This research was designed to investigate Paulhus' communion management (CM) and self-deceptive enhancement (SDE), socially desirable responding (SDR) scales as measures of general SDR, communal bias and agentic bias. The CM and SDE scales, as well as the Schwartz values survey (SVS), were administered to four samples drawn from different cultures and subcultures (N = 900). Participants completed the questionnaires in ‘honest’ and ‘fake good’ conditions. Although conceptions of which values were desirable varied strongly between samples and instructional sets, the CM scale was consistently related to general SDR and to communal bias. In contrast, the SDE scale was only related to general SDR. Contrary to expectations, neither scale could identify participants who ‘faked good’ under normal instructions. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.