Measuring social desirability bias in a multi-ethnic cohort sample: its relationship with self-reported physical activity, dietary habits, and factor structure
BMC public health
Asia; CFA; MCSDS; Marlowe-crowne; Multi-ethnic; Social desirability
BACKGROUND: Social desirability bias is one of the oldest forms of response bias studied in social sciences. While individuals may feel the need to fake good or bad answers in response to sensitive or intrusive questions, it remains unclear how rampant such a bias is in epidemiological research pertaining to self-reported lifestyle indicators in a multicultural Asian context. The main purpose of the current study is, therefore, to examine the sociodemographic correlates and impact of social desirability responding on self-reported physical activity and dietary habits at an epidemiological scale in a non-western multi-cultural Asian setting. METHODS: Prior to the main analyses, confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were conducted to determine the factorial validity of a western derived concept of social desirability. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on cross-sectional data (n = 2995) extracted from a nationwide survey conducted between 2019 and 2020. RESULTS: A unique factor structure of social desirability was found and was therefore used for subsequent analyses. Multiple regression analyses revealed older age groups, the Indian ethnic group, those with past or present marriages, and having no income, had a significantly greater tendency to act on the bias. CONCLUSION: The construct of social desirability bias was fundamentally different in a multicultural context than previously understood. Only a small proportion of variance of self-report lifestyle scores was explained by social desirability, thus providing support for data integrity.
Teh, Wen Lin; Abdin, Edimansyah; P V, Asharani; Siva Kumar, Fiona Devi; Roystonn, Kumarasan; Wang, Peizhi; Shafie, Saleha; Chang, Sherilyn; Jeyagurunathan, Anitha; Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit; Sum, Chee Fang; Lee, Eng Sing; van Dam, Rob M.; and Subramaniam, Mythily, "Measuring social desirability bias in a multi-ethnic cohort sample: its relationship with self-reported physical activity, dietary habits, and factor structure" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 2646.
Exercise and Nutrition Sciences