Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability Scale

Use the Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability Scale to gauge how concerned certain people are with social approval and acknowledgment.

By Matt Olivares on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability Scale PDF Example
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What is the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale?

Survey participants and researchers employ the concept of Social-Desirability Bias to describe the inclination of individuals to answer questions in a manner they perceive as more desirable or favorable according to the norms and expectations of their society and community.

In the context of surveys or questions, a person with a Social-Desirability Bias will respond with answers that may be far from the truth. This stems from the desire to feel accepted and gain approval from others, especially their family, friends, betters, peers, and strangers.

This bias isn't limited to responding disingenuously or dishonestly to questions and surveys. It can manifest in other ways so they can conform to society and culture. Such a bias can negatively impact data. For example, in a clinical setting, a patient has poor health due to unhealthy eating habits, but during the questioning, they downplay this, affecting their check-up results.

David L. Marlowe and Douglas P. Crowne devised the to assess individuals' inclination to portray themselves more favorably, even if it deviates from their true characteristics or beliefs. The scale measures the extent to which individuals feel compelled to present themselves as socially desirable or acceptable.

Printable Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale

Download this Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale to assess your client’s desire for social approval.

How to use the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale:

The Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale is a questionnaire with thirty-three items. To use this test, you can do either of the following:

  1. You can issue your patients the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale and have them answer it independently.
  1. Alternatively, the scale can be employed in an interview format, where individuals are instructed to respond to predetermined statements that align with the test's options, providing answers that accurately reflect their own experiences. Although this approach may require more time, it allows for the opportunity to delve deeper into their socially desirable responses and gain insights into the underlying reasons behind their inclination to maintain Social-Desirability Bias.

Either way, they will answer statements including the following:

  • I never hesitate to go out of my way to help someone in trouble.
  • I sometimes feel resentful when I don't get my way.
  • I am always careful about my manner of dress.
  • On a few occasions, I have given up doing something because I thought too little of my ability.
  • No matter who I talk to, I'm always a good listener.
  • I am always courteous, even to disagreeable people.

They will answer True or False for each item. Scoring will depend on the item. Some items score 1 point for True, while others score 0. Same with False. Refer to the template sample to see which answers score 1 point.

There are score ranges for this, as well as designations:

  • Low score (0-8): These people are more willing to respond truthfully to surveys and other similar tests, even if their answers are met with social disapproval.
  • Average score (9-19): These people have average social conformity. These people strike a balance when answering specific surveys or tests.
  • High score (20-33): These people have a high tendency for social conformity. They tend to answer questions and tests in such a way that they can get social approval and acknowledgment. They tend to avoid social disapproval, even if it means saying things far from the truth.

Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale example:

Now that you know what Social-Desirability Bias is, as well as what the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale is, what kind of statements it lays down, how it is answered, and how it is scored, it's time for you to see what the scale looks like when it's fully accomplished. Our template takes the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale and adds radio buttons so the person using it can tick an answer for each item. It also indicates which answers score a point and how to interpret the scores.

If you like what you see and believe it's a good way to gauge a person's tendency to answer truthfully/accurately, please download our free Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale PDF template!

Download this Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale example:

Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale Example

When is it best to use the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale?

In healthcare, various scenarios exist where utilizing the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale can be particularly advantageous.

For instance, assessing your patients for a specific purpose, such as evaluating their condition or determining treatment options, often involves administering self-report assessments. To ensure the accuracy and reliability of these assessments, it is beneficial first to assist the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. This initial assessment allows you to understand whether your patients tend to provide socially acceptable answers to conform to societal expectations.

Understanding their inclination towards social desirability bias allows you to adjust your expectations accordingly and exercise caution when interpreting their responses in subsequent assessments. Patient responses on assessments hold significant value as they influence examination decisions and treatment plans. Patients not providing the most genuine or accurate answers can impact your decision-making and result in ineffective treatments.

Another scenario where the scale proves helpful is before issuing a survey questionnaire, such as a patient satisfaction survey. In certain instances, individuals may provide inflated ratings on these surveys to appease the organization or the entity conducting the study; even more truthful responses would benefit program improvements, facility enhancements, and related areas. 

By administering the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale before the survey, you can gauge whether the respondent tends to exhibit a social desirability bias. This information assists professionals, graduate students, and faculty members conducting survey research in discerning the genuineness of patient satisfaction feedback and aids in accurately assessing areas for improvement.

What are the benefits of using the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale?

It can help healthcare professionals determine if patients deal with sensitive issues.

In various healthcare practices, individuals are expected to face sensitive issues that are often considered socially unacceptable or stigmatized.

In such cases, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale can assist healthcare professionals in identifying whether patients tend to provide socially acceptable responses to assessments, surveys, and other forms of communication. Professionals can devise effective strategies to foster open and honest patient communication by recognizing this tendency. This approach enables a deeper understanding of the patient's needs, facilitating the development of appropriate interventions and treatment plans.

It can be used to validate self-reported assessments.

As mentioned earlier, it is advisable to administer the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale to patients before conducting a formal self-report assessment. This approach allows for identifying any potential Social-Desirability Bias exhibited by the patients. By being aware of this bias, healthcare professionals can exercise caution when interpreting the results of subsequent assessments and consider alternative methods for validating the information obtained.

Furthermore, healthcare professionals can consider the outcomes of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, engage in discussions with their patients, and create an atmosphere that encourages open communication about their concerns. During these conversations, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of accuracy and honesty in self-reporting to ensure appropriate treatment can be provided.

It can help professionals seek valuable feedback from patients.

By administering the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale to patients, healthcare professionals in clinical psychology or therapy settings can gain insights into which individuals may tend to uphold Social-Desirability Bias. Subsequently, professionals can discuss the scale's results with the patients.

During these discussions, it is essential to emphasize the value of honest patient feedback. Professionals can express their team's genuine interest in receiving accurate input to identify areas of improvement within their practice, recognize genuinely commendable aspects, and pinpoint areas that may require attention. This approach ensures that patient feedback contributes meaningfully to enhancing healthcare services.

How can Carepatron help healthcare professionals with assessing patients?

We trust that our guide on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale has provided sufficient information about its usage, enabling you to assess your patients' social desirability levels.

While you are here, we kindly request your valuable time to explore our platform if you need to. We offer a wide range of features that you may find intriguing. Still, we recommend our resource library, which contains extensive clinical resources from diverse healthcare fields and practices. In addition to the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, our library includes guides and templates for numerous other assessments, including self-report assessments.

These cover various areas such as depression symptoms, anxiety, substance abuse, problematic eating habits, and much more. All these resources are free, allowing you to download and utilize them to your heart's content.

Our various clinical resources are cool and helpful enough that you'll consider us your number-one clinical documentation and psychology practice management software.

How can Carepatron help healthcare professionals with assessing patients?
What does a high score mean on this scale?
What does a high score mean on this scale?

Commonly asked questions

What does a high score mean on this scale?

A high score means the person engaging with the scale has a high level of Social-Desirability Bias.

How long does it take to answer this scale?

This will depend on the person engaging with it, but finishing it within five to ten minutes is possible.

Who can use this scale?

Any healthcare professional may use this scale. Since this scale is a self-report assessment, even non-professionals can use it to assess themselves.

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