Andrea Caputo


Social desirability seems to enhance well-being measures because individuals tend to increase the degree of their satisfaction and happiness resulting in response artifacts and in a serious threat to the validity of self-reported data. This paper explores social desirability bias in self-reported subjective well-being, controlling for several socio-demographic variables such as gender, age, education, marital/relationship status and employment status. This is in order to test whether social desirability has incremental validity in predicting some well-being measures. Three different facets of well-being are proposed which deal with subjective happiness, general life satisfaction, and gratitude and loneliness, respectively regarded as a positive and negative emotional response. Through a web-based survey a convenience sample of 170 participants completed an online questionnaire including measures of social desirability, subjective happiness, life satisfaction, gratitude and loneliness. Correlation analyses and two-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. All well-being measures show modest significant correlations with social desirability ranging from .235 to .309, except subjective happiness. Social desirability accounted for from about 3% to 6% of the variance of these measures, after controlling for socio-demographic variables. Social desirability seems thus to play little role in well-being self-report measures, as revealed by previous studies. Some limitations are discussed, as well as issues about social desirability bias in online investigation.


Cómo citar
Caputo, A. (2017). Social desirability bias in self-reported well-being measures: evidence from an online survey. Universitas Psychologica, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.11144/Javeriana.upsy16-2.sdsw
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