Document Detail

Gender differences in social desirability and social approval bias in dietary self-report.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9420529     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Social desirability (the tendency to respond in such a way as to avoid criticism) and social approval (the tendency to seek praise) are two prominent response set biases evident in answers on structured questionnaires. These biases were tested by comparing nutrient intakes as estimated from a single 24-hour diet recall interview (24 HR) and a 7-day dietary recall (7DDR). Data were collected as part of the Worcester Area Trial for Counseling in Hyperlipidemia, a randomized, physician-delivered nutrition intervention trial for hypercholesterolemic patients conducted in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1991 to 1995. Of the 1,278 total study subjects, 759 had complete data for analysis. Men overestimated their fat and energy intakes on the 7DDR as compared with the 24HR according to social approval: One unit increase in the social approval score was associated with an overestimate of 21.5 kcal/day in total energy intake and 1.2 g/day in total fat intake. Women, however, underestimated their dietary intakes on the 7DDR relative to the 24HR according to social desirability: One unit increase in the social desirability score was associated with an underestimate of 19.2 kcal/day in energy intake and 0.8 g/day in total fat. The results from the present study indicate that social desirability and social approval biases appear to vary by gender. Such biases may lead to misclassification of dietary exposure estimates resulting in a distortion in the perceived relation between health-related outcomes and exposure to specific foods or nutrients. Because these biases may vary according to the perceived demands of research subjects, it is important that they be assessed in a variety of potential research study populations.
J R Hebert; Y Ma; L Clemow; I S Ockene; G Saperia; E J Stanek; P A Merriam; J K Ockene
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Comparative Study; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of epidemiology     Volume:  146     ISSN:  0002-9262     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Epidemiol.     Publication Date:  1997 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-01-22     Completed Date:  1998-01-22     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7910653     Medline TA:  Am J Epidemiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1046-55     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01655, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Bias (Epidemiology)*
Diet / psychology*
Diet Surveys
Marital Status
Mental Recall
Middle Aged
Nutrition Assessment
Self Concept*
Self Disclosure
Sex Factors
Social Desirability*
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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