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Differential Analysis: Crew Resource Management and Profiles on the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding

Authors: Charalambos C. Cleanthous, Ryan Sain, Tabitha Black, Stephen Vera, Suzanne Milton


A concern when administering questionnaires is whether the participant is providing information that is accurate. The results may be invalid because the person is trying to present oneself in an unrealistic positive manner referred to as ‘faking good’, or in an unrealistic negative manner known as ‘faking bad’. The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR) was used to assess commercial pilots’ responses on the two subscales of the BIDR: impression management (IM) and self-deceptive enhancement (SDE) that result in high or low scores. Thus, the BIDR produces four valid profiles: IM low and SDE low, IM high and SDE low, IM low and SDE high, and IM high and SDE high. The various profiles were used to compare the respondents’ answers to crew resource management (CRM) items developed from the USA Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) guidelines for CRM composition and training. Of particular interest were the results on the IM subscale. The comparisons between those scoring high (lying or faking) versus those low on the IM suggest that there were significant differences regarding their views of the various dimensions of CRM. One of the more disconcerting conclusions is that the high IM scores suggest that the pilots were trying to impress rather than honestly answer the questions regarding their CRM training and practice.

Keywords: USA commercial pilots, crew resource management, faking, social desirability.

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