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Criterion Validity is Maintained When Items are Evaluatively Neutralized: Evidence from a Full-scale Five-factor Model Inventory



The original version and an evaluatively neutralized version (with items rephrased to reduce popularity) of a personality inventory were compared. The results revealed (i) similar criterion validity across three different sets of self-rated behaviours, (ii) stronger relations to the rated social desirability of criteria for the original version and (iii) less correlation between factors for the neutralized version. We take the results to indicate that evaluative neutralization is a viable technique for reducing social desirability in self-ratings. Implications for test construction are discussed. Copyright © 2014 European Association of Personality Psychology