When marketing researchers construct scales to measure attitudes and/or behavior, we are hoping to elicit consumers’ true feelings or actual behaviors with regard to some phenomenon. When individuals respond to surveys, however, a variety of factors influence the accuracy of their responses. Their particular mood at the time, the topics and ideas which are uppermost on their minds, their ability to understand the questions, their motivation to take the survey seriously, etc. Issues of questionnaire design and wording often address these concerns: how to design and word a survey to overcome these problems. One issue which has received less attention than others is social desirability bias. Social desirability bias refers to the tendency of respondents to provide answers which present them in a favorable light, regardless of their actual attitudes or behaviors.
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- Accurate Research Results? A Social Desirability Bias Investigation
Kathleen S. Micken
Dianne B. Eppler