Vol.5 No.12 (December 2015)
Method Effects in Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale and Their Correlates
There is an ongoing debate on the use of negatively worded items in Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) and other personality measures. This study was designed to explore the following questions: Do the five positively and five negatively worded RSES items measure one factor or two oblique factors? Do negative wording effect and positive wording effect exist in Chinese culture? If the answer is yes, to what extend do they affect structural and criterion related validity of RSES? Do negative and positive wording effect abstracted from different personality measures exhibit congruent validity? Can they be considered response style or meaningful personality variables? What features can be observed in Chinese participants that differentiate them from Western ones? 525 undergraduates were recruited and were administrated RSES, BFI, STAI, CES-D, GHQ-12, IRI, WLEIS, GWB, and MCSD. The results showed: the positively and negatively worded items in RSES perform similar psychometric properties; Method effect can be observed both in positively and negatively worded items, which are detrimental to the construct validity of RSES; When one trait factor and two method factors are defined in CTCM, close model data fit result in; In RSES the size of positive method effect is much smaller than negative method effect; Method effects in RSES and other personality measures are similar in nature; Modest bias is confirmed in the present study, Chinese people show stronger tendency to admit negative aspects of their self-concepts. As a con-clusion, balanced use of positively and negatively worded items is encouraged. Advanced statistic method should be employed to control method factors and estimate the true relationships between constructs measured by different personality measures. Chinese people are dialectical and are more modest when assessing their self-esteem.
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