Spotting the "ideal" personality response: Effects of item matching in forced choice measures for personnel selection

Angus W. Hughes*, Patrick D. Dunlop, Djurre Holtrop, Serena Wee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Forced choice (FC) personality questionnaires attempt to constrain job applicants from presenting idealized responses (or "faking"). FC questionnaires are designed by identifying items equally desirable in applicants, matching these into "blocks," and instructing respondents to rank the items "most like" themselves. Nonetheless, how closely items should bematched remains unclear, and desirability seems dependent on the job. We investigated how strongly respondents (N=436)agreed regarding the "ideal" applicant response, while varying (a) how closely items were matched into blocksand(b) the job context. While the most closely matched blocks elicited slightagreement on an ideal response, agreement increased notice ably with poorer matching. Nonetheless, differences in item desirability between different job conditions were evident even in closely matched blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • APPLICANT FAKING
  • FACETS
  • SOCIAL DESIRABILITY
  • TESTS
  • applicant faking
  • forced choice
  • personality
  • personnel selection
  • socially desirable responding

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