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Research Presentation by Dr. Lisa Watson

Fri., Feb. 1, 2013 10:30 a.m.

Location: ED 514

The Deservingness Entitlement Differentiation Scale (DEDS)
By Dr. Lisa Watson
Standard dictionary definitions consider entitlements to be rights and deserved items to be earned through merit (Merriam Webster, 2007).  Issues arise when these two terms are confused and consumers frame items as entitlements that should be categorized as items to be earned or deserved.  However, colloquially the terms are often used interchangeably (Campbell et al., 2004; Feather, 2003), and as a result both terms are used when measuring the concept of entitlement in the psychology literature (Campbell et al., 2004).  There are several existing measurement scales throughout the literature designed to measure the concept of entitlement.  However, as a result of these multiple definitions, they tend to blur lines between the concepts of deservingness, a personal sense of entitlement consistent with the psychology literature, and the kind of social entitlements referred to in the social justice literature. 
The Deservingness Entitlements Differentiation Scale (DEDS) is a psychological scale that is currently under development for the purpose of providing a measure that is able to capture an individual’s relative sense of deservingness or entitlement at a trait level.  A series of three studies have been conducted to date, with at least two studies remaining prior to the scale being validated and ready for use.  The research study series’ design, analyses and results will be presented and discussed. 

Campbell, W. Keith, Bonacci, Angelica M., Shelton, Jeremy, Exline, Julie J. & Bushman, Brad J. (2004), “Psychological Entitlement: Interpersonal Consequences and Validation of a Self-report Measure,” Journal of Personality Assessment, 83 (1), 29-45.
Feather, N.T. (2003), “Distinguishing Between Deservingness and Entitlement: Earned Outcomes Versus Lawful Outcomes,” European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 367-385.
Merriam Webster (2012), On-line Dictionary and Thesaurus,, accessed July 2012.