The current study investigated the relationship between interviewer and level of social desirability in children, as well as which types of questions children tend to place importance on in terms of answering in a socially desirable manner. The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which children express social desirability, which is defined as person’s tendency to present themselves and their behaviors more positively by over-reporting perceived positive behaviors and under-reporting perceived negative behaviors. In addition, the current study examined whether or not some types of questions trigger a more socially desirable response than others. In order to complete this, a questionnaire was administered with three different test assessment modes to children who attend The College of Wooster Nursery School and Littlest Generals Preschool; once by the child’s parent, once by an unfamiliar female interviewer, and once by an unfamiliar male interviewer. The relationship between interviewer and social desirability score, the relationship between gender and social desirability score, and lastly the relationship between type of question and type of answer was analyzed from both male and female results. The current study found that there was no significant correlation between sex and social question social desirability score, sex and impersonal question social desirability score, and sex and total social desirability score. In addition, the current study found that there was no significant correlation between test assessment mode and social question social desirability score, test assessment mode and impersonal question social desirability score, and test assessment mode and total social desirability score. The current study also found no significant correlation between the location where the child attends school and social question social desirability score and the location where the child attends school and impersonal question social desirability score. Finally, the current study found that children between three and five years of age do, in fact, exhibit social desirability. Results are discussed in terms of Theory of Mind and Egocentrism in preoperational children.
Levine, Elizabeth, "The Effect of Test Assessment Mode on Social Desirability in Children" (2019). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8385.
Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Psychology
Social Desirability, Theory of Mind, Egocentrism, Children, Development
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2019 Elizabeth Levine