Value priorities and social desirability: Much substance, some style

Shalom H. Schwartz*, Markku Verkasalo, Avishai Antonovsky, Lilach Sagiv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Associations of value priorities with socially desirable responding (SD) might be due to a stylistic bias that distorts self-reported value ratings or to a substantive relationship between valued goals and needs. We hypothesize that, as a stylistic bias, SD would increase (a) the importance people attribute to values in general and (b) lead people to match own value ratings to those of importance in their social environment. As a substantive variable, SD would correlate positively with value types that emphasize social harmony (conformity, security, benevolence, tradition) and negatively with value types that challenge social conventions and harmony (hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, achievement, power). In separate studies, 207 Israeli adults and 131 Finnish social work students completed the Marlow-Crowne SD scale and a value survey. Both studies supported the substantive hypotheses. There was weak evidence for the first stylistic hypothesis, but none for the second.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1997


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