Psychometric properties of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale in Peruvian teachers

Keywords: Psychometric Properties, Social Desirability, Marlowe Crowne Scale, Secondary Elementary Teachers


The objective of the research was to gather evidence of the psychometric properties of the scores derived from the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale applied to a population of 28 972 second-grade elementary school teachers in Peru, considering different strata, such as management type (public sector 74% and private sector 26%) and geographic location (urban 65% and rural 35%). Psychometric analyses were developed in two samples of 5000 cases each, with similar characteristics to those of the study population. In addition, social desirability of the teachers was described and compared. The results allowed to gather validity evidence linked to the internal structure of the instrument by applying exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses that supported the unidimensionality of the instrument. In order to analyze the reliability of the instrument, measurement models were assessed, with the congeneric model being the best option to characterize the items. Therefore, reliability was assessed using omega coefficients that reached values between .83 and .87. Additionally, confidence intervals, standard errors of measurement, and scales based on percentile ranks were included in the research. To compare social desirability scores by stratum, the instrument invariance was analyzed and no significant statistical differences were found.



Download data is not yet available.


American Educational Research Association. (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), & National Council of Measurement in Education (NCME). (2014). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: AERA.

Ato, M., López, J. J., & Benavente, A. (2013). Un sistema de clasificación de los diseños de investigación en psicología. Anales de Psicología, 9(3), 1038-1059. Doi: 10.6018/analesps.29.3.178511.

Attray, J., & Jones, M. C., (2007). Essential elements of questionnaire design and development. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16, 234-243. doi: 10.1111/j.1365- 2702.2006.01573.x.

Balnaves, M., & Caputi, P. (2001). Introduction to quantitative research methods. An investigative approach. London: Sage Publications.

Barger, S. D. (2002). The Marlowe-Crowne Affair: Short Forms, Psychometric Structure and Social Desirability. Journal of Personality Assessment, 79(2), 286–305. doi: 10.1207/S15327752JPA7902_11

Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238-246.

Beretvas, S. N., Meyers, J. L., & Leite, W. L. (2002). A reliability generalization study of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Educational and Psychological Measurements, 62, 570-589. doi: 10.1177/0013164402062004003

Brennan, R.L. (2001). An essay on the history and future of reliability from the perspective of replications. Journal of Educational Measurement, 38(4), 295-317. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-3984.2001.tb01129.x

Brown, T.A. (2006) Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York: Guilford.

Burga, A. A. (2006). La unidimensionalidad de un instrumento de medición, perspectiva factorial. Revista de Psicología. Pontificia Universidad Católica, 25(1), 53-80.

Byrne, B. M. (2011). Structural Equation Modeling with Mplus: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programming. New York, NY: Routledge.

Chen, F. F. (2007). Sensitivity of Goodness of Fit Indexes to Lack of Measurement Invariance. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal. 14(3), 464-504. doi: 10.1080/10705510701301834

Christiansen, A., Garrett, P., & Marcos, D. (2016). Regiones en perspectiva: la influencia de los factores asociados al aprendizaje al término de la educación primaria (Estudios Breves No. 2). Lima: Ministerio de educación del Perú.
Recuperado de http:// EB02_Regiones_en_perspectiva_VF.pdf

Cosentino, A. C., & Castro, A. (2008). Adaptación y validación de la Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Interdisciplinaria, 25(2), 197–216.

Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16(3), 297– 334. doi:10.1007/BF02310555.

Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349-354. doi: 10.1037/ h0047358.

Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9(2), 233- 255.

Cho E., & Kim S. (2014). Cronbach’s coefficient alpha: well- known but poorly understood. Organizational Research. Methods. 18(2), 207–230. doi: 10.1177/ 1094428114555994.

Domínguez Espinoza, A., Aguilera Mijares, S., Acosta Canales, T., Navarro Contreras, G., & Ruiz Paniagua, Z. (2012). La deseabilidad social revalorada: más que una distorsión, una necesidad de aprobación social. Acta de investigación psicológica. 2(3). 808-824. Recuperado de: v2n3a5.pdf

Du Toit, S.H.C., Du Toit, M., Mels, G., & Cheng, Y. (2005). Analysis of complex survey data using LISREL. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc. (Unpublished report).

Dunn, T. J., Baguley, T., & Brunsden, V. (2014). From alpha to Omega: A practical solution to the pervasive problema of internal consistency estimation. British Journal of Psychology, (3), 399-412. doi : 10.1111/ bjop.12046-

Enríquez, F. J., & Domínguez, A. C. (2010). Influencia de la deseabilidad social (DS) en reportes de capacitación. Psicología Iberoamericana, 18(1), 69-79.

Ferguson, C. J. (2009). An effect size primer: A guide for clinicians and researchers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(5), 532–538. doi: 10.1037/ a0015808

Ferrando, P. J., & Chico, E. (2000). Adaptación y análisis psicométrico de la escala de deseabilidad social de Marlowe Crowne. Psicothema, 12(3), 383-389. Recuperado de 346.pdf.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (and sex and drugs and rock «n» roll) (3a. ed.). Londres: Sage Publications.

Fraenkel, J., Wallen, N., & Hyun, H. (2011). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education. Atlanta: McGraw-Hill Education.

Frisbie, D. A. (2005). Measurement 101: some fundamentals revisited. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 24(3), 21-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1745- 3992.2005.00016.x

Furnham, A. (1990). The Protestant Work Ethic: The psychology of work-related beliefs and behaviours, London: Routledge.

Furr, R. M., & Bacharach, V. R. (2008). Psychometrics, an introduction. Los Angeles: Sage.

Graham, J. M. (2006). Congeneric and (essentially) tau- equivalent estimates of score reliability what they are and how to use them. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66(6), 930-944. doi: 10.1177/ 0013164406288165.

Green, S. B., & Yang, Y. (2009). Reliability of summed item scores using structural equation modeling: an alternative to coefficient Alpha. Psychometrika 74(1), 155–167. doi: 10.1007/s11336-008-9099-3.

Greenwald, H. J., & Satow, Y. (1970). A Short Social Desirability Scale. Psychological Reports, 27, 131-135.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2014). Multivariate data analysis (7a ed.). Essex: Pearson.
Hattie, J. (1985). Methodology review: assessing unidimensionality of tests and items. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9(2), 139-164. doi: 10.1177/014662168500900204

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2011). Introduction to research methods in psychology (3a ed.). Essex: Pearson Education.
Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1979). Advances in factor analysis and structural equation models. Cambridge, MA: Abt Books.

IBM. (2016). Manual Sample Complex 24. Armonk, NY: IBM corporation.

Jöreskog, K. G. (2003). Factor analysis by MINRES. Recuperado del sitio de Internet de Scientific Software International (SSI). Recuperado de http://

Jöreskog, K. G. (2005). Structural equation modeling with ordinal variables using LISREL. Scientific Software International (SSI). Recuperado de http://

Kane, M. (2001). Current concerns in validity theory. Journal of Educational Measurement, 38(4), 319-342. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-3984.2001.tb01130.x

Kane, M. (2006). Validation. En R. L. Brennan (Eds.), Educational measurement, (4a ed., pp. 17-64). Wesport, CT: American Council on Education y Praeger Publishers.

King, M. F., & Bruner, G. C. (2000). Social desirability bias: A neglected aspect of validity testing. Psychology and Marketing, 17(2), 79-103. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520- 6793(200002)17:2%3C79::AID-MAR2%3E3.0.CO;2-0

Lara-Cantú, M. A. (1990). Validez y confiabilidad de la Escala de Deseabilidad Social de Marlowe y Crowne en una población de adultos. Salud Mental, 13, 35- 38.

Lara-Cantú, M. A., & Reed, Z. M. (1988). La escala de deseabilidad social de Marlowe y Crowne: Un estudio psicométrico. Salud Mental, 11(3), 25-29.

Leite, W. L., & Beretvas, S. N. (2005). Validation of scores on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale and the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65, 140-154. doi: 10.1177/0013164404267285

Li, Ch. (2016) Confirmatory factor analysis with ordinal data: Comparing robust maximum likelihood and diagonally weighted least squares. Behavioral Research Methods, 48(3), 936-49. doi: 10.3758/s13428- 015-0619-7

Loo, R. & Thorpe, K. (2000). Confirmatory factor analyses of the full and short versions of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. The Journal of Social Psychology, 140(5), 628-635. doi: 10.1080/ 00224540009600503

Loo, R., & Loewen, P. (2004). Confirmatory factor analysis of scores from full and short versions of the Marlowe- Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2343-2352. doi: 10.1111/j.1559- 1816.2004.tb01980.x

Lorenzo-Seva, U., & Ferrando, P. J. (2015). Factor v.10.3.01 [programa informático]. Recuperado del sitio de internet de la Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Recuperado de

Lorenzo-Seva, U., Timmerman, M. E., & Kiers, H. A. L. (2011). The Hull method for selecting the number of common factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 46, 340-364. doi: 10.1080/ 00273171.2011.564527

McDonald, R. P. (1999). Test theory: A unified treatment. Nueva Jersey: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Mick, D.G. (1996). Are studies of dark side variables confounded by socially desirable responding? The case of materialism. The Journal of Consumer Research, 23(2), 106-119. doi: 10.1086/209470

Milfont, T. L., & Fischer, R. (2010). Testing measurement invariance across groups: Applications in cross-cultural research. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3, 112-131.

Ministerio de Educación del Perú. (2009). Evaluación Censal de Estudiantes (ECE). Segundo grado de primaria y cuarto grado de primaria de IE EIB. Marco de Trabajo. Recuperado de wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Marco_de_Trabajo _ECE.pdf.

Ministerio de Educación del Perú. (2011). Resultados de la Evaluación Censal de Estudiantes 2010 – ECE 2010. Segundo grado de Primaria (2P) [Diapositivas de PowerPoint]. Recuperado de http://www2.minedu. grado.pdf

Muthén, L. A., & Muthén, B. O. (2012). Mplus User’s Guide. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.
Muñiz, J. (1999). Teoría Clásica de los Tests, (2a. ed.). Madrid: Pirámide.

Neeley, S. M., & Cronley, M. L. (2004). When research participants don’t tell it like it is: pinpointing the effects of social desirability bias using self vs. indirect- questioning. Advances in Consumer Research, 31, 432- 433.

Pérez, M. J., Labiano, M., & Brusasca, C. (2010). Escala de Deseabilidad Social: análisis psicométrico en muestra argentina. Evaluar, 10, 53-67.

Preacher, K. J., & MacCallum, R. C. (2003). Repairing Tom Swift’s electric factor analysis machine. Understanding Statistics, 2(1), 13-43. Recuperado de http://

Price, L. (2017). Psychometric methods: theory into practice. New York: The Guilford Press.

Ramanaiah, N. V., & Martin, H. J. (1980). On the two dimensional nature of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirabilily Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 44(5), 505-514.

Ramaniah, N.V., Schill, T., & Leung, L. S. (1977). A test of the hypothesis about the two-dimensional nature of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 11, 251-259. doi: 10.1016/ 0092-6566(77)90022-8

Ray, J. J. (1984). The reliability of short Social Desirability Scales. The Journal of Social Psychology, 123, 133- 134. doi: 10.1080/00224545.1984.9924522

Raykov, T. (1997). Estimation of composite reliability for congeneric measures. Applied Psychological Measurement, 21, 173-184.

Romano, J. L., Kromrey, J. D., & Hibbard, S. T. (2010). A Monte Carlo study of eight confidence interval methods for coefficient alpha. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 70(3), 376-393. doi: 10.1177/0013164409355690.

Rudmin, F. W. (1999). Norwegian short form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 40, 229-233. doi: 10.1111/1467-9450.00121.

Ruiz, M., Pardo, A., & San Martín, R. (2010). Modelos de Ecuaciones Estructurales. Papeles del Psicólogo, 31(1), 34-45. Recuperado de http://www.papelesdel

Sârbescub, P., Rustu, S., & Costea, L. (2012). The Marlowe- Crowne Social Desirability Scale in Romania: the development of a 13-item short form. Romanian Journal of Experimental Applied Psychology, 3(2), 37 -44. Recuperado de 6art5.pdf.

Scagliusi, F. B., Cordás, T. A., Polacow, V. O., Coelho, D., Alvarenga, M., Philippi, S. T., & Lancha Jr, A. H. (2004).
Tradução da escala de desejo de aceitação social de Marlowe y Crowne para a língua portuguesa Translation into Portuguese of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Revista de Psiquiatría Clínica, 31(6), 272-278. doi: 10.1590/S0101-60832004000600001.

Sijtsma, K. (2009). On the use, the misuse, and the very limited usefulness of Cronbach’s alpha. Psychometrika, 4(1), 107-120. doi: 10.1007/s11336-008- 9101-0

Soubelet, A., & Salthouse, T. A. (2011). Influence of social desirability on age differences in self-reports of mood and personality. Journal of Personality, 79(4), 741–762. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00700.x.

Stöber, J. (2001). The Social Desirability Scale-17 (SDS-17): Convergent validity, discriminant validity, and relationship with age. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17, 222-232. doi:10.1027// 1015-5759.17.3.222.

Strahan, R., & Gerbasi, K. C. (1972). Short, homogeneous versions of the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 28(2), 191-193. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(197204)28:2%3C191::AID- JCLP2270280220%3E3.0.CO;2-G

Sullman, M. J. M., & Taylor, J. E. (2010). Social desirability and self-reported driving avoidance: Should we be worried?. Transportation Research, 13, 215-221. doi: 10.1016/j.trf.2010.04.004

Tatman, A. W., & Kreamer, S. (2014). Psychometric properties of the Social Desirability Scale-17 with individuals on probation and parole in the United States. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 9(1), 122-130.
Recuperado de http:// 2014vol9issue1.pdf.

Teo, T., & Fan, X. (2013). Coefficient alpha and beyond: issues and alternatives for educational research. Asia Pacific Educational Researcher, 22(2), 209-213. doi: 10.1007/s40299-013-0075-z.

Thompson, B. (2008). Confirmatory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis: understanding concepts and applications. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Trizano-Hermosilla, I., & Alvarado, J. M. (2016). Best Alternatives to Cronbach’s Alpha Reliability in Realistic Conditions: Congeneric and Asymmetrical Measurements. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 769. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00769.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Self-efficacy for self- regulated learning a validation study. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 68(3), 443-463.

Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3(1), 4-70.

Verardi, S., Dahourou, D., Ah-Kion, J., Bhowon, U., Tseung, C. N., Amoussou-Yeye, D., ... Rossier, J. (2009). Psychometric properties of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale in eight african countries and switzerland. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41(1), 19-34. doi: 10.1177/0022022109348918

Vu, A., Tran N., Pham K., & Ahmed, S. (2011). Reliability of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Uganda. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11, 1-7. doi: 10.1186/ 1471-2288-11-162

Wilson, M. (2005). Constructing measures. An item response modeling approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Wright, B., & Linacre, J. (1989). Observations are always ordinal; measurements, however, must be interval. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 70(12), 857-860.

Zhang, Z., & Yuan, K. (2016). Robust Coefficients Alpha and Omega and Confidence intervals with outlying observations and missing data: Methods and Software. Educational and Psychological Measurement 76(3), 1-25. doi: 10.1177/0013164415594658
How to Cite
Burga León, A., & Escurra Mayaute, L. (2017, November 30). Psychometric properties of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale in Peruvian teachers. LIBERABIT. Revista Peruana De Psicología, 23(2), 189- 210.
Research articles