Socially Desirable Response Set Five-Item Survey (SDRS-5)

Self-report measures of attitudes, behavior, and feelings are biased and validity is compromised when respondents answer questions in such a way as to represent themselves favorably. A number of instruments have been developed to evaluate a respondent's tendency to give socially desirable responses, but such instruments tend to be lengthy.

RAND developed a new 5-item SDRS instrument, the SDRS-5, which is shorter and nearly as reliable as longer instruments. We examined the internal consistency and reliability of the SDRS-5 in two samples: 614 outpatients of medical providers and 3053 outpatients of medical and mental health providers. Alpha reliability estimates were 0.66 and 0.68, respectively. One-month test-retest reliability was 0.75 in a sample of 75 older adults. With appropriate caveats, we recommend the SDRS-5 for investigators needing a very brief measure of socially desirable response set.

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