Social desirability corrections in personality measurement: Issues of applicant comparison and construct validity

Jill E. Ellingson, Paul R. Sackett, Leaetta M. Hough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research investigating the validity of personality measures has established these measures as useful selection tools. However, personality measures are vulnerable to response distortion leading to employer concerns about the influence of applicant faking, with specific concerns about the influence of social desirability. A traditional method used to circumvent this is the application of a correction based on a social desirability scale score. This study sought to evaluate whether such corrections are effective tools for removing the influence of intentional distortion. A within-subjects design facilitated comparisons between honest, faked, and corrected scores. The goal was to evaluate whether a social desirability correction allows one to approximate an individual's honest score. The results suggest that a social desirability correction is ineffective and fails to produce a corrected score that approximates an honest score. Results are interpreted with respect to applicant comparison and construct validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999

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