Self-report methods are commonly used for scientific research and other domains. However, the data gathered through these methods are subject to impairment and lack accuracy due to the influence of social desirability bias. This study tests if the Bayesian Truth Serum method would be an effective tool to decrease the prevalence of social desirability bias among questionnaire respondents, which is estimated to account for 10% to 75% of the variance in past literature. An electronic questionnaire was used to measure the respondents’ vulnerability to social desirability bias using the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and to measure the level of deception regarding six socially sensitive questions. Around half of respondents answered the six questions regularly and the other half was exposed to the Bayesian Truth Serum Method. The results showed that BTS significantly reduced the prevalence of social desirability bias among respondents. These findings indicate that the Bayesian truth serum method is a potentially suitable tool to counter the effect of social desirability bias.

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A. Baillon
Business Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

M.I.M.T. Abolmagd. (2017, February 9). Tell me the Unverifiable Truth - Bayesian Truth Serum and Social Desirability Bias. Business Economics. Retrieved from