Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Martin Gooden (Committee Member), David Lahuis (Committee Member), Corey E. Miller (Committee Chair), Debra Steele-Johnson (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Research has found that the use of social desirability scales to measure faking is problematic. The current study employed a job desirability scale consisting of job-specific bogus biographical items as an alternative faking measure in an applied setting. Using a 2 (applicants versus incumbents) x 2 (sales versus managers) design, participants (N = 958), participants completed a set of personality, social desirability, and job desirability measures. Results indicated that applicants outscored incumbents on personality measures. However, the effect size for conscientiousness was larger for the manager job whereas the effect size for extraversion was larger for the sales job, indicating a job-specific pattern of faking. Furthermore, applicants faked most on bogus items that were specific to the job they were applying for (sales vs. manager). Applicants who faked on the job desirability scale also systematically increased their chances of being hired over non-fakers. Job desirability scores displayed weak to moderate correlations with personality, social desirability, and job experience, although these varied somewhat by job type. The results have various implications for: non-cognitive test usage in selection settings, assumptions regarding incumbent test scores, the unique challenge of faking by sales applicants, and the further understanding of job-specific faking.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded