Comparing Continuous and Dichotomous Scoring of the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding
Journal of Personality Assessment
The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR) is a widely-used instrument to measure the two components of social desirability: self-deceptive enhancement (SDE) and impression management (IM). With respect to scoring of the BIDR, Paulhus (1994) has authorized two methods, namely continuous scoring (all answers on the continuous answer scale are counted) and dichotomous scoring (only extreme answers are counted). In the present article, three studies with student samples are reported,
... continuous and dichotomous scoring of BIDR subscales are compared with respect to reliability, convergent validity, sensitivity to instructional variations, and correlations with personality. Across studies, the scores from continuous scoring (continuous scores) showed higher Cronbach's alphas than those from dichotomous scoring (dichotomous scores). Moreover, continuous scores showed higher convergent correlations with other measures of social desirability and more consistent effects with self-presentation instructions (fake-good versus fake-bad instructions). Finally, continuous SDE scores showed higher correlations with those traits of the five-factor model for which substantial correlations were expected (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness). Consequently, the present findings indicate that continuous scoring may be preferable to dichotomous scoring when assessing socially desirable responding with the BIDR.