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The effect of a reasoning warning on faking in personality testing for selection and the perception of procedural justice


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The effect of a reasoning warning on faking in personality testing for selection and the perception of procedural justice
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Dullaghan, Timothy
University of South Florida
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Procedural justice
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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ABSTRACT: A major concern with using personality tests in the selection process is the prevalence of applicant faking behavior which can influence the rank order of applicants such that fakers are hired at an elevated frequency. This study examined the effects of the detection/consequence warning and a more applicant-friendly warning on faking and perceived procedural justice. I hypothesized that a positive warning (reasoning warning) and a detection/consequence warning would show similar mean personality trait levels compared to honest responses, with all means showing less socially desirable responding than no warning prompt. Results suggested that the detection/consequence warning is more effective at reducing faking behavior in the selection context, and the content of the warning has no impact on perceived procedural justice.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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The Effect of a Reasoning Warning on Faking in Personality Testing for Selection and the Perception of Procedural Justice by T. Ryan Dullaghan A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment o f the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Depart ment of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Walter Borman, Ph.D. Stephen Stark, Ph.D. Marcie Finkelstein, Ph.D. Date of Approval: December 12 2008 Keywords: neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiou sness, openness to experience, extraversion, impression management Copyright 2010, T. Ryan Dullaghan


i Table of Contents List of Tables iii Abstract iv Chapter One Introduction 1 Faking Behavior 2 The Utility of Warnings 6 Procedural Justice 10 Identifying Faking 13 Self Presentation/Direct Evidence 13 Mean Comparisons 16 Variance 17 Summary 17 Chapter Two Method 20 Participants 20 Measures 21 Warning Prompts 21 Personality Test 22 Procedural Justice 23 Impression Management 24 Proce dure 24 Chapter Three Results 26 Comparison of Sources 26 Personality 28 Procedural Justice 36 Impression Management 38 Chapter Four Discussion 39 Personality 39 Procedural Justice 41 Impression Management 42 Limitations 43 Future Research 44 C onclusion 46 References 47


ii Appendices 54 Appendix A: International Personality Item Pool Items 55 Appendix B: Procedural Justice Questionnaire Items 57 Appendix C: Selection Procedural Justice Scale Items 58 Appendix D: Impression Management Scale 5 9


iii List of Tables Table 1 Fo llow up ANOVAs to Survey MANOVA: F ull sample 27 Table 2 Follow up ANOVAs to Source MANOVA: F ull sample 27 Table 3 Means and standard deviations for Nurse and Student samples for the IPIP 29 Table 4 Means and standard deviations for Nur se and Student samples for procedural j ustice 30 Table 5 Intercorrelations among study variables : Nurse sample 31 Table 6 Intercor relations among study variables: Student sample 32 Table 7 Descriptive and ANOVA statistics with Tukey for the personality variables: Nurse sample 35 Table 8 Descriptive and t test statistics for the procedural justice variables: Nurse sample 37 Table 9 Descriptive and t test statistics for the procedural justice variables: Studen t sample 38


iv The Effect of a Reasoning Warning on Faking in Personality Testing for Selection and the Perception of Procedural Justice T. Ryan Dullaghan ABSTRACT A major concern with using personality tests in the selection process is the prevalence of applicant faking behavior which can influence the rank order of applicants such that fakers are hired at a n elevated frequency. This study examined the effects of the detection/consequence warning and a more applicant friendly warning on faking and perc eived procedural justice. I hypothesized that a positive warning (reasoning warning) and a detection/consequence warning would show similar mean personality trait levels compared to honest responses, with all means showing less socially desirable respondin g than no warning prompt. Results suggested that the detection/consequence warning is more effective at reducing faking behavior in the selection context and the content of the warning has no impact on perceived procedural justice.


1 Chapter One Introduc tion Utilizing personality tests in the selection process has become increasingly popular over the past decade and a half since t he development of the five factor model of personality and research showing the validity of the five factor model in predicting job performance organizational status, income, and a number of other variables (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Mount & Barrick, 1995; Judge, Higgins, Thoreson, & Barrick, 1999 ; Tett, Jackson, & Rothstein, 1991 ) In the early 1990s, meta analyses demonstrated the robustness of the Big Five personality factors of neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Tett et al., 1991). Not only have some of these personality traits been shown to predict job performance, but personality can show high incremental validity above general mental ability (GMA) in the prediction of job performance (Mount, Witt, & Barrick, 2000; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998) compared to other selection procedures. Furthermore, unlike GMAs, personality tests used for selection show little to no bias based on age, race, or gender (Hough, Oswald, & Ployhart, 2001). Unfortunately, personality data can be faked much more easily than other components of a selection battery (Donovan, Dwight, & Hur tz, 2003). F a king is intentionally distorting responses on a personality test so as to appear McFarland & Ryan, 2000 ) In most cases where respondents are motivated to distort their respon ses


2 (selection, assessment, classification), faking so as to appear less desirable may not be a serious issue, so most research on the topic has focus ed on fa king in the positive direction (Jones & Abraham, 2008). Warning prompts have been shown to be effe ctive methods for reducing applicant faking on personality tests. T here is however, evidence that applicants have a negative perception of personality test s being used in the selection process (Rosse, Miller, & Stecher, 1994), and adding a warning prompt appears to also elicit a negative response from applicants (McFarland, 2003) McFarland did not, however, compare unwarned conditions to the warned conditions Little research has examined the target the select ion system (Rosse et al., 1994) and the organization (McFarland, 2003) have been hypothesized to be potential targets. If currently used warnings do, in fact, harm applicant perceptions of an organizational application process, these applicants could poten tially withdraw from the selection process, tell other p rospective employees not to apply to the organization, and/or enter the organization with a negative view of the N ew types of warnings that seek to improve applicant perception s of procedural justice could potentially mitigate the effects of including a personality test in the selection battery. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of a more applicant friendly warning on faking, as well as see if such a warning will improve applicant perceptions of the use of a personality test in selection Faking Behavior Presumably, applicants for a job are motivated to show themselves to be a relatively ideal candidate for the organization As such, applicants could be temp ted to


3 distort their responses toward some conception of the type of person who best fit s a given job Many studies have found higher (more socially desirable) personality trait group means for faking groups than control/non faking groups ( Barrick & Mount, 1996; Hough, 1998; Rosse, Stecher, Miller, & Levin, 1998). Typically, this distortion is referred to as faking but various researchers have called it impression management response distortion intentional distortion, social desirability and dissimulati on ( McFarland & Ryan, 2000 ). In a sample of recent job applicants, Donovan et al. (2003) assessed the base rate of applicant faking. The researchers created a survey asking participants whether or not they had engaged in 29 faking activities during a rece nt job application process. Responses showed that participants tended to fake the personality comp onents of the selection process more often than other components Participants reported faking on components relating to personality 27.8% to 53.8% of the tim e versus only 4.7% to 9.5% for the biographical components. The aspects of personality addressed includ ed hardworking, prompt, and thorough (45.2%), dependability and reliability (29%), agreeableness (27.8%), and downplay ing negative attributes (53.8%). Bi ographical d ata showed a much lower prevalence of faking outright made up information (9.5%), listed unearned rewards (4.7%), and exaggerated experience (7.7%). Thus it appears that faking in personality testing may occur in a meaningful proportion of t he job applicant population. T here is still debate as to the effects of faking on the validity of pe rsonality measures in employee selection ( Barrick & Mount, 1996; McFarland & Ryan, 2000; Mueller Hanson, Heggestad, & Thornton, 2003 ; Ones Viswesvaran & R eiss, 1996 )


4 intentionally faked responses significantly decreased the validity of responses to the NEO FFI when compared to personality ratings from friends or family. On the other hand, i n a study using two applicant samples, Barrick and Mount (1996) found that when correcting for response distortion criterion related validities against voluntary turnover and job performance decreased, but not a significant amo unt. The validi ties were similar despite the finding that the struc tural models correcting for either self deception or impression management fit better than the unadjusted model. In a meta analysis of the social desirability literature, Ones et al. (1996) found similar results regarding the robustness of criterion related validities as have others (Hough, 1998 ; Hough, Eaton, Dunnette, Kamp, & McCloy, 1990 ) T here is much evidence however, that faking responses can change the rank order of candidates In selection scen arios with low selection ratios, this rank order is what will determine who gets hired and who does not. Mu e ller Hanson et al. (2003) simulated the applicant process to examine the criterion related validity and rank order effects of faking. For a control condition there w ere n o difference s in the predictor criterion relationship s among three achievement motivation subgroups (low, middle, and high achievement motivation ). For the faking condition however, the personality performance relationship for the l ower ( r = .45) and upper thirds ( r = .07) were significantly different Further, the applicants selected based on their rank order on the non cognitive measure were consistently composed of more from the faking group than the control group. As the selectio n ratio decreased, the proportion of faking group members selected increased and thus the error in selection An increase in the error in selection due to faking has been


5 found consistently in other research looking at the effect of faking on rank order ( Ellingson, Sackett, & Hough, 1999; Hough, 1998; Komar, Brown, Komar, & Robie, 2008 ; Ro sse et al., 1998 ). There is evidence that faking affects the psychometric properties of personality tests such that the Five Factor structure does not always fit faked r esponses. Schmit and Ryan (1993) hypothesized that personality factor structure would depend on the purpose of t he test administration. Two such conditions include a simple for research only examination of personality, or as used in a selection battery. Re sults showed that the Five Factor structure fit better for student (voluntary) samples than applicant (involuntary) samples. pp. 971) appeared in the factor analysis, reflecting se veral work related traits. The authors beli eve the NEO personality trait s may not be accurately applied in employee selection Furthermore, the subscales of the NEO FFI showed complex loading patterns, so these subscales should also be use d cautiously when assessing applicant responses. Smith, Hanges, and Dickson (2001), on the other hand, found no changes in factor structure using the HPI between student, applicant, and incumbent samples. Marshall, de Fruyt, Rolland, and Bagby (2005) sim ilarly found that the factor structure on the NEO PI R remained stable across applicant and non applicant groups. Unexpectedly, in Smith et (2001) study, the model fit the applicant sample better than the student sample, in disagreement with Schmit a Unfortunately, I have found no further s tudies seeking to resolve the differences between Schmit and R yan and Smith et


6 Potential inconsistency of factor structures has serious implications for the utility of per sonality tests in the selection setting. Consider conscientiousness, the trait most often found to be related to job performance across occupations. If items used in creating the composite conscientiousness score do not fit in the conscientiousness latent factor, the inclusion of such items may introduce noise into the predictor criterion relationship thus reducing this relationship. The Utility of Warnings As alluded to above, items on most personality tests are somewhat transparent. On most measures, a general knowledge of the Big Five model will enable respondents to identify which trait each item reflects, and therefore determine how to fake their response s to the item, should they choose to do so Rees and Metcalfe (2003) found that 36% of participant s thought it was easy to fake on a personality questionnaire, and another 36% did not find faking unethical. Wolford and Christiansen (2008) approached the fake ability issue from a slightly different perspective. With the increasing popularity of personali ty measures being used in the workplace, books have appeared that coach readers on how to fake personality tests. In the Wolford and Christiansen study, the authors provided some participants with sections of a book that coached readers how to improve thei r scores on a personality test ; another group did not receive this material During the testing session, all participants were told to respond to the personality test as if they were applying for a car salesman position. Re sults showed that those who read the coaching materials did show higher mean scores for extraversion and conscientiousness than those who did not receive the coaching materials. The results suggest that with knowledge of what a personality test is asking for, and the motivation to fake,


7 p articipants can distort their response s in such a way as to increase their overall scores on the test. T here has been a great deal of research the past decade or so looking into how to reduce such distortion. Although faking has been found to affect appli cant rank order and (as discussed above) researchers have developed methods for dealing with applicant faking behavior W arnings have been shown to effective ly reduce the prevalence of faking in the application process (Dwight & Donovan, 2003). For many personality traits, mean scores for the warned conditions were significantly lower than for the unwarned condition. However, a recent study comparing honest, faked, and warned groups suggests that warning the applicant no t to fake may not reduce test scores down to the same level as the honest condition (Donovan, Dwight, & Schneider, 2008). R esearch needs to be conducted looking more precisely at how warnings impact personality test scores McFarland and Ryan (2000) provi ded a model of the applicant faking process to describe the way variables interact to create variance in faking on non cognitive measures. First in the model are influences on beliefs toward faking, including values, morals, religion, personality traits, e tc. T hese influences beliefs toward faking, which in turn determine The relationship between beliefs toward faking and intention to fake, however, is moderated by situational influences such as relationship with faking behavior is moderated by both the ability to fake (self monitoring, knowledge of the c onstruct being measured, and item transparency) and the opportunity to fake. Oppor tunity to fake addresses the limitation for fakers that those


8 already high on the trait may not be able to positively distort their responses. Finally, the model asserts f aking behavior will influence a number of outcomes including validities, test scores, scale re liabilities, and the factor structure. Although th e model has not yet been tested in its entirety, it does provide a framework from which researchers can examine the expected effects of warnings on faking behavior. Pace and Borman (2006) summarize d five t ypes of warnings that could be used to reduce applicant faking. First is the d etection warning, in which test takers are informed that faked responses can be detected Second is the c onsequence warning which refers to the test administrator explaining the penalty a respondent will receive for faking his or her responses. Independently, these two warnings appear to have little effect on the prevalence of faking. Combined, however, they have been shown to be effe ctive at reducing trait mean scores (Dwight & Donovan, 2003). In the Dwight and Donovan study, the condition in which the d etection warning was paired with the c onsequence warning elicited lower mean scores (reduced faking) compared to the unwarned condition, d etection warning only condition, and c ons equence only condition. The d etection/ c onsequence warning has had the most wide spread use in the warning literature. T Upon reading, it presumably brings to mind associations of honesty with appropriate behavior and positive self image, which may reduce faking levels as well. Another approach to reducing faking although not necessarily considered a warning, is the f or r esearch o nly prompt Essentially, the f or r esearch o nly prompt explains why personality tests are used in selection, and how accurate responses aide in


9 improving the selection process. nor will responses affect the respondent in any way. R esponses from this approach, since applican ts will have a decreased motivation to fake, are presumably closer to their true personality scores. Lastly, there is the r approach (Pace, Borman, Penney, Xu, & Bearden, 200 5 ). This warning appeals to test taker interests rather than the consequences of faking. In a friendly tone, the warning points out that it may not be in the test taker s best interest to fake his or her responses because dishonest responses may result in the respondent being classified into jobs he or she is not best suited for. It continues by pointing out that incorrect classification may result in performance problems and a lack of job fit. The researchers developed this instruction prompt for use in a military setting, where test takers will be classified into jobs based on the test results. In the typical organizational selection context the r easoning warning would need to be rephrased to reflect conditions of being offered the job ( or not ) while still maintain ing the friendly, helpful tone. The r easoning warning appeals to model of faking. The warning could affect beliefs toward faking in that it should increase the belief that faking is not useful and faking will not help the applicant reach his or her goals. Further, t he warning may make the applicant realize that he or she does not fit the job, based on the personality traits needed to be succe ssful and satisfied in the job. Lastly, with a decreased belief in the effectiveness of faking, there will be a decreased intention


10 to fake. It is also possible, however, that su ch a warning could inform an applicant that it is possible to fake responses, thereby leading to an increase in faking behavior. Pace et al. (2005) conducted the only study I am aware of utilizing the r easoning warning. Although the study was terminated before all data were collected preliminary results showed promise f or the reaso ning warning. Based on the available data, there were no significant mean differences between personality scores on a number of personality traits f or the d etection/ c onsequence warning condition r easoning warning condition, and f or r esearch o nly condition Due to the early termination of the Pace et al. (2005) study, however, the research ers were unable to compare the means from the three warning conditions with those of an unwarned group. Procedural Justice Procedural justice has been defined as the fair ness of the procedures that are used to determine organizational outcomes ( Lind & Tyler, 1988) There is much evidence that a pplicants tend to have negative perceptions of the use of personality measure s in the selection process because personality tests a re not seen a s directly relevant to the job itself ( Holtz, Ployhart, & Dominguez, 2005; Gilliland, 1993; Gilliland, 1994). The content of a personality test is not closely related to the content of the job, and it is not clear to most people what the relat ionship is between personality traits and job outcomes. Gilliland (1993) attempt ed to integrate the literature on applicant perceived procedural justice in the selection context by proposing a model of applicant reactions to employment selections systems. While the model attempts to explain applicant reactions to the entire selection process, I will focus only on the part s of the model relating to the testing itself where personality testing can be st fit. Gilliland identifies four procedural


11 rules relatin g to the formal characteristics of the selection process job relatedness, opportunity to perform, r econsideration opportunity, and consistency Job relatedness is the extent to which the test itself appears to be related to the job content and could be a valid predictor of job performance. The opportunity to perform refers to the applicant having a say in the information used for the selection decision. The reconsideration ocess. Specifically, applicants need to be able to view their scores and understand the scoring process. Finally, the consistency of administration rule refers to the need for applicants to believe that all applicants were treated fairly and eq ually in the selection process Other rules relevant to the selection battery itself include honesty and the propriety of questions. Honesty is the truthfulness the organization shows when communicating with applicants. The propriety of questions refers to items being appropriate and not showing prejudice. Combined, the above Gilliland tested certain components of his proposed model in a later study (Gilliland, 1994). He found that perceived procedural justice was higher for applicants whose selection procedure s were viewed as most relevant to their job. He manipulated the relevance of the testing procedure to the job by having groups of participants take different test s (a wo rk sample test, a cognitive ability test, or an overt integrity test). He found that the work sample test was see n as most relevant to the future job, whereas the integrity test was seen as the least relevant. Further, p articipants completing the wo rk sample test held the greatest perception of procedural justice, whereas those completing the overt integrity test held the lowest.


12 U sing a threat (in the form of a detection/c onsequence warning) in the application process can negatively influence the a perception of the organization (Gilliland, 1993; McFarland, 2003) McFarland (2003) examined the direct effect of the d etection/ c onsequence warning on She outlined a number of ways warnings can negat ively affect applicant perceptions of the selection process. First, she point ed out that the d etection warning could make applicant s feel that the organization is not allowing them to perform to as high a degree as possible Second, a d etection warning inf orms applicants that the test can, indeed, be faked. As such, applicants could believe that the measure w ould not accurately predict anything about a Third, including items that assess dishonesty in the personality test could be considered a n unwarranted invasion of privacy. McFarland hypothesized that a warning which explain s that a measure of social desirability is within the scale, and explains what the scale will be used for will improve applicant perceptions of the sele ction process. A lthough means on multiple components of procedural justice for the warned group were lower, the di fferences were non significant, suggesting that warnings had little effect on perceived procedural justice. However, McFarland points out that the use of personality test s in selection is perceived negatively overall as seen in low mean scores on measures of procedural justice Other research has supported the notion that including a personality test in a selection battery produce s negative app licant reactions ( Rosse et al., 1994; Steiner & Gilliland, 1996) and Rees and Metcalfe (2003) found a quarter of participants thought personality questionnaires could not effectively predict job performance suggesting these personality tests violate a nu mber of procedural justice rules.


13 As addressed above, Pace and Borman (2006) proposed the reasoning warning as a more applicant friendly approach to reducing faking. The u se of the reasoning warning could improve pe rceptions of procedural justice in the u se of p ersonality tests for selection by explaining to respondents that honest answers do, in fact, make personality measure ment effective and honest answers are in their own best interests The d etection/ c onsequence warning could have shown no effect on p erceived procedural directly a ddress any of (1993) procedural justice rules. Logically, explaining the reason s behind including the personality test in the selection battery and honesty fr om the organization can improve applicant perceptions of procedural justice through Gilliland job relatedness and h onesty rules (as discussed above) Related to the McFarland and Ryan (2000) model, the reasoning warning could also reduce the intention to fake due to a desire to reciprocate with honesty and fairness to the organization. In sum the reasoning warning could potentially improve applicant perceptions of procedural justice through addressing several procedural justice rules. Identifying F aking Several methods for detecting faking and dealing with its effects have been proposed in the research Below, I will briefly summarize three approaches self presentation or direct evidence, mean co mparisons, and variance comparisons. Self Presentation / Direct Evidence Some personality measures have items built into them meant to identify fakers Using one or more of these methods, statistical correction can be made to obtain an adjusted score for applicants (Ellingson et al., 1999) However, these stati stical


14 corrections have not shown improved validity ( Barrick & Mount, 1996; Mueller Hanson et al., 2003 ). Alternatively, researchers have attempted to identify faking and honest groups based on a median split on impression management scales. Stark, Chernys henko, Chan, Lee and Drasgow (2001) examined the psychometric properties of a number of personality scales using IRT differential item functioning ( DIF ) analysis, with honest and faking groups determined through such a median split. They found that fewer i tems showed DIF using the median split on an impression management measure compared to data from applicant and non applicant samples. They concluded that due to DIF and differential test functioning, the scale might measure different underlying constructs for applicant and non applicant samples. As such, this median split should not be applied to the analysis and interpretation of personality data. Rosse et al. (1998) controlled for response distortion using an impression management scale. They found that the rank order of applicants was very different between controlled and uncontrolled applicant personality scores, especially at the top of the distribution, where employment decisions at smaller selection ratios will be made. While controlling for social d esirability has been used in an attempt to decrease the effects of faking on selection, researchers are not entirely clear if controlling for social Ellingson et al (1999) compared honest and corrected applicant scores in a within subjects study. They had participants take a personality test twice, once under an by correcting th scale. Although correcting for distortion did bring group mean scores for the faking group


15 down to the level of honest condition means, the correlations between honest and correcte d scores were low ( r = .09 .26). To assess the effect of correcting scores on selection, Ellingson et al. created a series of selection scenarios based on mock applicant personality test scores then examined which participants would be selected using a top considered a correct selection decision to have occurred when applicants who were selected based on their honest scores were also selected with their corrected scores. In some scenarios, social desirability corrections improved the proportion of applicants correctly selected. In other scenarios, corrections had no effect or reduced the proportion correctly selected. Consequently, it is possible that applicant rankings based on corrected personality scores may not result in true score rankings. Thus a social desirability measure may not be the most effective method for identifying or controlling for applicant faking behaviors. Some researchers maintain that social desirabil ity may reflect valid personality related variances ( Ellingson et al., 1999 ; Ones et al., 1996 ) and should not be used to correct personality scores. Furthermore, there is a body of research that has looked at the effectiveness of adding a frame of referen ce to the personality measure. For example Schmit, Ryan, Stierwalt, and Powell (1995) added a school context to each item on a Conscientiousness scale. They f ound increased validity for all Conscientiousness subscales using a school frame of reference in predicting performance relative to college GPA as compared to the scale with no frame of referen ce Hunthausen, Truxillo, Bauer, and Hammer (2003) found similar results using a work place sample and job performance criterion. Both stud ies sults suggest that socially desirable responding can


16 reflect true work performance, assuming the applicant does exhibit the reported behaviors at work, even though his or her personality based behaviors outside the work context may be notably different. Mean Compariso n s The most common method for identifying faking is the mean comparison method u sing a between subjects design (see Birkeland, Manson, Kisamore, Brannick, & Smith, 2006 meta analysis) (Barrick & Mount, 1996; Dwight & Donovan 2003 ; McFarland, 2003; McFarl and & Ryan, 2000; Rosse et al., 1998 ). As addressed above, considerable research has found a statistical increase in average scores for faking groups ( Barrick & Mount, 1996; Hough, 1998 ). Researchers have used a number of methods to identify or create the faking group used in these mean comparisons In some studies using non applicant samples, participants have be en the job (financial incentives) Others have instructed participants to intentionally distort their responses so t h e y get the job In one study, McFarland (2003) simply asked if applicants lied on the test to increase their scores. For applicant samples, some researchers have presumed that applicants are motivate d to fake their responses to make the best impression th ey can, whereas an incumbent sample should show much less faking behavior (Rosse et al., 1998). Hogan, Barrett, and Hogan ( 200 7) took a different approach Applicants completed a personality test during an initial employment process. The majority of applic ants were not offered jobs. Six months later, many of those who did not previously receive a job offer reapplied to the same organization. Hogan et al. suggested that these re applicants would be more


17 highly motivated to get the job the second time around, although they did not find support for this supposition. Regardless of the method used to induce or discourage faking, the analyse s are simple compare group means on individual personality traits between th e faking and non faking groups and examine th e effect sizes to e valuate difference s Variance For some of the most popular personality tests, such as the NEO PI R and NEO FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992) participants respond to the personality measure using a five point Lik ert scale according to how much they agree the item s describe them Assuming applicants want the job, responses may be positively distorted and moving responses will reduce t he response variance so faking groups should be expected to show less variance than an h onest group Also, s ome researchers have found that applicants distort their responses to a different extent on different personality variables ( McFarland & Ryan, 2000; Rosse et al., 1998) These findings suggest that applicants view certain personality traits as more relevant to the job than others, demonstrating another source of variance in faking conditions. Identifying a faking group based on different variances, however, would be difficult to argue. Furthermore, comparing variance would do little to help identify individual fakers. The value in comparing variance between conditions would be to suggest there are different treatment effects between groups. Summary Presumably, when applicants are within the selection context, they will want to present the most favorable impression of themselves. While the composition of the Big


18 Five personality traits vary depending on the measure, all seek to assess five similar, recognizable traits. When distorting responses, the applicant who is trying to appear mor e favorable than other applicants would likely respond more highly on items related to Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, and less high on items related to Neuroticism. In sum, a lthough evidence suggests that faking on a person ality test does not seriously affect criterion related validities for a number of important organizational outcomes, faking does affect the rank order of job candidates especially near the top of the score distribution Furthermore, the inclusion of a per sonality measure in the selection process can negatively influence perceptions of the selection process, and perhaps the organization As such, I will test the effect of the r easoning warning in reducing the prevalence of faking and the perception of proce dural justice. If the reasoning warning can be shown to be as effective as the detection/consequence warning at reducing applicant faking on a personality measure, and if the reasoning warning shows improved perceptions of procedural justice, then the reas oning warning could be argued to be the better warning prompt to use. I hypothesize that: H1: A personality test with no warning will show higher mean scores for Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness than the f or r esearch o nly (cont rol) condition the detection/consequence warning, and the reasoning warning, and lower mean scores for Neuroticism. H 2 : A personality test with the d etection/ c onsequence warning or the reasoning warning will show no difference in mean scores from the f o r r esearch o nly condition for any personality variables.


19 H 3 : The perception of procedural justice in the r easoning warning condition will be higher than with the d etection/ c onsequence warning condition


20 Chapter Two Method Participants Participants we re recruited from two sources. The first sample (Nursing sample) came from nurses working in the medical field in Louisville, Ky. The other source was undergraduate students in psychology courses at a southeastern United States public university (Student s ample). I obtained responses from 267 nursing participants (89.5% female, 9% male, 1.5% missing). Ages ranged from 18 to 58 ( M = 25.63; SD = 6.51). The majority of the nursing participants were White/Caucasian (82.8%), with 13.5% Black/African American, .7 % Asian/Pacific Islander, .4% Native American, and 2.6% Other/Mixed Race. I obtained 155 responses from the S tudent sample. Two responses showed uniform responding throughout, and two more responses were completed in around one minute (96 item s), which wa s two minutes shorter than the next response time, so 151 responses were included in the analyses (79.5% female, 20.5% male). Ages ranged from 18 to 42 ( M = 21.75, SD = 3.64). The majority of Student participants were White/Caucasian (49.7%), with 19.9% Bl ack/African American, 17.2% Hispanic/Latino, 7.3% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 6% Other/Mixed Race. This sample was employed in a number of industries including the medical industry (30.5%), retail/service industry (17.9%), and professional industries (15.2 %), among others, with 25.2% unemployed.


21 As I have no expectations for differences between groups based on gender, race, tenure, employment status, etc., there w ere no exclusionary criteria for participants in either sample. I collected no identifying inf ormation above basic demographics from participants. No compensation was given to participants, and p articipation was completely voluntary for both samples. Measures Warning Prompts: Participants receive d one of four instruction prompts. In order to crea te a control condition with honest responses, the for research only condition (Honest condition) di ffer ed from the other conditions Participants in the for research only condition were presented with only the following paragraph preceding the personality te st: For research only condition (Honest condition) : You are about to take a personality test. As you answer the following questions, please be as h onest as you can Your responses will be used for research purposes only. There will be no identifying in formation kept with your responses and all responses will be kept strictly confidential. Honest answers will help us to get an true personality. Participants in the other three conditions (no warning, detection/consequence wa rning, and reasoning warning) were told to pretend they are a job applicant trying to get a job in the field of nursing They were also told the personality test they were about to take w ould be a key part of the job selection process. This general instruc tion prompt was included in the remaining three forms : General instruction prompt:


22 Pretend you are a jo b applicant trying to get your ideal job in the field of nursing The personality test you are about to take is a very important part of the job selecti on process, so it is important that you do well. Please respond to the test as you would if you were applying for this job. The test will be used in the decis ion to hire all job candidates. The D etection/ C onsequence and R easoning warning s then follow ed the general instruction prompt with their respective warnings: Detection/ C onsequence w arning : Please be aware of the following two points: 1. Th is test contains questions designed to identify those who slant their responses to make themselves look like a bette r candidate than they are Research has shown that these questions are an effective way of identifying individuals who provide inaccurate information about themselves. 2. Dishonest or distorted self descriptions will invalidate your results. In other words, f aking will result in you r not being considered for the job. Reasoning w arning: Th is tes t has been designed to find job candidates who will be most successful and happy in th is job. Please respond honestly to the following questions. Those who respond dis honestly may find themselves in jobs they are not well suited for, which may in turn result in poor performance and dissatisfaction with the job so it is in your own best interest to answer the following questions honestly. Personality Test: I used the I nternational Personality Item Pool (IPIP) (Goldberg et al., 2006 ; Appendix A ) as my personality assessment tool. The IPIP has 10 items for


23 each Big Five trait (50 items total); Neuroticism ( Extraversion ( = included in assessment of the Big Five traits were selected based on rank ordered correlations with scores on the NEO PI R. The items showing the highest correlations with each trait were selected to be included in the measure Th e developers performed a visual content analysis to identify items that addressed the same issue. If they found two items that were too similar in content, they removed the item with the lower correlation, and the next item in the rank order was included. Responses are on a five point Likert type scale, with anchors of 1 = Very Inaccurate, 3 = Neither Inaccurate nor Accurate, and 5 = Very Accurate. Procedural Justice: I us ed Justice Questionnaire (PJQ ; App endix B ). Colquitt created the items based on referred to a present outcome rather than the current selection process, so I made tense and small phrasing changes to mak e se procedures? item scale with a five point Likert type response with anchors 1 = to a small extent, and 5 = to a large extent. Internal consistency reliability is high, = .83. I also used Scale (SPJS ; Appendix C ). Since the focus of this study is on the applicant perception of


24 procedural justice regarding the use of a personality test in the selecti on process and the use of various warnings, I am only including the subscales relating to the test itself. The included subscales are job relatedness I was able to show what I can do = .78), and job = .93). The included subscales have 11 items total, with a high reliability of = 84. Impression Management: I have also included the Impression Management (IM) 1991 ; Appendix D ). Pau lhus defines impression management as intentionally changing behavior for an audience. While much research has shown that accounting for variance in responding to personality tests in the selection context based on social desirability does not bring indivi used in personality research. The measure is a 20 item scale with a seven point Likert type response with anchors 1 = Not True, 4 = Somewhat True, and 7 = Very True. Reliability for the IM scale was found to be moderate, = .77. Procedure I collected data from the Nursing sample in a series of testing sessions during two typical work days. Testing sessions ranged from early morning to late evening to cover multiple work shifts, with 13 to 56 participants in each session, for a total of eight ses sions. The testing session involved a short introduction by the experimenter explaining that participation was entirely voluntary and no adverse outcome w ould result from them


25 deciding no t to participate. Participants then read and signed the informed consent form, which was collected before distributing the surveys. After all consent forms had been th e survey instructions, and completed the measure. Once all participants had finished, the experimenter debriefed participants as to the purpose of the study, including a brief summary of previous research on warnings and revelation of the different warning prompts presented. Any remaining questions were also answered. Before ending the debriefing session, the experimenter asked participants not to discuss the study with any of their coworkers, so as not to compromise the manipulation. The S tudent sample co mpleted the survey through the online data collection SONA system. This system required participant to sign into the website, then select the participate. They were then d irected to a digital version of the survey to complete Due to restraints on the SONA system, data had to be collected from one condition at a time. The order of conditions collected was Reasoning Warning, Detection/Consequence Warning, Faking, then Honest


26 Chapter Three Results Many of the analyses below required supplementary tests to an omnibus statistic (ANOVA). In these cases, I used the Bonferroni procedure to control for Type I error. In the Bonferroni procedure, the alpha level (often .05) is d ivided by the number of post hoc analyses performed. For example, if five post hoc analyses are performed to an ANOVA, an alpha level of .01 would be used to test the post hoc tests for significance. Also, onventions of d = .2 as a small effect, d = .5 as a medium effect, and d = .8 as a large effect (Cohen, 1988). Comparison of Sources The first step in my data analyses was to examine participant responses for differences between the Nursing and Student sa mples using the multivariate MANOVA test with Source (Student or Nurse) and Survey (Reasoning, Detection/Consequence, Faking, Honest) as the independent variables and all personality, justice, and impression management variables as the dependent variables The MANOVA for Survey was = .86, F (36, 1158.94) = 1.74, p = .005. Follow up ANOVAs suggested that differences could be found only for Neuroticism and Impression Management (Table 1 ). All other variables had low power (below .55), su ggesting significant results may not have been detected.


27 Table 1 Follow up ANOVAs to Survey MANOVA: Full sample MS F p power Neuroticism 1.8 3.86 .01 0 .82 Extraversion .98 2.12 .097 .54 Openness .3 0 1.19 .314 .32 Agreeableness .55 2.02 .111 .52 Conscientiousness .17 .42 .736 .14 PJQ .06 .11 .957 .07 SPJS .47 1.19 .314 .32 JR Predict 1.88 2.15 .093 .55 Perform .16 .2 0 .895 .09 Propriety 1.29 1.84 .139 .48 JR Content 2.38 2.27 .08 0 .57 Impression Mgmt 2.34 3.74 .011 .8 1 A lpha level = .05; results are for F(3, X), where X varies depending on sample size due to missing data. Table 2 Follow up ANOVAs to Source MANOVA: F ull sample MS F p power Neuroticism 1.72 3.68 .056 .48 Extraversion .98 2.13 .145 .31 Open ness .77 3.05 .081 .41 Agreeableness 8.08 29.79 .00 0 .99 Conscientiousness 9.61 24.62 .00 0 .99 PJQ .73 1.26 .263 .2 0 SPJS .01 .01 .915 .05 JR Predict 4.05 4.64 .032 .58 Perform 1.71 2.23 .136 .32 Propriety 3.83 5.45 .02 0 .64 J R Content 4.13 3.94 .048 .51 Impression Mgmt 5.34 8.52 .004 .83 A lpha level = .05; results are for F(3, X), where X varies depending on sample size due to missing data.


28 = .84, F (12, 392) = 6 .25, p = .000. Follow up ANOVAs suggested that differences could be found for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Job Relatedness Predictive, Propriety, Job Relatedness Content, and Impression Management. As with the Survey follow ups, all non significan t variables had low power of .48 or below (Table 2 ). There was no significant multivariate interaction between Survey and Source, = .912, F (36, 1158.94) = 1.019, p = .439, power = .9 3 Since the Source analyses showed that there were several differences between variables due to the sample but the interaction was not significant, I decided to analyze Students and Nurses separately. M and SD for all variables by condition can be found in Tables 3 and 4, and bivariate correlations among variables by Source can be found in Tables 5 and 6). Personality I had two hypotheses regarding the personality measures. I first hypothesized that responses from the Faking condition would show higher mean scores for Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness than the Honest, Faking, and Reasoning conditions, and lower mean scores for Neuroticism. I also hypothesized that the Honest condition would show no difference in mean scores from the Reasoning warning condition nor the Detection/Consequence condition. While there is a fair amount of support suggesting that the Detection/Consequence warning elicits responses that are consistent ly l ess socially desirable than the Faking condition, the remaining hypotheses are less clearly summarized.


29 Table 3 Means and standard deviations for Nurs e and Student s ample s for the IPIP Nurse Student Variable by Condition M SD M SD Reasoning N = 65 N = 38 Neuroticism 2.32 .73 2.66 .72 Extraversion 3.61 .68 3.47 .8 0 Openness 3.48 .5 0 3.66 .4 0 Agreeableness 3.92 .54 3.6 0 .53 Conscientiousness 3.96 .64 3.58 .61 Detection/Consequence N = 67 N = 37 Neuroticism 2.49 .63 2.61 .6 1 Extraversion 3.47 .68 3.42 .68 Openness 3.35 .49 3.5 0 .48 Agreeableness 3.83 .54 3.61 .53 Conscientiousness 3.83 .54 3.61 .53 Faking N = 69 N = 38 Neuroticism 2.12 .64 2.5 0 .68 Extraversion 3.83 .62 3.49 .67 Openness 3.49 .52 3.56 .44 Agreeableness 4.07 .49 3.69 .49 Conscientiousness 4.13 .63 3.49 .69 Honest N = 66 N = 38 Neuroticism 2.77 .73 2.48 .69 Extraversion 3.57 .65 3.72 .68 Openness 3.53 .52 3.5 0 .6 0 Agreeableness 3.87 .54 3.61 .5 0 Conscientiousness 3. 74 .66 3.71 .67


30 Table 4 Means and standard deviations for Nurse and Student Sample s for procedural justice Nurse Student Variable by Condition M SD M SD Reasoning N = 64 N = 38 PJQ 3.63 .84 3.63 .73 SPJS 2.66 .69 2.59 .65 Job Re latedness Pred 2.27 1 .00 2.51 .86 Perform 2.13 .92 2.22 .86 Propriety 3.88 .9 0 3.48 .79 Job Relatedness Content 2.29 .99 2.09 1.06 Detection/Consequence N = 66 N = 37 PJQ 3.65 .75 3.51 .73 SPJS 2.6 0 .7 0 2.52 .63 Job Relate dness Pred 2.25 .97 2.36 .95 Perform 2.18 .86 2.23 .84 Propriety 3.67 .95 3.51 .83 Job Relatedness Content 2.16 .98 1.77 .82 Faking N = 68 N = 38 PJQ 3.66 .88 3.53 .55 SPJS 2.7 0 .56 2.77 .52 Job Relatedness Pred 2.46 87 2.72 .93 Perform 2.17 .8 0 2.36 .77 Propriety 3.85 .82 3.61 .76 Job Relatedness Content 2.3 0 1.08 2.39 1.27 Honest N = 65 N = 38 PJQ 3.62 .8 0 3.53 .61 SPJS 2.65 .66 2.72 .59 Job Relatedness Pred 2.19 .92 2.39 .98 Per form 2.16 .97 2.36 .95 Propriety 3.86 .87 3.92 .69 Job Relatedness Content 2.28 .94 1.95 1.06


31 Table 5 Intercorrelations among study variables: Nurse sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1. Neuroticism -2. Extraversion .42 -3. Openness .12 .15 -4. Agreeableness .43 .15 .31 -5. Conscientiousness .52 .17 .22 .47 -6. PJQ .13 .03 .07 .22 .15 -7. SPJS .09 .01 .06 .14 .11 .39 -8. JR Predict .11 .01 .16 .13 .09 .19 .67 -9. Perform .05 .01 .02 .11 .06 .25 .85 .57 -10. Propriety .09 .07 .08 .1 0 .13 .45 .58 .19 .22 -11. JR Content .01 .12 .08 .04 .05 .18 .64 .29 .44 .18 -12. Impression Mgmt .22 .05 .05 .38 .42 .1 0 .14 .16 .12 .04 .07 C orrelations at magnitude .12 and above are significant at the .05 level.


32 Table 6 Intercorrelations among study variables: Student sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1. Neuroticism -2. Extraversion .43 -3. Openness .17 .15 -4. Agreeableness .33 .17 .24 -5. Conscientiousness .46 .32 .21 .29 -6. PJQ .2 0 .17 .01 .27 .31 -7. SPJS .15 .02 .03 .06 .03 .07 -8. JR Predict .08 .01 .05 .03 .03 .0 0 .69 -9. Pe rform .02 .02 .02 .01 .02 .07 .87 .58 -10. Propriety .25 .14 .05 .19 .22 .37 .43 .07 .13 -11. JR Content .08 .11 .15 .02 .14 .09 .62 .27 .45 .03 -12. Impression Mgmt .24 .02 .17 .48 .18 .06 .07 .09 .04 .03 .09 Cor relations at magnitude .17 and above are significant at the .05 level.


33 To test my personality hypotheses, I performed a series of one way ANOVAs with the survey form as the independent variable and the mean score for each of the five personality variables as the dependent variables. For the Nursing sample, one way ANOVA s showed significant differences between condition means for Neuroticism, F (3, 1) = 11.09, p = .000, power = .999, Extraversion, F (3, 1) = 3.81, p = .011, power = .814, Agreeableness, F ( 3, 1) = 2.69 p = .047, power = .650 and Conscientiousness, F (3, 1) = 4.95 p = .002, power = .910, but not for Openness, F (3, 1) = 1.51, p = .212 power = .397 (Table 5 hoc tests based on my five plann ed comparisons In order to control for Type 1 error, I used the Bonferroni procedure to set .01 as my significance criterion hoc test. A summary of all one hoc tests can be found in Table 7 For Neuroticis m the mean for the Reasoning condition ( M = 2.32, SD = .73) was significantly lower than the Honest condition ( M = 2.77, SD = .73), p = .001 with a moderate effect size, d = .62, and the Faking condition ( M = 2.12, SD = .64) was significantly lower tha n the Honest condition, p = .008 d = .58 The Faking condition was also lower for the Detect ion/Consequence condition ( M = 2.49, SD = .63), p = .000 d = .73. For Extraversion, the Detection/Consequence condition ( M = 3.47, SD = .68) was significantly lo wer than the Faking condition ( M = 3.83, SD = .62), p = .007 with a moderate effect size, d = .55 For Conscientiousness, the Faking condition ( M = 4.13, SD = .63) was significantly greater than the Honest condition ( M = 3.74, SD = .66), p = .002 d = .60 The comparison between the Detection/Consequence ( M = 3.83, SD = .54) and


34 Faking conditions for Conscientiousness, p = .026 d = .51 was excluded from interpretation because significance did not reach the .01 alpha level. The comparison between the De tection/Consequence ( M = 3.83, SD = .54) and Faking ( M = 4.07, SD = .49) conditions for Agreeableness, p = .042 d = .47 was likewise excluded from interpretation. I tested my second hypothesis, which hypothesized no differences between groups, by exam ining the effect sizes between the warned conditions and the Honest condition. For the Reasoning Honest difference, Extraversion had a small effect size, d = .09. For Conscientiousness, however, the effect size was slightly larger, d = .34, and for Neuroti cism, the re was a significant difference between means, with a large effect size, d = .62. For the Detection/Consequence Honest difference, Neuroticism had a moderate effect size, d = .41, but Extraversion and Conscientiousness had quite small effect sizes d = .15 and d = .15. Overall, this hypothesis was supported for the Detection/Consequence Honest comparison, but there was not much support for the Reasoning Honest comparison Although effect sizes o f magnitude .41 and .34 are large enough to be conside re d meaningful the means did not differ significantly so the differences could have been due to error. For the S tudent sample, a one way ANOVA showed no significant difference between condition means for Neuroticism, F (3,1) = .61, p = .612, power = .17 4, Extraversion, F (3,1) = 1.36, p = .256, power = .357, Openness, F (3,1) = .88, p = .452, power = .239, Agreeableness, F (3,1) = .23, p = .879, power = .092, nor Conscientiousness, F (3,1) = .78, p = .509 power = .214 As none of the one way ANOVA s w as sign ificant, no post hoc test s w ere performed.


35 Table 7 variables: Nurse Sample Variable by Condition F (3, 1)* p N M SD PHST* Neuroticism 11.09 .00 0 Reasoning 6 5 2.32 a .73 a = .001 Detection/Consequence 67 2.49 b .63 b = .008 Faking 69 2.12 bc .64 c = .000 Honest 66 2.77 ac .73 Extraversion 3.81 .011 Reasoning 65 3.61 .68 a = .007 Detection/Consequence 67 3.47 a .68 Faking 69 3. 83 a .62 Honest 66 3.57 .65 Openness 1.51 .212 Reasoning 65 3.48 .5 0 ns Detection/Consequence 67 3.35 .49 Faking 69 3.49 .52 Honest 66 3.53 .52 Agreeableness 2.69 .047 Reasoning 65 3.91 .54 a = .042 (ns) Detection/Co nsequence 67 3.83 a .54 Faking 69 4.07 a .49 Honest 66 3.87 .54 Conscientiousness 4.95 .002 Reasoning 65 3.96 .64 a = .026 (ns) Detection/Consequence 67 3.83 a .54 b = .002 Faking 69 4.13 ab .63 Honest 66 3.74 b .66 Significance for the one hoc test is at the .01 alpha level.


36 Procedural Justice I hypothesized that participant perceptions of procedural justice within this study would be gre ater for participants in the Reasoning condition than the Detection/Consequence condition. This hypothesis was not supported. I conducted independent samples t tests t o examine responses for differences between participant per ceptions of procedural justic e based on (2001) PJQ and Bauer et al overall SPJS, as well as the individual subscales included in the SPJS (Job Relatedness Predictive Chance to Perform Propriety of Questions and Job Relatedness Content). For N urses, the mean perception of procedural justice did not differ between the Reasoning and Detection/Consequence conditions for any of the justice measures or subscales ( M SD and t test statistics can be found in Table 8 ). Similarly, no differences between means were found for Students either (see Table 9 ). Contrary to my hypothesis, the mean perception of procedural justice did not differ between the Reasoning and Detection/Consequence condition s for any of the justice measures or subscales for neither Nur ses nor Students.


37 Table 8 Descriptive and t test statistics for the procedural justice variables: Nurse sample Variable by Condition t df p N M SD .15 128 .8 79 Reasoning 64 3.63 .84 Detection/Consequence 66 3.65 .75 Bauer .51 129 .6 14 Reasoning 64 2.66 .69 Detection/Consequence 67 2.6 0 .7 0 Job Relatedness Predictive .11 129 .91 1 Reasoning 64 2.27 1 .00 Detection/Consequence 67 2.25 .97 Perform .37 129 .71 1 Reasoning 64 2.1 3 .92 Detection/Consequence 67 2.18 .86 Propriety 1.29 129 .20 1 Reasoning 64 3.88 .9 0 Detection/Consequence 67 3.67 .95 Job Relatedness Content .72 129 .47 0 Reasoning 64 2.29 .99 Detection/Consequence 67 2.16 .98 Si gnificance for the independent samples t tests are at the .05 alpha level.


38 Table 9 Descriptive and t test statistics for the procedural justice variables: Student sample Variable by Condition t* df p N M SD .71 73 .483 Reasoning 38 3.63 .73 Detection/Consequence 37 3.51 .73 .49 73 .626 Reasoning 38 2.59 .65 Detection/Consequence 37 2.52 .63 Job Relatedness Predictive .71 73 .481 Reasoning 38 2.51 .86 Detection/Consequence 37 2.36 .95 Perform .06 73 .949 Reasoning 38 2.22 .86 Detection/Consequence 37 2.23 .84 Propriety .17 73 .869 Reasoning 38 3.48 .79 Detection/Consequence 37 3.51 .83 Job Relatedness Content 1.47 73 .146 Reasoning 38 2.09 1.06 Detection/Consequence 37 1.77 .82 Significance for the independent samples t tests are at the .05 alpha level. Impression Management Using an ANOVA, I also found no significant mean differences for the Impression Management sc ale for either the Nursing sample, F (3, 1) = 2.33, p = .075, nor the Student sample, F (3, 1) = 1.81, p = .148.


39 Chapter Four Discussion Personality I hypothesized that responses from the Faking condition would show higher mean scores for Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness than the Honest, Detection/Consequence and Reasoning conditions, and lower mean scores for Neuroticism. I also hypothesized that the Honest condition would show no difference in mean scores from the Reasoning warning condition nor the Detection/Consequence condition. Since the ANOVAs for the student sample showed no differences between any means, the following discussion will refer to the Nurs ing sample results, unless otherwise specified. My first hypothesis was partially for the Faking and Detection/Consequence comparison. T he Faking condition elicited higher mean scores than the Detection/Consequence warning for Extraversion, and lower mean scores for Neuroticism. Also, there is some support for the Faking and Honest comparison. T he Faking condition elicited higher mean scores than the Honest condition for Conscientiousness, and lower for Neuroticism. The second part of my hypotheses (that the Honest condition would show no significant difference in mean sco res from the warned conditions ) was supported for all but the Reasoning warning condition in Neuroticism which was significantly higher than the honest mean Examination of effect sizes revealed mostly small or negligible effects for both warnings, althou gh the


40 Detection/ Consequence Honest difference approached a moderate effect size even though this difference was not statistically significant Consistent with previous research these results suggest that the Detection/Consequence warning is an effectiv e method for reducing applicant mean scores on a personality test within the job selection context because means were frequently lower than the Faking condition and did not differ from the Honest condition The Reasoning warning, however appears to be les s effective. In fact, for Neuroticism, there is a significant difference between the Reasoning warning condition and the Honest condition, but no difference between the Reasoning condition and the Faking condition. Evidence thus suggests that a wa rning tha t the test administrators can identify those who distort their responses and thr eatening them with removing the applicants from the selection process if they do fake their responses is needed to significantly reduce applicant scores. Dwight and Donovan (2 003) pointed out that there are other possible reasons mean scores are decreased in warned conditions compared to faking conditions. One reason they mentioned was that respondents could overcompensate in their responses so as t o avoid be ing identified as a faker My results do not support this alternative explanation for the effect of warnings on personality scores. Since I in cluded both faking and honest conditions in my study I was able to show that a detection/consequence warning prompt do es result in m ean scores significantly lower than faked scores, and also that these lower scores did not differ from honest scores. Unfortunately, the more applicant friendly warning was not as effective at reducing applicant faking behavior as a detection/c onsequence warning in th is


41 context It is possible that utilizing a reasoning warning in the selec tion context actually undermined the attempt to decrease applicant faking. The warning indirectly informs respondents that they have a choice when responding to be hones t or distort their responses. This could have made participants who had not considered distorting their responses aware that they could, resulting in an increase in faking behavior for some respondents. Rees and Metcalfe (2003) found that a signif icant proportion of respondents said they had no problem faking during the application process, s o informing applicants they have the opportunity to fake could result in increased faking behavior. It is important to note that Pace et al. (2006) originally created this warning for use in a classification context in which applicant s know they have a job, unlike this selection context. In that context, this warning may be more convincing to applicants. Accordingly, the reasoning warning might be used as a sec ond tier tool where applicant in a best fit job Procedural Justice I hypothesized that applicants in the Reasoning condition would perceive greater procedural justice than participants in the Detection/Consequence condition because of the more applicant friendly tone of the R easoning warning M y study shows no evidence of differences in perceptions of procedural justice between warning conditions. Perhaps the experimental manipulation did not replicate the selection context sufficiently to have participants form opinions about the fairness of the selection procedures Similarly, applicants may not form attitud es about the selection process until after the decision to hire is made. I modified m y procedural justice measures to focus on the selection process such that no knowledge of the outcome was necessary to respond to the


42 measures. If applicants do not form a strong opinion about the procedures used when applying for a job until the outcome i could have missed the variance that would have been affected b y utilizing different warnings. A final personality tests do not have any e f fect on applicant attitudes within the selection context. Rather, merely including a personality test in the selection battery could harm perceptions of procedural justice I re examine data to look for differences between any of the four con ditions examined, but found no differences between conditions for any of t he procedural justice variables. Like participants in this study d id report low perceptions of procedural justice (based on variable means, see Table 2), but of course, this is merely an observation, and more intensive research on applicant perceptions of personality tests should be performed. Impression Management I found no differences in self reported impression management between the This could be because the measure was not affected by the instruction prompts, which was to be expected. Participants were informed that the test for selection ended after they completed the personality test. As such, applicants likely did not respond to the impression management measure in a job selection mindset It is also possible that impression management is more stable than some other personality traits so that a person who is prone to impression management w ould be un affected by different testing c ontexts I want to note that my Nursing sample demonstrated quite a bit of resistance to answering this part of the survey. Some wrote comments on their


43 response surveys and the experimenter overheard several respondents say they thought the items were too invasive and inappropriate. Many left items throughout the scale blank. From a methodological standpoint, the testing site could have been an issue. Since Nurse participants took the survey in their place of work, self monitoring could have affected respo nses such that those who completed the measure responded favorably, rather than honestly. Limitations The main limitation of this study is the limited generalizeability of results due to the context of the test administration. As alrea dy mentioned, since the s urveys in this study were not part of a true selection process those that would be obtained in a high stakes s election setting. However, the several significant mean differences between the H onest and F aking co ndition s of this study do show a difference in responses consistent with what previous research has shown between honest and faked responses suggesting the results do simulate a real applicant setting to an extent Another limitation relates to my N ur warning prompt s could have different effects on non nursing samples such as those working in finance, marketing, or government for example The lack of significant results within the S tudent sample could have been due to industry specific impacts o f the warnings Since the student sample was composed of participants working in a variety of fields as well as some unemployed participants, there could have been too much noise to pick up on the effects of the warni ng prompts. I reanalyzed the student sample responses industry of employment (for those who were employed) but found no


44 significant mean comparisons However, the small sample size of each condition within each industry (N < 11) limited th e possibility of finding significant differences Thus, this for nurses. Statistical p ower was also a concern in this study. Post hoc power tests showed N euroticis m Extraversion, and Conscientiousness had sufficient power to detect significant differences (power > .8 0) but Openness to Experienc e and Agreeableness had lo w power for the nursing sampl e. Power was very low for all personality variables in the student sample, leaving open the possibility that I missed effects that were in the data. Reliability for all the measures used was acceptable, so increasing my sample size would be the only remaining way to improve power. Due to organizational constraints I was limited in the number of participan ts I could include in my Nursing sample For the S tudent sample, however, I obtained data for 100 more participants, without any changes in my substantive findings nor much improvement in power. Future Research It would be interesting to see what effect the Detection/Consequence and Reasoning warnings would have in a real world high stakes selection context. All four conditions could easily be inserted into a selection situation so applicants believed their responses wo uld affect their chance s of getting hired ( but of course none could count in the selection process to ensure equitable treatment of applicants ) Previous research included incentive s within the study in an attempt to artificially create a selection context (the better applicants would receive mone y, for example). A warding a financial incenti ve to the best performers in this study could have affect ed my findings. It is important to


45 remember, however that the Honest and Faking manipulations did work as expec ted so it is possible this study successfully simulated a selection context An examination of the effect of financial or other incentives on results in a number of contexts would, however, benefit research on the contextual influences to responses to non cognitive measures used for selection Future research should also examine the effectiveness of a reasoning warning in reducing faking behavior in a classification context Byle and Holtgraves (2008) found that the type of design used had an effect on t he magnitude of faking, with the between subjects design having a smaller magnitude of faking than a within subjects design when compared to honest scores. A within subjects design where respondents complete two or more conditions would compliment this stu dy in a number of ways. First, a within subjects design would improve the likelihood of detecting significant experimental effects by increasing statistical power. Second, this design would permit control of pre existing trait levels on the personality var iables included, which I was unable to do. Third, within subjects replication would examine whether the effects seen in this study represent a lower bound for the effects of the Detection/Consequence warning as well as fur ther examine the effect of the Re asoning warning on responding. In order to better assess why I found no significant differences between group means for the measures of procedural justice, it would be beneficial to expand this study to include a cognitive test. With a cognitive test (or some other component of a selection battery), there could be a condition in which the appli cant takes no personality test. Such a design would enable the researcher to examine if it is merely the presence of a


46 perception of procedural justice, as in McFarland (2003 ). Conclusion effect of the integration of warnings into the selection process, providing three main additions to the pe rsonality literature. T he central purpose s of this study w ere to examine if the reasoning warning would be as effective as the Detection/Consequence warning in reducing applicant faking behavior as well as examine if the Reasoning warning was more applica nt friendly in terms of procedural justice. The study adds to the wide range of research on applicant faking behavior by being the first to compare a detection/consequence warning to both faked and honest responses. Furthermore, it was the first to compare the effectiveness of the reasoning warning to both faked and honest responses as well as responses obtained under a detection/consequence warning Perhaps researchers have not studied alternative warning s to reduce applicant faking behavior because the D etection/Consequence warning is quite effec tive (at least within the selection context). In this study, a reasoning warning did not e licit mean trait scores that were significantly less socially desirable than faked responses The reasoning warning appear s to be inappropriate within this selection context, but still may show promise for other contexts (e.g. classification) Finally, my results suggest that explaining to respondents the purpose for including a personality test in the selection battery, as do ne through a reasoning warning, has no impact on respondent perceptions of procedural justice


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50 Komar, S., Brown, D. J., Komar, J. A., & Robi e, C. (2008). Faking and the validity of conscientiousness: A Monte Carlo investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93 (1) 140 154. Leventhal, G. S. (1980). What should be done with equity theory? New approaches to the study of fairness in social rela tionship. In K. J. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, & R. H. Willis (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research: 27 55. New York: Plenum. Lind, E. A., & Tyler, T. (1988). The social psychology of procedural justice. New York: Plenum. Marshall, M. B., de Fruyt, F., Rolland, J P., & Bagby, R. M. (2005). Socially desirable responding and the factorial stability of the NEO PI R. Psychological Assessment, 17 (3) 379 384. McFarland, L. A. (2003). Warning against faking on a personality test: Effects on app licant reactions and personality test scores. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 11 (4) 265 276. McFarland, L. A, & Ryan, A. M. (2000). Variance in faking across noncognitive measures. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85 (5) 812 821. Mount M. K., & Barrick, M. R. (1995). The big five personality dimensions: Implications for research and practice in human resources management. Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management, 13, 152 200. Mount, M. K., Witt, A, & Barrick, M. R. (2000). Incremental validity of empirically keyed biographical scales over GMA and the big five personality constructs. Personnel Psychology, 53, 299 323.


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52 Rosse, J. G., Stecher, M. D., Miller, J. L., & Levin, R. A. (1998). The impact of response distortion on preemployment personality testing and hiring decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 634 644. Schmi dt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124 (2) 262 274. Schmit, M. J., & Ryan, A. M. (1993) The Big Five in personnel selection: Factor structure in applicant and nonapplicant populations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 966 974. Schmit, M. J., Ryan, A. M., Stierwalt, S. L., & Powell, A. B. (1995). Frame of reference effects on personality scale scores and criterion related validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80 (5) 607 620. Smith, D. B., Hanges, P. J., & Dickson, M. W. (2001). Personnel selection and the Five Jou rnal of Applied Psychology, 86 (2) 304 315. Stark, S., Chernyshekno, O. S., Chan, K. Y., Lee, W. C., & Drasgow, F. (2001). Effects of the testing situation on item responding: Cause for concern. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86 (5) 943 953. Steiner, D. D., & Gilliland, S. W. (1996). Fairness reactions to personnel selection techniques in France and the United States. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81 (2) 134 141. Tett, R. P., Jackson, D. N., & Rothstein, M. (1991). Personality measures as predictors of job performance: A meta analytic review. Personnel Psychology, 44, 703 742.


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54 Appendices


55 Appendix A International Personality Item Pool Items* 1. Ofte n feel blue 2. Feel comfortable around people 3. Am not interested in abstract ideas 4. Have a sharp tongue 5. Am always prepared 6. Dislike myself 7. Have little to say 8. Believe in the importance of art 9. Cut others to pieces 10. Pay attention to detai ls 11. Rarely get irritated 12. Make friends easily 13. Do not like art 14. Have a good word for everyone 15. Waste my time 16. Am often down in the dumps 17. Keep in the background 18. Have a vivid imagination 19. Believe that others have good intentions 20. Find it difficult to get down to work 21. Have frequent mood swings 22. Am skilled in handling social situations 23. Avoid philosophical discussions 24. Suspect hidden motives in others 25. Get chores done right away 26. Seldom feel blue 27. Would des cribe myself as somewhat dull 28. Tend to vote for liberal political candidates 29. Get back at others 30. Carry out my plans 31. Feel comfortable with myself 32. Am the life of the party 33. Do not enjoy going to art museums 34. Respect others 35. Do just enough work to get by 36. Panic easily


56 Appendix A (Continued) 38. Carry the conversation to a higher level 39.Accept people as they are 41. Am not easily bothered by things 42. Know how to captivate people 43. Tend to vote for conservative political candidates 44. Insult people 45. Make plans and stick to them 46. Am very pleased with myself 48. Enjoy hearing new ideas 49. Make people feel at ease 50. Shirk my duties Goldberg et al. (2006)


57 Appendix B Procedural Justice Questionnaire Items 1. Have you been able to express your views and feelings during these procedures? 2. Have you had an influence over the outcome arrived at by these procedures ? 3. Have these procedures been applied consistently? 4. Have these procedures been free of bias? 5. Have these procedures been based on accurate information? 6. D o you feel able to appeal the outcome arrived at by these procedures? 7. Have these procedure s upheld ethical and moral standards? a dapted from Colquitt (2001)


58 Appendix C Selection Procedural Justice Scale Items* 1. Doing well on this test means a person can do the nursing job well. 2. A person who scored well on this test will be a good nurse 3. I could really show my skills and abilities through this test. 4. This test allowed me to show what my job skills are. 5. This test gives applicants the opportunity to show what they can really do. 6. I was able to show what I can do on this test. 7. The content of the test did not appear to be prejudiced. 8. The test itself did not seem too personal or private. 9. The content of the test seemed appropriate. 10. It would be clear to anyone that this test is related to the nursing job. 11. The content o f the test was clearly related to the nursing job. adapted from Bauer at al. (2001)


59 Appendix D Impression Management Scale* 1. I sometimes tell lies if I have to 2. I never cover up my mistakes 3. There have been occasions when I have taken advantage of someone 4. I never swear 5. I sometimes try to get even rather than forgive and forget 7. I have said something bad about a friend behind his or her back 8. When I hear people talking privately, I avoid listening 9. I have received too much change from a salesperson without telling him or her 10. I always declare everything at customs 11. When I was young I sometimes stole things 12. I have never dropped litter on the street 13. I sometimes drive faster than the speed limit 14. I never read sexy books or magazines 17. I have taken sick ck 18. I have never damaged a library book or store merchandise without reporting it 19. I have some pretty awful habits Paulhus (1991)

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The effect of a reasoning warning on faking in personality testing for selection and the perception of procedural justice
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ABSTRACT: A major concern with using personality tests in the selection process is the prevalence of applicant faking behavior which can influence the rank order of applicants such that fakers are hired at an elevated frequency. This study examined the effects of the detection/consequence warning and a more applicant-friendly warning on faking and perceived procedural justice. I hypothesized that a positive warning (reasoning warning) and a detection/consequence warning would show similar mean personality trait levels compared to honest responses, with all means showing less socially desirable responding than no warning prompt. Results suggested that the detection/consequence warning is more effective at reducing faking behavior in the selection context, and the content of the warning has no impact on perceived procedural justice.
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Procedural justice
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