Self-deception, impression management, and motivating contexts
Michels, Lawrence Charles
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Researchers have claimed respondent faking does not adversely affect the criterion related validity of personality measures used for employee selection. Evidence for this claim has been based on studies indicating the criterion related validity of personality scales remains unimproved when scores on unidimensional social desirability scales are controlled. Personality researchers have suggested that social desirability may be better characterized as a multidimensional construct consisting of an impression management and self-deceptive enhancement component. The former dimension is purported to detect deliberate faking, while the latter is purported to detect unconscious distortion. We experimentally elicited faking from respondents by having them complete a personality inventory in either a condition where they believed there was nothing to lose or gain based on their responses, or where they believed that a desirable outcome was predicted on their responses. Results suggest impression management items detect response distortion, whereas self-deceptive enhancement functions as a personality dimension.