A latent state-trait model for social desirability is proposed, that-aside from the trait to be measured-takes into account method factors as well as systematic effects of the situation of measurement and the person-situation interaction. Parallel test halves of a German version of the Marlowe-Crowne Scale were administered to two independent samples: Sample 1, N1= 380, measured twice with a 6-month lag; and Sample 2, N2= 215, measured three times with 9-month lags. The traditional latent trait model and the latent state-trait model with method factors were tested against each other. As expected, the former fit the data poorly, the latter very well. The common trait explained 58% of the variance of the test halves, the test half-specific or method factors 17%, and the occasion-specific situation and interaction effects a small but significant 6%. The latent state-trait model enables a more adequate representation of the social desirability construct, and the model is applicable to a wide array of personality phenomena. © 1993.
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