Paulhus Deception Scales

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Appropriate For New Applicants
Existing Employees
Comprehensiveness Basic
Administration Time - 30 min
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Scoring Options hand icon Internet icon
Language English
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Paulhus Deception Scales

When responding to questionnaires, surveys or interviews, some people provide accurate, insightful self-descriptions. Others purposely attempt to manage the impression that they give by describing themselves in overly positive terms. Still others, try to be honest, yet exaggerate their virtues as a result of self-deception. A distinction among these three types of respondents is essential at any time that self-reports are used to collect information on individuals or groups.

The PDS is designed to assess socially desirable responding both as a response set (a temporary tendency caused by situational demands) and a response style (a trait-like tendency apparent whenever the individual gives self-reports). As a result, the measure has been used successfully for a variety of purposes, including, Human Resources settings.

The PDS is a 40-item self-report instrument that measures the tendency to distort or give socially desirable responses. It is designed to be administered concurrently with other instruments to indicate the validity of the results of the other instruments. It is written in contemporary, gender-neutral language.

The PDS takes only 5-7 minutes to complete. The items are phrased in contemporary gener-neutral language and measure the two major forms of socially desirable responding:

Impression Management – the tendency of some respondents to consciously respond to items in an attempt to make themselves appear favourable to whomever interprets their results.

Self-Deceptive Enhancement – the tendency of some respondents to provide agreeable self-profiles that are due to an overly confident, yet inaccurate, self-image.

The normative sample for the PDS consisted of 1475 individuals, 441 from the general North American population, 289 college students, 603 prison entrants and 124 military recruits.

With the PDS software you can instantly generate PDS reports. Reports provide statistical, textual and graphical interpretations of a respondent’s results.

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