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Telling What They Want to Know A Replication and Extension
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According to a conversational approach, survey respondents provide answers they believe to be relevant to an interaction. Norenzayan and Schwarz (1999) demonstrated that participants provide dispositional accounts for an action to a personality researcher, but contextual accounts to a social scientist. Two studies sought to replicate this finding and test if the effects were due to social desirability. Using original materials, Study 1 manipulated researcher identity and varied whether participants had reasons to explain the action (replication) or reasons that could not explain the action (non-reasons). Study 2 varied researcher identity and asked participants what they want to be like in the future or what they do not want to be like in the future. Individual differences in socially desirable responding were also assessed. Results replicated original findings without social desirability qualifying critical effects. This confirms that participants provide the kinds of answers that they believe to be relevant to the researchers.