response biases n.
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Response biases

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Response biases

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  1. Response biases

  2. Think about these questions… • „I like hurting people” • „I tend to want others to admire me” • „Sometimes, I am lazy.”

  3. Response biases • Can we trust the test score? • Biases related to tested person • Affect the test result • Threats to reliability • Especially self-report methods

  4. Four patterns of responding • Honest responding • Irrelevant responding e.g. answering randomly • Defensiveness – conscious denial • Malingering – conscious fabrication

  5. Response biases • Social desirability bias (faking good) • Faking bad • Acquiescence (or yea saying) • Opposition (or nay saying) • Positional set (extremity and mid-point response) • Random responding

  6. Faking • Faking – deliberate systematic distortion of the responses because the respondent wishes to create a particular impression. • An emphasis on socially desirable characteristics • Denial of negative behaviors

  7. Faking good and bad • Faking good – endorsing items that characterize personal honesty and virtue, good adjustment and mental health • Reporting lack of weakness • Faking bad – overendorse symptoms (clinical), a desire to appear poorly adjusted, perhaps mentally ill.

  8. Acquiescence vs. Opposition • Answering always YES or NO

  9. Positional set • Answering according to the position of the anwer, e.g. Likert scale:

  10. Random responding • Honest error – placing answers incorrectly • Lack of understanding • Willful behavior • Lack of motivation

  11. Reasons of biases in personality tests • Delibarate faking • Idealized presentation of oneself as opposed to a more realistic presentation • Innacurate presentation because of lack of insight

  12. Dealing with biases • Incorporating measures of response bias in the test • Compare results of a test with a measure of bias • Determine how sensitive a scale is to faking

  13. Detection of biases • One group – one instruction. We look for items with low endorsment, e.g. „I am extremely honest in all my dealings”. • One group – two instructions, e.g. „fake good”, „answer as a chronic alcoholic” • Two groups – two instruction – one group with disorder and second normal that fakes. How the items differ, e.g. „I hear voices”

  14. Other methods • Construct specific items: • have high predictive validity but low face validity • Have high face validity but no predictive validity

  15. Discourage faking • Warning that distortion can be detected and punishment will follow • Forced-choice items that are equated on social desirability, e.g. are you more reliable or agreeable? • The use of subtle vs obvious items • Use control scales

  16. Example - MMPI • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory • Identify personality structure and psychopatology • 567 questions • Includes few so called validity scales – whether a diagnosis is valid

  17. Validity scales in MMPI • Cannot Say Scale (?): the number of items on the assessment that were left unanswered. • Reasons: suspiciousness, lack of understanding, depression, fear of loss of privacy etc.)

  18. The Lie scale • Delibarate efforts to lie on the tests • Detects whether individualsare making themselves seem more well adjusted than they actually are. • Individuals that wish to present themselves in a more positive light

  19. The Lie scale • Facts common that most people are willing to admit: • Denial of agression • Prejudices • Poor self-control • Examples: „Sometimes I don’t say truth” „Sometimes I procrastinate my work”

  20. Infrequency Scale • To present oneself in a bad light. • Items that endorsed very rarely on normal population – less than 10% • Items ask about hostility, poor physicall health, feelings of isolation, atypical attitudes towards authority. „I have diarrhea once a month ore more often” „Sometimes ghosts attack me”

  21. Infrequency Scale • High score may be due to: • Random answering • Conscious tendency to present in bad light • Malingering • Crying for help • Deviant behavior, not conventional

  22. Defensiveness Scale • Tendency to fake on the test in order to make themselves look better. • Lie Scale and the Defensiveness Scale seem similar, • Defensiveness Scale focuses on lies due to "defensiveness in admitting problems" and is done extremely subtly; whereas the lie scale detects simple lies meant to cast a better light on oneself.

  23. Defensiveness Scale • People may present themselves in a positive light unconsciously „Very rarerly I argue with my family.” (No)

  24. Other problems with biases • Test anxiety – unpleasant emotions related to test taking. • Test situation is seen as threatning. • Testwiseness – test sophistication, person’s ability to use the characteristics and format of a test (or test situation) to obtain a higher score