The susceptibility of three attachment style measures to socially desirable responding

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Gary K. Leak
Chad J. Parsons
Cite this article:  Leak, G., & Parsons, C. (2001). The susceptibility of three attachment style measures to socially desirable responding. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(1), 21-30.


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We investigated the susceptibility of three popular measures of attachment styles to impression management (other-deception) and unconscious defensiveness (self-deception). Specifically, responses to the Attachment Style Questionnaire, Adult Attachment Scale, and the Relationship Questionnaire were correlated with the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. Results indicate that all three measures are, to varying degrees, contaminated by impression management tendencies, while only the Relationship Questionnaire is free from a self-deceptive bias. These results have implications for interpreting responses to several frequently used measures of attachment styles, and also for the theoretical issue of whether the avoidance attachment style is based on defensiveness.

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