Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

I/O psychology: Faking out the fakers

04.05.2004


Learning more about job applicant testing

"My approach to pre-employment personality tests has been zero tolerance vis-à-vis the obvious "crimes"--drug use and theft--but to leave a little wriggle room elsewhere, just so it doesn’t look like I’m faking out the test. My approach was wrong. When presenting yourself as a potential employee, you can never be too much of a suck-up."
Nickel & Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, page 124.


Learning if job applicants are faking and finding out if it matters is a passion for Dr. Richard Griffith and his Applicant Response Behavior team. Griffith, director of the School of Psychology’s Industrial Organizational Psychology program, has researched personality tests since he was a doctoral student at the University of Akron. Continuing this work since coming to Florida Tech seven years ago, the effort is beginning to bear fruit.

Finding that previous attempts to model applicant faking have failed, he and his team of graduate students created a new methodology and analytical technique to model applicant response distortion. "Previous tools often capture the results of faking and not faking itself," said Griffith.

One of the team’s published papers, "Modeling Applicant Faking: New Methods to Examine an Old Problem," discusses the efforts--and limitations--of past researchers to model faking behavior, and explores the new methodology.

In the new model, which closely mirrors an applicant setting, individuals at a local community college were assessed under two types of conditions. First they completed a test while believing they were applying for an attractive, genuine job.

Then, after being debriefed and told that no job existed, they were asked to honestly fill out a personality measure so that their responses could be used in Griffith’s research study. The "applicants" were told that no one would see the results of the second test except the research psychologist.

"Our study marks the first time that data has been collected that can identify the applicants who faked, how much each one faked and if their scores are valid predictors of job performance," said Griffith.

The team has moved on, with more published results, to the question of whether or not test faking matters in employee selection, "We found that applicant faking had a substantial impact on the rank ordering of scores and thus on top-down selection," said Griffith. By once again applying a new model, the researchers found that, yes, individuals do fake in an applicant setting, and that this falsifying affects the rank ordering of applicants.

The next question, said Griffith, is "What are the consequences? Do the fakers turn out to be poor performers?" Does testing, in fact, ensure better employees?

Considering the booming personality-testing industry and the millions spent by employers hoping to reduce turnover and decrease search costs, the answers should be significant.

Griffith is also hoping to provide significant answers in another area of industrial/organizational psychology. He is working with Dr. John Deaton, chair of the School of Aeronautics’ Human Factors program, to apply psychology in the arena of "synthers." These are synthetic agents, driven by high-end computers, used in training Navy pilots. Replacing human trainers, they are also used in antiterrorist training for airport personnel or cultural awareness training for military and other government personnel.

Griffith has written a white paper on the dynamics of synthers and teams, and the development of trust between "man and machine". He is developing his concept into a proposal for the Navy. Research opportunities abound in Griffith’s I/O psychology program, which, for 2003-2004, enrolls 25 M.S. students and 10 Ph.D. students. The research-intensive doctoral program is the third largest in the country. The largest is his alma mater’s, the University of Akron; number two is at the University of Florida.

"With organizations evolving and businesses going more global, there is a growing demand for professionals in this field," said Griffith. "Making good use of testing, addressing productivity issues and supporting employees on international assignments are just some of I/O psychology’s important and fascinating areas of study."

Karen Rhine | EurekAlert!

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

Im Focus: Graphene enables clock rates in the terahertz range

Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making better use of enzymes: a new research project at Jacobs University

19.09.2018 | Life Sciences

Light provides spin

19.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Enjoying virtual-reality-entertainment without headache or motion sickness

19.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>