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Social desirability bias is the trait of personality that makes an individual to be accepted in interpersonal as well as social relationships. This is also having qualities of a leader, becoming popular, being approved, and possessing qualities that make someone desirable as a companion. This leads to a situation where the answers given by the respondent to the questions favours other people. It includes exaggerating when the behaviour is good and failing to report bad behaviour. Many problems arise from filling questionnaires because there is interference with the interpretation of the data.
Social desirability bias in postgraduate students
When writing reports about personality and the use of drugs, the information given is underestimated most of the time due to the pressure by the beliefs in society. When a question is asked about the use of drugs, the respondent assumes that drug abuse is illegal and ends up denying or rationalizing the use of drugs (Fisher 2000). Social desirability bias should ensure that the assumptions made are clearly stated and the conclusion is according to the information that is provided. The generalization of data should be warranted and the students know the difference between weak arguments and strong arguments.
Postgraduate students are affected by bias when giving reports and the information gathered is distorted. The preference in learning involves the way learners perceive and remember learning and the methods of teaching that the students prefer. Improvement in learning is brought about by the methods of teaching being in accordance with what the students expect. It is very important for all students to attend lectures because absenteeism may be because of a lack of interest in learning. Performance is affected by the attendance of classes, which may change the environment of teaching if students rely on materials from websites without attending lectures (Delroy 1991).
Postgraduate master students’ academic work
Masters program takes two years within which nine courses are studied. The courses, which are related to the program are half the total and are compulsory to all students. There is a challenge when giving tests to the students because the questions given are in the form of an essay. Some of the courses are optional where students choose subjects according to their interests and ability. The classes of postgraduate masters students per week are few and fewer complexes and they attend seminars in their respective departments. During the study, it is required that every student should maintain a grade B on average; the lower grade will result in failure.
Masters students are involved in public speaking in the form of teaching in a classroom, attending seminars, or joining a journalism club. They also assist in teaching during the semester depending on the course and its requirements and may take a lot of time. The students have a laboratory, which they use when doing a thesis. When the professor admits the students to various labs, he/she assists them with the thesis and plan of their research. The final year of the master’s program is spent on thesis and projects; students are given the opportunity to present a thesis to the committee (Revzina 2008).
Individual research work is emphasized during the final year where the thesis is written to be presented by every student orally to the thesis committee. The judgment on the oral presentation depends on the understanding of the materials by the students, whether or not new things have been discovered and the experience the student gained after the study. The main aim of the program is to help students to be qualified in their profession and overcome the challenges that they face in life. This involves understanding and analyzing complex issues, confidence in finding solutions to problems in a strategic and creative manner as well as boldness when proposing and implementing plans (McBurney 1994).
A master’s degree enrolls students in different fields and from different countries. This diversity enhances the ability of students to be creative in negotiation and cooperate with others regardless of the backgrounds. The unity among students from groups, which are diverse, is because of passion as well as enthusiasms to study and be productive in the future. Psychologists are involved in innovation where they use knowledge that is already established to derive approaches to take care of the current needs of people. Research is used in development and testing theories in basic research to know the relationship between human beings (Crowne & Marlowe 1960).
Postgraduate masters’ students study behaviour of individuals as well as how they function. They also research the effect on their mental and emotional health and come up with ways of changing the behaviour of people. In businesses, the executives are advised on how to make profit as well as reduce losses. They study the events that occur in the community and find solution to the challenges. In case of a disaster, they attend to the victims to help them in the process of recovering after the shock. The solution to the problems is found by postgraduate masters students through collecting, analyzing and developing strategies (Brain 2002).
Post Graduate students should prevent social desirability bias should choose a supervisor who have which are like their own in order to relate well in their studies. They should do through research in their area of interest and ask people who are experienced questions in the area of their study. The supervisor should be available most of the times in order to make enquiry in difficult areas.
Brain, C 2002, Advanced psychology: Applications, issues and perspectives, Nelson Thornes, Cheltenham.
Crowne, D & Marlowe, D 1960, A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology, Journal of Consulting Psychology, vol. 24, pp. 349-354.
Delroy, P 1991, Measurement and control of response biases, Academic Press, San Diego.
Fisher, J 2000, Social desirability bias, John Wiley & Sons, Black Hills.
McBurney, D 1994, Research methods, Pacific Grove, California.
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Revzina, l 2008, Investigating social-desirability bias in self-reporting on motivational attitudes by adult students, University of San Francisco, San Francisco.