Saints and Superheroes, or Overall Perfect: Testing the Possibility to Differentiate Egoistic From Moralistic Socially Desirable Responding


  • Maja Parmač Kovačić Odsjek za psihologiju, Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Hrvatska


socially desirable responding, egoistic bias, moralistic bias, discrepancy measures


The aim of the study was to test Paulhus' (2002) assumption that it is possible to separate egoistic from moralistic socially desirable responding (SDR) on an unconscious and conscious level. The study was conducted on a convenient sample of students (N=206), which filled-in a five-factor personality questionnaire (IPIP100) in three dependent situations: honest responding, induced egoistic bias and induced moralistic bias. Along with the participants, four of their acquaintances were also included in the study; their assignment was to rate the participants on the IPIP100 questionnaire items. In order to test whether it is possible to separate egoistic from moralistic SDR, we used discrepancy measures on five personality dimensions – residuals from the regression of the self-reports in the honest situation on the corresponding peer-ratings indicating unconscious SDR, and residuals from the regression of the self-reports in the induced bias situations on the corresponding self-ratings in the honest situation indicating conscious SDR. Obtained results showed that discrepancy measures did not result with the expected factors of egoistic and moralistic SDR. Whereas discrepancy measures that indicated unconscious SDR formed one factor, discrepancy measures that indicated conscious SDR formed two factors, but they did not correspond to the egoistic and moralistic bias. The results suggest that it is not possible to separate egoistic from moralistic SDR neither on the unconscious nor on the conscious level.