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Reevaluating the Evidence for Increasingly Positive Self-Views Among High School Students More Evidence for Consistency Across Generations (1976–2006)

Twenge and Campbell (2008) evaluated 13 items from the
Monitoring the Future (MTF) data sets and concluded that the
self-views of U.S. high school students have become generally
more positive over time. For many items, they compared responses
from 2006 with responses from 1975; however, there is a
warning that appears at the bottom of every page of the monograph
that contains the 1975 data (Johnston & Bachman, 1980):
‘‘CAUTION: Items were rearranged after 1975; changes in
context may produce spurious ‘trends.’ ’’ Johnston and Bachman
(1980) warned readers that comparisons between 1975 and any
other single year should be avoided, and they even cited the
‘‘good worker’’ item as one that might be subject to survey artifacts
(p. 12). This concern with the 1975 data is the reason why
responses have not been made available electronically (J.G.
Bachman, personal communication, August 22, 2008).
Dr. Kali Trzesniewski,
Oct 20, 2011, 9:41 AM