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Response Set in Personality Assessment.

Stephen A. Mourer, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(6):763-765. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740120123021.
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The main concern of this book is to bring together the most recent formulations concerning response sets in personality assessment. The type of assessment techniques in which response sets or bias have been most frequently found and studied are the so called "objective" personality tests, perhaps best typified by the MMPI.

Response sets are usually defined simply as "tendencies to respond in a particular direction''; the word direction in this case means making responses to one of several alternatives, eg, "agree." The subject or testee may be pre-disposed to respond to an item in a particular way, and, in so responding, partly clouds the interpretation one can make concerning a subject's "agree" response to an item when that test item asks a question of the testee, eg, "I brood a lot." In this example, the clinician may erroneously infer depression when in fact the


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