Psychometric analysis of Stöber's social desirability scale (SDS-17): An item response theory perspective

Ulrich S. Tran, Stefan Stieger, Martin Voracek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

7 Citations (Scopus)


Stöber's Social Desirability Scale (SDS-17) was examined psychometrically in 5 samples (N = 2,817) from Austria, Canada, and the USA. Rasch and Mokken scaling analyses attested the SDS-17 is not strictly unidimensional. Age, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were notable positive correlates of SDS-17 scores. There were signs of non-normal score distributions, acquiescence bias, and sex and country differences (higher scores among Austrians than North Americans). Items with higher ratings of social desirability according to previous research were particularly prone to show sex effects. The SDS-17 appears suitable in crosscultural settings, but may benefit from substituting its true-false response format with a rating-scale format. A formative-indicators view regarding the social desirability construct and the SDS-17 is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-884
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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