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Five-factor inventories have a major higher order factor related to social desirability which can be reduced by framing items neutrally

Bäckström, Martin LU ; Björklund, Fredrik LU orcid and Lindén, Magnus LU (2009) In Journal of Research in Personality 43(3). p.335-344
Abstract
The factors in self-report inventories measuring the five-factor model (FFM) correlate with one another although they theoretically should not. Study 1 showed, across three different FFM-questionnaires, that almost all of the common variance between factors can be attributed to a single general factor related to social desirability. In Study 2, simple rephrasing of items from a FFM-questionnaire made them substantially less socially desirable, while the inventory’s empirical (five factor) structure remained the same. Participants low in social desirability showed little difference between how they responded to the original items vs. the neutral items. For participants high in social desirability the difference was considerably larger. The... (More)
The factors in self-report inventories measuring the five-factor model (FFM) correlate with one another although they theoretically should not. Study 1 showed, across three different FFM-questionnaires, that almost all of the common variance between factors can be attributed to a single general factor related to social desirability. In Study 2, simple rephrasing of items from a FFM-questionnaire made them substantially less socially desirable, while the inventory’s empirical (five factor) structure remained the same. Participants low in social desirability showed little difference between how they responded to the original items vs. the neutral items. For participants high in social desirability the difference was considerably larger. The simplicity of reducing social desirability in self-rating inventories of the FFM, and the usefulness of this endeavor, is discussed. (Less)
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author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Factor analysis, Big Five, Social desirability, Personality
in
Journal of Research in Personality
volume
43
issue
3
pages
335 - 344
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000266384400004
  • scopus:64949144445
ISSN
0092-6566
DOI
10.1016/j.jrp.2008.12.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c192de6e-52e3-4b15-9161-c1ea50ae5288 (old id 1390812)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:42:01
date last changed
2021-10-10 04:04:27
@article{c192de6e-52e3-4b15-9161-c1ea50ae5288,
  abstract     = {The factors in self-report inventories measuring the five-factor model (FFM) correlate with one another although they theoretically should not. Study 1 showed, across three different FFM-questionnaires, that almost all of the common variance between factors can be attributed to a single general factor related to social desirability. In Study 2, simple rephrasing of items from a FFM-questionnaire made them substantially less socially desirable, while the inventory’s empirical (five factor) structure remained the same. Participants low in social desirability showed little difference between how they responded to the original items vs. the neutral items. For participants high in social desirability the difference was considerably larger. The simplicity of reducing social desirability in self-rating inventories of the FFM, and the usefulness of this endeavor, is discussed.},
  author       = {Bäckström, Martin and Björklund, Fredrik and Lindén, Magnus},
  issn         = {0092-6566},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {335--344},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Research in Personality},
  title        = {Five-factor inventories have a major higher order factor related to social desirability which can be reduced by framing items neutrally},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2008.12.013},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.jrp.2008.12.013},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2009},
}