RESPONSE BIAS IN PERSONALITY TESTS: THE EFFECT OF READING JOB DESCRIPTIONS

2021-10-14
Ceylan, Elif Hazal
People are changing their jobs almost every 4 years. Everybody can find a job posting on the Internet. Furthermore, companies are using personality test for hiring processes and the candidates are generally reading the job descriptions before coming to the testing session. However, the priming effect is a known fact; therefore, reading job descriptions before the test might affect people’s responses. The current study aimed to examine the effect of reading job descriptions on response bias in personality tests. 291 university student participants received two personality tests which were the Big Five Inventory (BFI), some factors from the International Personality Item Pool; and a spatial ability test. After the first test, participants were assigned to three groups. One experimental group read a job description with job-related personality adjectives; another experimental group read a job description with job-related behavioral indicators, and the control group read an instruction stating that they should fill out the tests as if they are applying for a job. After reading the materials all participants again took the two personality tests. The results revealed reading job descriptions has no effect on the response distortion on the BFI scores; however, for two of the IPIP factors, reading the job descriptions resulted in more response distortion as compared to the control group. For all factors from the two tests, the main effect of time was significant meaning that participants distorted their responses when they imagined applying for a job. The results were in line with the response bias literature.

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Citation Formats
E. H. Ceylan, “RESPONSE BIAS IN PERSONALITY TESTS: THE EFFECT OF READING JOB DESCRIPTIONS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.