Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Social desirability and controllability in computerized and paper-and-pencil personality questionnaires

Computers in Human Behavior
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0747-5632(01)00057-7
  • Perceived Control
  • Social Desirability
  • Computerized Testing
  • Personality Tests


Abstract The main objective of this study was to examine Steel's [Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 21 (1988) 261] self-affirmation theory, by checking the effects of different levels of manipulated control on participants' performance on personality tests. Specifically, we assessed the impact of participants' level of control (i.e. prior familiarity of questionnaire's items, choosing of test content) and anonymous or identified data collection on two different forms of socially desirable responses: impression management and self-deception [Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46 (1984) 598]. Second, we compared these effects on paper-and-pencil versus computerized testing conditions. In Study 1 ( N=91) we showed that perceived control can be manipulated in computerized tests and that higher level of control is related to more positive attitudes towards the test and to lower levels of anxiety experienced during test taking. In Study 2 ( N=200) we found a significant positive relationship between manipulated control and impression management. The hypothesis claiming a significant relationship between controllability and self-deception has not been corroborated. In addition, no differences were found between the paper-and-pencil and the computerized mode of administration on measures of perceived control, trust, candor, and social desirability.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times

More articles like this

Social desirability effects on computerized and pa...

on Computers in Human Behavior Jan 01, 2007

A comparison of World-Wide Web and paper-and-penci...

on Behavior research methods, ins... February 2002

Social desirability, personality questionnaires, a...

on Personality and Individual Dif... Jan 01, 2012

Reliability, equivalence and respondent preference...

on Computers in Human Behavior Jan 01, 2007
More articles like this..