BIDR Self-Deceptive Denial (SDD)



Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.



1                  2                3                4                  5                  6               7


not true                 somewhat                  very true


____ 41. I sometimes feel irritated when I don't get my own way.

____ 42. I could never enjoy being cruel.

____ 43. Seeing any attractive person of the opposite sex makes me think about sex.

____ 44. I have never felt joy over someone else's failure.

____ 45. I have gotten so angry at a friend that I felt like hitting him(her).

____ 46. I have never felt like I wanted to kill someone.

____ 47. There have been occasions when I was mean to someone unimportant.

____ 48. I never enjoy watching sexy scenes in movies.

____ 49. I enjoy it when obnoxious people get put down.

____ 50. I rarely have sexual fantasies.

____ 51. Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about.

____ 52. I have never wanted to rape or be raped by someone.

____ 53. More than once it felt good when I heard on the news that someone had been killed.

____ 54. I can't think of anyone I hate deeply.

____ 55. There have been occasions when I felt like smashing things.

____ 56. Few of the things I do are simply for my own gain.

____ 57. I must admit that revenge can be sweet.

____ 58. I never get jealous over the good fortune of others.

____ 59. There have been times when I felt like rebelling against authorities, even though I knew they were right.

____ 60. I have never done anything that I'm ashamed of.




The scoring of the SDD is similar to that of the other two sub-scales of the BIDR.  First, reverse the following items:1, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59.  Then assign one point for each ‘6’ or ‘7’ response.  Hence, the minimum score is 0 and the maximum, 20.



Sample norms:   Responses from 433 UBC university students:

“Respond Honestly”

                        Males:   4.9 (3.1)          Females:  6.9 (3.2)


“Play up your good points”

                        Males:  8.5 (4.1)           Females:  7.9 (4.2)



The Self-Deceptive Denial scale is scored from the extra set of 20 items included in the 60-item version of the BIDR.  The items were not included in the standard 40-item version for several reasons.  First, the item content is considered offensive by ethical review boards as well as many subjects.  Second, SDD correlates highly with IM under many conditions making it redundant.  Third, the additional 20 items make the BIDR unwieldy for many purposes.  

The scale closely resembles the original Self-Deception Questionnaire (SDQ) developed by Sackeim and Gur (1978). It originated in the psychoanalytic notion that people, to varying degrees have to confront thoughts that they find unacceptable. Some individuals are especially reluctant to admit that common thoughts about sex and aggression toward their parents ever cross their mind.  Other malicious and self-serving tendencies were found to cohere in factor analyses (Paulhus & Reid, 1991).  This tendency has trait-like qualities that have implications for an individual’s well-being as well as their reaction to therapy.

The distinction between of two forms of trait-like self-deceptive tendencies was uncovered by Paulhus and Reid (1991).  The form of self-deception measured by the SDD has a moralistic, defensive tone akin to psychoanalytic denial. Thus the measure is complementary to the SDE scale, which indexes self-deception of an egoistic, over-confident nature (see Paulhus & John, 1998).


Paulhus, D.L, & Reid, D.B. (1991).  Enhancement and denial in socially desirable responding.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 307-317.

Paulhus, D.L., & John, O.P. (1998).  Egoistic and moralistic biases in self-perception: The interplay of self-deceptive styles with basic traits and motives.  Journal of Personality, 66, 1025-1059.

Sackeim, H.A., & Gur, R.C. (1978).  Self-deception, other-deception, and consciousness.  In G.E. Schwartz & D. Shapiro (Eds.), Consciousness and self-regulation: Advances in research (Vol.2, pp.139-197).  New York: Plenum Press.


Delroy L. Paulhus


April 1999