An evaluation of the validity of the Crowne–Marlowe need for approval scale

An evaluation of the validity of the Crowne–Marlowe need for approval scale Over the past four decades, research has consistently documented negative correlations between the Crowne–Marlowe (CM) social desirability trait scale and numerous measures of sensitive behaviors, conditions, and opinions. These findings have been interpreted as evidence that persons with self-presentation concerns tend to under-report negative information. In contrast to this classic social desirability interpretation, a second perspective, labeled the true-behavior hypothesis, maintains that these correlations in fact reflect accurate reporting of both sets of variables, suggesting that the CM scale is not a sensitive indicator of the social desirability trait. We test these alternative interpretations by examining data from a community survey that collected both self-reports of cocaine use and the biological specimens necessary to validate the self-reports. In bivariate analyses, the CM scale was found to be associated with the concordance of cocaine use reporting and biological assays in a manner consistent with the classic social desirability hypothesis. The CM scale was not found to be associated with actual cocaine use, as measured by drug test assays, a finding inconsistent with the true-behavior hypothesis. After adjusting for other known correlates of substance use in logistic regression models, the CM scale was not associated with cocaine use under-reporting, nor with actual cocaine use behavior. Until further evidence is available, we conclude that the CM may be a questionable indicator of socially desirable reporting behavior in social surveys. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

An evaluation of the validity of the Crowne–Marlowe need for approval scale

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-011-9563-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the past four decades, research has consistently documented negative correlations between the Crowne–Marlowe (CM) social desirability trait scale and numerous measures of sensitive behaviors, conditions, and opinions. These findings have been interpreted as evidence that persons with self-presentation concerns tend to under-report negative information. In contrast to this classic social desirability interpretation, a second perspective, labeled the true-behavior hypothesis, maintains that these correlations in fact reflect accurate reporting of both sets of variables, suggesting that the CM scale is not a sensitive indicator of the social desirability trait. We test these alternative interpretations by examining data from a community survey that collected both self-reports of cocaine use and the biological specimens necessary to validate the self-reports. In bivariate analyses, the CM scale was found to be associated with the concordance of cocaine use reporting and biological assays in a manner consistent with the classic social desirability hypothesis. The CM scale was not found to be associated with actual cocaine use, as measured by drug test assays, a finding inconsistent with the true-behavior hypothesis. After adjusting for other known correlates of substance use in logistic regression models, the CM scale was not associated with cocaine use under-reporting, nor with actual cocaine use behavior. Until further evidence is available, we conclude that the CM may be a questionable indicator of socially desirable reporting behavior in social surveys.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Aug 8, 2011

References

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