informant evaluation of personality free from social desirability? / Cui, Tianxue; Kam, Chester Chun Seng; Cheng, Emily Hongzhen; Ho, Man Yee.

In: Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 196, 111708, 10.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review