Comprehensive Inventory of Desirable Responding, CIDR

Test scores

Communal Management
Agentic Management
Communal Enhancement
Agentic Enhancement
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Delroy Paulhus (2002) proposed a model, according to which Socially desirable responding (SDR) can be classified by the levels of both consciousness (conscious/unconscious) and content of self-presentation (egoistic/moralistic). This two-tiered model builds on Paulhus's (1984) conceptualization of SDR, according to which it can be separated into unconscious self-enhancement and conscious impression management. Self-enhancement is a stable individual characteristic manifested as positively biased self-descriptions that an individual believes to be true. On the other hand, impression management represents a deliberate attempt to create a favorable self-image and depends on the characteristics of the situation.

The second tier of the model follows from the research on the structure of self-favoring bias, which has revealed that people give favorable self-presentations in two separate content domains. These two domains are egoistic and moralistic bias, and they have roots in the two most fundamental human values of agency (egoistic bias) and communion (moralistic bias). Egoistic bias is manifested as participants' tendency to exaggerate their social and intellectual competence and leads to unrealistically positive self-descriptions of traits, such as efficiency and dominance, fearlessness, emotional stability, intellect, and creativity. On the other hand, moralistic bias entails avoidance of disapproval by conforming to social norms and claiming «saint-like» attributes. This tendency is manifested as overly positive self-descriptions of traits, such as agreeableness and conscientiousness, as well as an excessive emphasis on moral qualities and respect for social rules.

According to the model, when respondents give honest self-descriptions, only unconscious self-enhancement occurs, whereas in situations in which individuals are motivated to present themselves in a favorable light, impression management dominates. The content of favorable self-presentation is egoistic or moralistic, depending on the importance the individual gives to the values of agency and communion and the demands of a given situation (i.e., which traits are valued more in specific situations).

The two tiers define four SDR components, which are operationalized with the CIDR. The two unconscious forms of SDR are measured by the Agency Enhancement scale (AE) and the Communion Enhancement scale (CE). The conscious forms of SDR are measured by the Agency Management scale (AM) and the Communion Management scale (CM).


  • D. L. Paulhus. A Comprehensive Inventory of Desirable Responding (CIDR) // Poster presented at the meeting of the Association for Research in Personality, New Orleans (2006, January)
  • D. L. Palhus. Selected publications // author's site
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