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Norming and scaling sensitive behaviour in a student population at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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This research aimed to norm and scale sensitivity amongst the student population at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus). The focus of this research was to validate the sensitivity of a range of sensitive and non-sensitive behaviours used in previous research at the University. This is essential in order to determine if the behaviours studied at the University were in fact sensitive for the student population. A pilot study was used in order to inform the questionnaire wording and social desirability scale used to norm and scale sensitivity amongst the student population. This research also made use of direct response options for comparison with the findings obtained from the norming option. A quantitative between subjects’ experimental research design, utilizing purposive sampling of students between the ages of 18 – 35 was used as a means of norming and scaling sensitivity at UKZN. This research was able to validate sensitivity for a wide range of behaviours previously considered to be sensitive by researchers at the University. A total of 44 out of the186 behaviours previously studied at the University was considered sensitive by the student population. However, this study was not able to find a definitive link between social desirability bias and the results obtained.


Master of Human Sciences in Psychology . University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2016.