Ann Occup Hyg. 2015 Nov;59(9):1200-7. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/mev046. Epub 2015 Jul 23.
OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were (i) to examine the relationship between reported hearing protector use and social desirability bias, and (ii) to compare results of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability instrument when administered using two different methods (i.e. online and by telephone).
METHODS: A shortened version of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability instrument, as well as a self-administered instrument measuring use of hearing protectors, was administered to 497 participants in a study of hearing protector use. The relationship between hearing protector use and social desirability bias was examined using regression analysis. The results of two methods of administration of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability instrument were compared using t-tests and regression analysis.
RESULTS: Reliability (using Cronbach’s alpha) for the shortened seven-item scale for this sample was 0.58. There was no evidence of a relationship between reported hearing protector use and social desirability reporting bias, as measured by the shortened Marlowe-Crowne. The difference in results by method of administration (i.e. online, telephone) was very small.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first published study to measure social desirability bias in reporting of hearing protector use among farmers. Findings of this study do not support the presence of social desirability bias in farmers’ reporting of hearing protector use, lending support for the validity of self-report in hearing protector use in this population.