Anger self-report and social desirability bias: Am I angry or am I biased?

Date

2017

Authors

Ramtahal, Nirvana A.

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Abstract

Self-report measures serve as the main methodology for assessing anger.

However, the accuracy of self-report measures for anger is particularly open to question. This is due to a phenomenon referred to as social desirability bias (SDB), which is a type of response bias that involves survey respondents answering questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others. The purpose of this study is to understand the role social desirability bias plays within the assessment of anger. Furthermore, the relationship between anger and SDB will be tested with measures that have yet to be utilized within this literature: the Anger Parameters Scale, the Anger Expressions Scale, the M-C 1(10), and the Biased Reporting of Anger Test. Ninety-nine undergraduate psychology students were administered four surveys measuring anger and SDB. It was found that anger and SDB were significantly negatively correlated, as supported by previous literature. Upon further inspection, the inverse relationship initially obtained was scrutinized for one of the SDB scales, the M-C 1(10). Closer examination of the M-C 1(10) led to the discovery that the significant negative correlation was likely to be the result of a false positive. In conclusion, the results of this study question how suitable the M-C 1(10) actually is as a tool for assessing socially desirable responding in self report measures of anger.

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Department

Psychology