This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The effects of selection ratio and applicant goal orientation on faking behavior




Ellis, Ronald

Type of Degree





I expand on McFarland and Ryan’s (2006) and Mueller-Hanson, Heggestad, and Rose’s (2006) proposed models of faking behavior in selection contexts by examining relevant situational and individual difference variables. The current study, like those studies, is a lab study that integrates Ajzen’s (1985) theory of planned behavior in an attempt to better understand process of faking in selection contexts. This study adds to the faking literature by examining the extent to which an individual difference variable – state dependent goal orientation, as well as a situational variable – selection ratio interact with perceptions of the situation to influence an individual’s intention to fake a personality inventory. It is predicted that state goal orientation will moderate the relationship between participants’ perceptions of the situation and their intention to fake. Specifically, it is expected that when participants harbor high levels of performance orientation (either approach or avoidant), the relationship between their perceptions of the situation and intention to fake will be stronger. It’s also predicted that more loose selection ratios will open the door for perceptions of the situation to have more influence over faking behavior. Finally, it’s predicted that individuals whose true personality ratings are further from the ceiling on a given trait will engage in more faking on that trait. Results indicate that the Theory of Planned Behavior is useful in predicting faking in selection contexts. Additionally, distance from the ceiling moderated the relationship between intention to fake and faking behavior. Trends in the data showed that goal orientation may be a useful factor in determining when applicants’ perceptions of the situation will manifest as an intention to fake. All results are discussed in detail.