Learning About Prevue’s Social Desirability Scale

What is the Social Desirability Scale?

It is human nature to comply with social norms in order to fit into our environment. However, this desire to “fit in” often leads us to reveal only parts of what is true about ourselves – or worse, become someone we are not. The Social Desirability Scale relates to an individual’s tendency to respond in what they perceive to be a socially desirable manner. This scale gives you final insight into how a candidate performed in the personality portion of our assessment, which then generates valuable information for future reference checks. On a scale of 1 to 10, most people will land in the middle range (4-5-6-7), but both high and low scores must be reviewed with care and is best explored in direct conversation with the candidate.

Understanding the Social Desirability Sten Score Range

Prevue’s Social Desirability Scale is included in the benchmark graph and expressed in a similar “A vs. B” fashion with the rest of the personality scales. With 1 being “frank” and 10 being “socially desirable”, the benchmark for the scale is always set in the midrange at 6 stens (standard tenths) wide. This means candidates who fall within the range of 3 to 8 are more likely to present a real and frank picture of themselves to others.

Keep in mind that the Social Desirability Scale is not a personality trait itself. It is there as a validation point to prove whether the candidate is honest during the assessment. In other words, if an individual scores within the ideal 6 sten range, it allows us to interpret the assessment results with confidence that the candidate was being truthful and unbiased. Therefore, in an effort to help you identify reliable job candidates, we have decided to lock the benchmark of the Social Desirability Scale to its optimal range. Adjusting the benchmark to hire more “frank” or “socially desirable” individuals is counterproductive, as the scale measures test taking style and not a personality trait.