Socially Desirable Responding

For many years, the over-riding theme of the Paulhus lab has been the study of self-presentation. In survey research, this issue has been labeled socially desirable responding (SDR). Early work on separating self-deception from impression management (Paulhus, 1984) has culminated in a number of popular instruments including the BIDR (e.g., Paulhus, 1991; 1998). In the latest versions, level of awareness (self-deception, impression management) has been crossed with content (agentic, communal) to yield four measures of self-presentation style (Paulhus, 2002).

We continue to be interested in issues of faking in its multiple forms (Paulhus & Notareschi, 1993; Paulhus & Trapnell, 2011). One focus has been on the impact of culture and narcissism on self-presentation in job interviews (Paulhus, Harms, Calvez, & Westlake, 2013).

Unfortunately, the confounding of style and content in SDR measures has yet to be solved.  Therefore, we have turned to the overclaiming technique (OCT) as a more objective measure of self-presentation (Paulhus, Harms, Lysy, & Bruce, 2003).