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Home arrow Engineering arrow Measuring Electronic Word-of-Mouth Effectiveness: Developing and Applying the eWOM Trust Scale
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Social Desirability Bias

Questionnaire-based research always runs the risk that answers from respondents may be distorted by a social desirability bias. Here, individuals are strongly motivated to provide favourable responses in order to present themselves in a way that society regards as positive (DeVellis, 2012; Steenkamp et al., 2010). Nowadays, being a eWOM truster might be evaluated as socially desirable, as having trust in other persons or, more specifically, in the community of fellow online shoppers, represents a personal characteristic valued by the modern consumption society. Therefore, socially desirable responding may falsify responses to the new eWOM trust scale. In order to assess the magnitude of this negative effect, this research followed the conventions of earlier research (e.g., Morgan et al., 2009; Web et al., 2008) and correlated the eWOM trust scale with the Crowne-Marlowe social desirability (CM) scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). For this purpose, data from a convenient student sample (n = 133) was used. Relating the reduced 6-item CM scale to the overall eWOM trust score resulted in a low, nonsignificant correlation (r = .17, p > .05), and also the correlations with the five first-order constructs (ranging from .08 to .18) were statistically insignificant (p > .05). Only three out of

22 manifest indicators were significantly - but weakly - correlated with the CM scale: (1) In4 (r = .12, p < .05); (2) In6 (r = .18, p < .05); and (3) Ab9 (r = .20, p < .05); suggesting that the validity of the scale is not seriously imperiled by socially desirable responding.

 
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