Leniency Effects on Convergent and Discriminant Validity for Grouped Questionnaire Items: A Further Investigation

Chester A. Schriesheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Two previous investigations revealed that grouping (rather than randomizing) questionnaire items measuring similar constructs (in subsections) resulted in impaired discriminant validity (Schrie-sheim and DeNisi, 1980) and that grouping also strengthened the impact of leniency response bias (Schriesheim, 1981). This study reanalyzed the data of the two earlier investigations to determine whether the impairment of the discriminant validity of the grouped questionnaire items might be due to spurious correlations attributable to leniency. The responses of thirty discount store employees to a questionnaire containing grouped items measuring leniency in leader behavior descriptions (Schriesheim, 1980) and four similar constructs from the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (Stogdill, 1963) and Four-Factor Theory Questionnaire (Taylor and Bowers, 1972) were examined for convergent and discriminant validity by using a traditional zero-order multitrait-multimethod correlation matrix analysis (Campbell and Fiske, 1959) and by statistically controlling the effect of spurious correlation attributable to leniency (by computing a first-order partial multitrait-multimethod correlation matrix, controlling for leniency as measured by the leniency scale). It was found that controlling for leniency resulted in a slight decrement in convergent validity, but that discriminant validity was substantially improved. Implications for questionnaire validity and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1099
Number of pages7
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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