The Development of the Brief Social Desirability Scale (BSDS)


  • Rahman Haghighat


Topic: The objective of this work is to devise a brief, practical, reliable and valid social desirability instrument for use in contexts where a short scale is useful for example in the assessment of social desirability factor in psychiatric patients.
Hypothesis: Social Desirability factor which is the tendency to respond in a socially desirable manner to attitudinal questionnaires affects the validity of attitudinal questionnaires.
Method & Participants: A five-item social desirability factor was devised using themes from a written record of patients’ conversation and cross-validated on 61 subjects. Reliability was computed using Cronbach Alpha method. The result is a brief reliable and valid 4-item social desirability scale.
Conclusion & Significance: The Brief Social Desirability Scale (BSDS) has the advantages of brevity and practicality. It can be used before administering attitudinal surveys in order to factor in the effect of the social desirability on attitudinal questionnaires. BSDS is preferred in many test situations where the administration time is limited or subjects are unable to bear lengthy questionnaires and the related drop in reliability due to brevity of the scale remains tolerable.