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Social Desirability

  1. Ronald R. Holden

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0889

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Holden, R. R. 2010. Social Desirability. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Queen's University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Social desirability is the tendency for individuals to portray themselves in a generally favorable fashion. Within the areas of psychological testing in general, and personality assessment in particular, the concept of social desirability has generated heated debates for decades. Arguments have focused on the definition of social desirability, its pervasiveness, the problems it poses for the interpretation of psychological test results, and methods for its control.


  • personality assessment;
  • test construction;
  • response style