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Are Studies of Dark Side Variables Confounded by Socially Desirable Responding? The Case of Materialism


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  • Mick, David Glen


Socially desirable responding (SDR) is the tendency of individuals to make themselves look good according to current cultural norms when answering researchers' questions. For over 50 years in the social sciences, SDR has been a complex and controversial issue, typically viewed as a contaminating response bias. Meanwhile, most consumer researchers have neglected SDR, including those studying sensitive "dark side" topics where SDR could have an especially detrimental impact on research conclusions. This article reviews conceptual, measurement, and statistical analysis issues related to SDR. Two surveys are then reported that explore the effect of SDR on testing propositions about the nomological network surrounding the materialism value. Implications and recommendations are discussed for investigating SDR in consumer research, including opportunities for future contributions. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

Volume (Year): 23 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 106-19

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:23:y:1996:i:2:p:106-19

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  4. Saju Eapen Thomas Author_Email: & Vivek Menon & Dr. P. R. Wilson, 2011. "Childhood Factors & Materialism: Role Of Childhood Factors As A Major Contributor To Materialism," International Conference on Management (ICM 2011) Proceeding 2011-069-254, Conference Master Resources.
  5. Zampieri Grohmann Márcia & Flores Batistella Luciana & Antonio Beuron Thiago & Aita Riss Luciana & Moura Carpes Aletéia de & Lutz Carolina, 2012. "Relação entre materialismo e estilo de consumo: homens e mulheres com comportamento díspare?," Contaduría y Administración:Revista Internacional, Accounting and Management: International Journal, vol. 57(1), pages 185-214, enero-mar.
  6. E. Telci, 2013. "High shopping mall patronage: is there a dark side?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2517-2528, August.
  7. Babin, Barry J. & Hardesty, David M. & Suter, Tracy A., 2003. "Color and shopping intentions: The intervening effect of price fairness and perceived affect," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 541-551, July.
  8. Lisa Ryan & Suzanne Dziurawiec, 2001. "Materialism and Its Relationship to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 185-197, August.
  9. Carlson, Brad D. & Suter, Tracy A. & Brown, Tom J., 2008. "Social versus psychological brand community: The role of psychological sense of brand community," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 284-291, April.
  10. Fabian O. Ugwu & Chidi Ugwu, 2013. "Anointing Without Money: Exploring the Relationships between Materialism, Happiness and Daily Spiritual Experience in a Nigerian Sample," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(5), pages 1196-1207, May.
  11. Iyer, Rajesh & Muncy, James A., 2009. "Purpose and object of anti-consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 160-168, February.
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  13. Carol Nickerson & Norbert Schwarz & Ed Diener, 2007. "Financial aspirations, financial success, and overall life satisfaction: who? and how?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 467-515, December.
  14. Jong, M.G. de, 2006. "Response Bias in International Marketing Research," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-189744, Tilburg University.
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  18. Kasser, Tim & Grow Kasser, Virginia, 2001. "The dreams of people high and low in materialism," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 693-719, December.
  19. Kilbourne, William & Grünhagen, Marko & Foley, Janice, 2005. "A cross-cultural examination of the relationship between materialism and individual values," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 624-641, October.
  20. Paul Lowry & Clay Posey & Tom Roberts & Rebecca Bennett, 2014. "Is Your Banker Leaking Your Personal Information? The Roles of Ethics and Individual-Level Cultural Characteristics in Predicting Organizational Computer Abuse," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 385-401, May.
  21. Daulatram Lund, 2008. "Gender Differences in Ethics Judgment of Marketing Professionals in the United States," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 501-515, February.


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