Response Set

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  • A biased set of responses on self-report measures. Examples include acquiescence, the tendency for respondents to agree with items; social desirability, the tendency to portray the self in a favorable manner; and deviance, the tendency to respond in an atypical manner. Response sets can also emerge in observational rating scales and include errors of leniency, central tendency, and halo effect. Response sets can be avoided through the careful development of scales and training of raters. For example, acquiescence on a rating scale can be reduced by using counterbalancing.

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