The individual difference in faking and its cause & reasons for the importance of recognizing the individual difference in faking.  In McFarland and Ryan’s article  “Variance in faking across noncognitive measures”, Their study tested the degree of faking on personality test, biodata form, and integrity test, three types of noncognitive measures. Some participants were asked to take these exams honestly, the others were given instructions to fake.

 This such design allows them to test which noncognitive measurement is the easiest to fake, as well as permits us to test the relative fakability among these three measures.  After this examination, they did conclude that participants are faking to different degrees across three measurements, because individual fake on one test to increase scores, not necessary do so on other exams (McFarland & Ryan, 2000). Some people might have question why individuals fake to different extent matter? Let’s start thinking about one simple case.

We assume there is no individual difference in faking on job tests and every participant is going to fake on the test. If all participants fake to the same extent, faking on these tests is not going to have any influence on the relative ranking among these participants. Therefore, the fact that individuals fake to different extent matters, because in reality especially during business recruiting some individuals fake more on tests in order to get the job or being in a relatively favorable position.

Secondly, situational factors like competition may only in favor of  applicants who are able to fake well.    We recognize individual difference in faking, but the cause of it is still not well addressed.  In Douglas, McDaniel, and Snell’s article “The validity of non-cognitive measures decays when applicants fake”,  they suggested that there are three factors may lead to individual fake to various degrees, which are characteristics of the situation, opportunity to fake, and personal characteristics (Douglas, McDaniel, & Snell, 1996, p. xx). Example of a characteristics of the situation would be one applicant is running short of time during the test and the applicant is not able to finish it if he does not fake. Example of an opportunity to fake would be someone whose true score is lower compare to others, others have high true score. Then which means the person has lower true score has higher opportunity to fake.

The factor personal characteristics is the easiest to understand. Some people who naturally think faking on tests is Ok, others may not personally think the same.

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