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Abstract

Researchers regularly conduct willingness-to-pay or valuation studies for product marketing or public policy purposes. However, a large volume of research suggests valuation tools such as conjoint analysis may be subject to social desirability bias, where subjects misrepresent their true preferences to create a favorable impression. The objective of this study is to measure the effects of social desirability bias on conjoint survey responses. Consumers were asked to rank organic ground beef relative to other ground beef products at various prices. A popular scale measuring individuals’ tendency to exhibit social desirability bias was also administered. Regression analysis found no correlation between individuals’ social desirability scale scores and their preferences for organic beef. Thus, in this study, social desirability bias does not appear to be a problem for valuation researchers.

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