The Effects of Faking on the Construct Validity of Personality Questionnaires: A Direct Faking Measure Approach

Psychological Topics. 2012;21(3):455-472


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Psychological Topics

ISSN: 1332-0742 (Print); 1849-0395 (Online)

Publisher: University of Rijeka

Society/Institution: University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Psychology

Country of publisher: Croatia

Language of fulltext: Croatian, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Zvonimir Galić

Maša Tonković Grabovac

Željko Jerneić


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 30 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Some authors clearly showed that faking reduces the construct validity of personality questionnaires, whilst many others found no such effect. A possible explanation for mixed results could be searched for in a variety of methodological strategies in forming comparison groups supposed to differ in the level of faking: candidates vs. non-candidates; groups of individuals with "high" vs. "low" social desirability score; and groups given instructions to respond honestly vs. instructions to "fake good". All three strategies may be criticized for addressing the faking problem indirectly – assuming that comparison groups really differ in the level of response distortion, which might not be true. Therefore, in a within-subject design study we examined how faking affects the construct validity of personality inventories using a direct measure of faking. The results suggest that faking reduces the construct validity of personality questionnaires gradually – the effect was stronger in the subsample of participants who distorted their responses to a greater extent.