The Effect of Speediness on Personality Questionnaires: An Experiment on Applicants within a Job Recruiting Procedure

By Khorramdel, Lale; Kubinger, Klaus D. | Psychology Science, July 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Effect of Speediness on Personality Questionnaires: An Experiment on Applicants within a Job Recruiting Procedure


Khorramdel, Lale, Kubinger, Klaus D., Psychology Science


Abstract

The authors conducted an experiment to determine how a particular design of personality questionnaires influences applicant responses on personality scales. A completely crossed 2 x 2 x 2 design was carried out with real-world applicants and individuals in a job application training program in which speed (with or without a time limit), response format (dichotomous or analogue), and instructions (neutral standard instruction or a repeated warning that people who fake can be detected) were manipulated. Two hundred eight participants completed the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and a German Interpersonal Circumplex (IPC)-based questionnaire. Although providing a warning showed no influence, response format and the interaction between speed and response format showed a significant effect for some scales.

Key words: personality questionnaire, faking good, social desirability, personnel selection, psychological assessment, response format, instruction, speed

Personality questionnaires are the best known and the most popular tools used to measure personality. However, personality questionnaires often show a high transparency; that is, it is often evident to the test-taker what constructs the test measures. Because test-takers can infer what constructs items may measure, they may distort their responses in order to present themselves favourably. This may be particularly problematic in the context of personnel selection, where applicants may "fake good" in an attempt to secure a job offer (cp. Kanning & Holling, 2001; Karner, 1999, 2002).

Considerable research has shown that even voluntary participants are able to intentionally fake good when instructed to empathize with a selection candidate (Kubinger, 1996; 2002) or to adapt to a given job profile (Hoeth, Büttel, & Feyerabend, 1967; Lammers & Frankenfeld, 1999). Krahé and Hermann (2003) found similar results when analysing the susceptibility of the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) to systematic response tendencies. Because of these potential faking effects, data from self-descriptions should always be regarded carefully (Deller & Kuehn, 2003).

Faking tendencies in real-world selection situations, however, are actually fewer than in simulated situations. Some studies show that adjusting personality scores based on social desirability scores does not decrease the validity of a test (Hough et al., 1990; Moorman & Podsakoff, 1992; Ones, Viswesvaran & Reiss, 1996; Ones, Viswesvaran & Schmidt, 1993), and there is even an established opinion that personality questionnaires are valid methods for personnel selection despite their high transparency (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998; cf. also Marcus, 2003). However, the extent to which validity is decreased by the influence of social desirability bias is unknown (Kanning, 2003). Furthermore, because candidates who fake are more likely to be selected than those who answer honestly, faking may make selection systems unfair (Ellingson, Sackett & Hough, 1999; Hough, 1998). Therefore, test-users should take precautions to prevent or reduce applicant faking on personality questionnaires (Hough & Ones, 2002; McFarland, 2003).

Past research has explored whether it is possible to detect individuals who may be faking. Two means of detection have primarily been used: measuring/analysing response latencies (i.e., the time between item responses; Esser & Schneider, 1998; Holden & Hibbs, 1995; Holden, Kroner, Fekken & Popham, 1992; Hsu, Santelli & Hsu, 1989; Kuntz, 1974; Robie et al., 2000; Schneider & Hübner, 1980) and imbedding social desirability scales (a.k.a., lie scales) within personality measures (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960; Edwards, 1957; Hoeth, Büttel & Feyerabend, 1967; Paulhus, 1991; Schneider-Düker & Schneider, 1977). In the detection literature using response latencies, the general assumption is that response latencies indicate the fidelity of the response. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effect of Speediness on Personality Questionnaires: An Experiment on Applicants within a Job Recruiting Procedure
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.