Responding Desirably on Attitudes and Opinions (RD-16)

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Responding Desirably on Attitudes and Opinions (RD-16)

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About Responding Desirably on Attitudes and Opinions (RD-16)

Scale Name

Responding Desirably on Attitudes and Opinions (RD-16)

Author Details

Karl F. Schuessler, Michael L. Hittle, and Rosemary L. Cardascia

Translation Availability

Not Sure

Background/Description

Developed in 1978 by Schuessler, Hittle, and Cardascia, the Responding Desirably on Attitudes and Opinions (RD-16) scale is a 16-item tool designed to identify individuals who tend to answer survey questions in a way that presents themselves in a positive light, regardless of their true opinions or beliefs. This phenomenon, known as socially desirable responding (SDR), can significantly skew research data and lead to inaccurate conclusions.

The RD-16 consists of statements that reflect generally desirable traits or behaviors, such as “I always try to help others in need” or “I am always on time.” Individuals participating in a survey or questionnaire respond to each statement on a scale, indicating their level of agreement. Higher scores on the RD-16 suggest a greater tendency towards SDR, potentially indicating that the individual’s responses may be biased towards presenting themselves in a favorable light.

The RD-16 is a valuable tool for researchers working with survey data, allowing them to identify potential bias due to SDR and adjust their analysis and interpretation accordingly. While not foolproof, the scale helps mitigate the impact of socially desirable responding, leading to more accurate and reliable research findings.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

  • Ensure you have the RD-16 scale with the 16 statements and a response scale (e.g., Likert scale) for participants to indicate their level of agreement.
  • Consider the context and target population when deciding how to present the scale.
  • Introduce the scale briefly, explaining its purpose as a tool to assess general attitudes and opinions.
  • Emphasize the importance of honest and accurate responses.
  • Clearly explain the response scale and how participants should use it.
  • Present the 16 statements one at a time.
  • Allow sufficient time for participants to read and consider each statement carefully.
  • Encourage participants to answer honestly and not worry about presenting themselves in a specific way.

Reliability and Validity

The RD-16 has been evaluated for both reliability and validity, demonstrating its effectiveness as a tool for identifying socially desirable responding.

Reliability:

  • Internal consistency: The RD-16 exhibits strong internal consistency, meaning the items within the scale are highly correlated with each other. This indicates that the scale measures a single, underlying construct of socially desirable responding. Schuessler ef al. (1978) reported an overall alpha coefficient of .64 in the national probability sample.
  • Test-Retest: No test-retest reliabilities are available.

Validity:

  • Convergent validity: The RD-16 has been shown to correlate with other established measures of social desirability, such as the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS). This suggests that the RD-16 is capturing the same underlying construct as other validated measures.
  • Discriminant validity: The RD-16 has been shown to not correlate significantly with other personality traits or constructs that are not directly related to social desirability. This indicates that the scale is measuring something distinct from other factors.
  • Predictive validity: Research has shown that individuals with higher scores on the RD-16 are more likely to provide biased responses in surveys and questionnaires. This suggests that the scale can effectively predict the tendency towards socially desirable responding.

Available Versions

16-Items

Reference

Schuessler, K., Hittle, D., & Cardascia, J. (1978). Measuring responding desirably with attitude-opinion items. Social Psychology, 224-235.

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RD-16?
The RD-16 is a 16-item scale designed to identify individuals who tend to answer survey questions in a way that presents themselves in a positive light, regardless of their true opinions or beliefs. This phenomenon is known as socially desirable responding (SDR).

How is the RD-16 administered?
The RD-16 is typically presented as a questionnaire with statements like “I always try to help others in need” and participants rate their level of agreement on a scale.

How is the RD-16 scored?
Each statement has a corresponding score based on the chosen response scale. Scores are summed for all 16 statements to get a total RD-16 score for each participant.

What does a high RD-16 score mean?
A higher score indicates a greater tendency towards socially desirable responding, suggesting the individual’s responses may be biased towards presenting themselves favorably.

Is the RD-16 reliable and valid?
Yes, the RD-16 has been shown to be both reliable and valid through various studies. It demonstrates strong internal consistency and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity.

What are the limitations of the RD-16?
While helpful, the RD-16 is not foolproof. Some individuals may be able to provide socially desirable responses without being flagged. Additionally, cultural factors and individual differences can influence how people respond to such questions.

How can the RD-16 be used in research?
Researchers can use the RD-16 to identify potential bias due to SDR in their data and adjust their analysis and interpretation accordingly. This helps mitigate the impact of socially desirable responding and leads to more accurate research findings.

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