Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Acquiescent Responding

  • Beatrice RammstedtAffiliated withGESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences Email author 
  • , Daniel DannerAffiliated withGESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences

Acquiescent responding, which is sometimes referred to as yea-saying, has been defined as the tendency to agree with items regardless of their content (Jackson and Messick 1958; Javeline 1999). Acquiescent responding can bias empirical results in various ways. It has been found to bias the factorial structure of scales, such as personality inventories, (Rammstedt et al. 2010, 2013; Lechner and Rammstedt 2015; Rammstedt and Farmer 2013; Soto et al. 2008), correlation patterns (Bentler et al. 1971), the fit of structural equation models (Aichholzer 2015), and associations with external criteria (Danner et al. 2015). Furthermore, the mean scores of manifest variables may be biased by acquiescent responding, with the result that mean-level differences may be misinterpreted (Vlimmeren et al. 2015).

The tendency towards acquiescent responding varies across subpopulations, cultures, and item content. In particular, children (compared to adults; Soto et al. 2008) and less educated (Rammstedt et ...

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