The Conscientious Responders Scale: A new tool for discriminating between conscientious and random responders
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This investigation introduces a novel tool for identifying conscientious responders (CRs) and random responders (RRs) in psychological inventory data. The Conscientious Responders Scale (CRS) is a five-item validity measure that uses instructional items to identify responders. Because each item instructs responders exactly how to answer that particular item, each response can be scored as either correct or incorrect. Given the long odds of answering a CRS item correctly by chance alone on a 7-point scale (14.29%), we reasoned that RRs would answer most items incorrectly, whereas CRs would answer them correctly. This rationale was evaluated in two experiments in which CRs’ CRS scores were compared against RRs’ scores. As predicted, results showed large differences in CRS scores across responder groups. Moreover, the CRS correctly classified responders as either conscientious or random with greater than 93% accuracy. Implications for the reliability and effectiveness of the CRS are discussed.