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Abstract

This study explored the effect of conformity salience on the technical completion of a questionnaire. Previous research has documented the motivational effects of priming on behavior, but not specifically conformity salience and questionnaire completion. Participants (

N

= 71) were randomly assigned to read a statement to prime conformity or to not prime conformity before completing a questionnaire with specific instructions of how to complete responses by filling in circles with a pencil. Participants in the conformity salient condition were hypothesized to be more likely to follow the directions of the questionnaire than participants in the conformity nonsalient condition, and women were predicted to conform more than men overall. Results confirmed the hypothesis that conformity salience increases the technical completion of a questionnaire, but women were not more likely than men to follow the instructions correctly overall. In order to increase the proper completion of important questionnaires and surveys related to psychological testing, clinical diagnoses, or health-related measures, administrators should consider the possible effect of conformity salience.

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