Comparing continuous and dichotomous scoring of the balanced inventory of desirable responding

Stoeber, Joachim and Dette, Dorothea E. and Musch, Jochen (2002) Comparing continuous and dichotomous scoring of the balanced inventory of desirable responding. Journal of Personality Assessment, 78 (2). pp. 370-389. ISSN 0022-3891 . (doi: (Full text available)

PDF (Comparing Continuous and Dichotomous Scoring)
Download (122kB)
Official URL


The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR; Paulhus, 1994) is a widely used instrument to measure the 2 components of social desirability: self-deceptive enhancement and impression management. With respect to scoring of the BIDR, Paulhus (1994) authorized 2 methods, namely continuous scoring (all answers on the continuous answer scale are counted) and dichotomous scoring (only extreme answers are counted). In this article, we report 3 studies with student samples, and continuous and dichotomous scoring of BIDR subscales are compared with respect to reliability, convergent validity, sensitivity to instructional variations, and correlations with personality. Across studies, the scores from continuous scoring (continuous scores) showed higher Cronbach's alphas than those from dichotomous scoring (dichotomous scores). Moreover, continuous scores showed higher convergent correlations with other measures of social desirability and more consistent effects with self-presentation instructions (fake-good vs. fake-bad instructions). Finally, continuous self-deceptive enhancement scores showed higher correlations with those traits of the Five-factor model for which substantial correlations were expected (i.e., Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness). Consequently, these findings indicate that continuous scoring may be preferable to dichotomous scoring when assessing socially desirable responding with the BIDR

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Social Desirability, Self-Deceptive Enhancement, Impression Management, Instructional Variations, Big Five Personality Traits
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Joachim Stoeber
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2008 17:50 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 14:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year