Potential Versus Actual Faking of a Biodata Form: An Analysis Along Several Dimensions of Item Type

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Two studies examined faking of a 25-item biodata questionnaire. The first study investigated potential and actual faking of the form using three groups: a group told to make themselves look as good as possible, a group told to complete the form honestly, and a group completing the instrument in a real selection situation. Subjects were 58 current employees and 231 job applicants. Results indicated that subjects could fake the instrument when instructed to do so. Also, some faking appeared to be occurring in practice, although results depended upon the composition of the comparison group. Only eight items appeared to be fakable, and only three of these seemed to be faked in practice. In Study 2, 26 business majors rated the biodata items on eight dimensions of item type. Results showed that the three items faked in practice were less historical, objective, discrete, verifiable, and external than other items, and were more job relevant.

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Personnel Psychology, v. 45, issue 2, p. 389-406

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