Skip to main content

A Strong Validation of the Crosswise Model Using Experimentally-Induced Cheating Behavior

Published Online:

Abstract. We constructed an online cheating paradigm that could be used to validate the Crosswise Model (Yu, Tian, & Tang, 2008), a promising indirect questioning technique designed to control for socially desirable responding on sensitive questions. Participants qualified for a reward only if they could identify the target words from three anagrams, one of which was virtually unsolvable as shown on a pretest. Of the 664 participants, 15.5% overreported their performance and were categorized as cheaters. When participants were asked to report whether they had cheated, a conventional direct question resulted in a substantial underestimate (5.1%) of the known prevalence of cheaters. Using a CWM question resulted in a more accurate estimate (13.0%). This result shows that the CWM can be used to control for socially desirable responding and provides estimates that are much closer to the known prevalence of a sensitive personal attribute than those obtained using a direct question.