Please wait a minute...
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2015, Vol. 47 Issue (11) : 1395-1404     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.01395
Faking in Job Applicants' Responses in Personality Tests: #br# Evidence from A Eye-Tracking Study of Job Desirability
XU Jianping1; CHEN Jiyue1,2; ZHANG Wei1; LI Wenya1; SHENG Yu1
(1 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing Key Lab for Applied Experimental Psychology, Beijing 100875, China)
(2 Department of infrastructure business, China State Construction Engrg. Corp. LTD, Beijing 100044, China)
Download: PDF(420 KB)   Review File (1 KB) 
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    


One of the important concerns in personnel selection process has been job applicants’ faking behaviors in Personality tests (or measurement or evaluation). Although many studies have been done on faking behaviors in personality tests, no consensus has yet reached regarding the response processes of faking behaviors in personality tests. At present, researchers have proposed three mutually incompatible social–desirability–based response process models of faking in personality tests: the Self–Schema Model, the Sematic–Exercise Model and the Adopted–Schema Model. In the Adopted–Schema Model, test items are classified as social desirable and social undesirable, but items unrelated to social desirability are neglected. Besides, more and more researchers are inclined to consider faking in personnel selection as a job desirable behavior instead of a social desirable one. Therefore, this study tried to explore job applicants’ faking response in personality tests from the perspective of job desirability with the help of eye–tracking techniques.
First, fifty participants rated the job desirability of 44 items in Big Five Inventory (BFI-44). Based on the rating scores, BFI-44 items were classified into three categories: job desirable items, job undesirable items and items unrelated to job desirability. Second, in a within–subject simulation experiment design, another fifty participants completed the BFI-44 in two conditions – honest vs. faking in an eye–tracking laboratory. To eliminate order effect, these 50 participants were randomly assigned to the two groups. The first group went through the honest condition and then the faking condition. The second group followed the reversed order. The participants were instructed to complete six items from Mensa IQ test as a filler task between the two sessions. Item responses, response latencies, and eye movement index were recorded using Tobii 120.
The results showed that test scores on all of the five dimensions of the Big Five Inventory under the faking condition were significantly higher than the scores under the honest condition.The response latencies on items in the categories of job desirable and job undesirable were significantly shorter in the faking condition than the response latencies in both categories in the honest condition. The number of eye fixations was significantly lower on the question stems than on the extreme options of the categories of items on job desirable and job undesirable in the faking condition, when compared with the honest condition. In the category of items unrelated to job desirability, the number of eye fixations was significantly more in the faking condition than in the honest condition. The same pattern of eye fixations was found on the options in the middle. In the faking condition, the participants’ eyes fixed on extreme options (i.e., strongly disagree and strongly agree) more directly after reading the questions.
These findings support the idea that faking leads to semantic–exercise interpretations on job desirable and job undesirable items, as well as self–schema interpretations on items unrelated to job desirability. The response process in the faking condition seemed to be simpler than the response process in the honest condition, when answering the items in the categories of job desirability and job undesirability. Based on the findings, the job–desirability–based Mixed–Exercise Model has been proposed, in an attempt to explain faking response in personality tests.
Keywords faking      personality test      personnel selection      eye movement     
Corresponding Authors: XU Jianping, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 25 November 2015
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Cite this article:   
XU Jianping; CHEN Jiyue; ZHANG Wei; LI Wenya; SHENG Yu. Faking in Job Applicants' Responses in Personality Tests: #br# Evidence from A Eye-Tracking Study of Job Desirability[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica,2015, 47(11): 1395-1404.
URL:     OR
[1] Lu LIU,Guoli YAN. Effect of parafoveal visual attention enhancement in deaf reading: Evidence from disappearing text[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(7): 715-726.
[2] LI BaoZhu, WEI ShaoMu.  The effect of presentation format for consumer responses: Evidence from eye movements[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(1): 69-81.
[3] LIU Zhifang, ZHANG Zhijun, PAN Yun, TONG Wen, SU Heng.  The characteristics of visual word encoding in preview and fixation frames during Chinese reading: Evidences from disappearing text[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(7): 853-865.
[4] BAI Xuejun; GAO Xiaolei; GAO Lei; WANG Yongsheng. An eye movement study on the perceptual span in reading Tibetan language[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(5): 569-576.
[5] LIANG Feifei; WANG Yongsheng; YANG Wen; BAI Xuejun. The modulation of reading level on the development of children’s eye movement characteristics: Evidence from 9- to 11-year-old children[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(4): 450-459.
[6] LIU Zhifang; ZHANG Zhijun; YANG Guifang. Test the activation model of transforming characters to words in Chinese reading: Evidence from delay word-boundary effects[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(9): 1082-1092.
[7] SU Heng; LIU Zhifang; CAO Liren. The effects of word frequency and word predictability in preview and their implications for word segmentation in Chinese reading: Evidence from eye movements[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(6): 625-636.
[8] WANG Fuxing; HOU Xiujuan; DUAN Zhaohui; LIU Huashan; LI Hui. The perceptual differences between experienced Chinese chess players and novices: Evidence from eye movement[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(5): 457-471.
[9] WANG Fuxing; LI Wenjing; YAN Zhiqiang; DUAN Zhaohui; LI Hui. Children’s Attention Detection to Snakes: Evidence from Eye Movements[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(6): 774-786.
[10] YAN Guoli; LIU Nina; LIANG Feifei; LIU Zhifang; BAI Xuejun. The Comparison of Eye Movements between Chinese Children and Adults When Reading Disappearing Text[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(3): 300-318.
[11] CHEN Shuang; CHEN Lijing; YANG Xiaohong; YANG Yufang. The Role of Discourse Context on Semantic Integration[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(2): 167-175.
[12] WANG Fuxing; DUAN Zhaohui; ZHOU Zongkui; CHEN Jun. The Spatial Contiguity Effect in Multimedia Learning: The Role of Cueing[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(2): 224-233.
[13] BAI Xuejun; WANG Yongsheng; GUO Zhiying; GAO Xiaolei; YAN Guoli. The Preview of Word N+2 Influences the High Frequency Word N+1 Processing in Chinese Reading[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(2): 143-156.
[14] CHEN Jiebin; LU Zhongyi. The Effect of Route-angularity on Spatial Situation Model Constructing in Text[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(2): 176-189.
[15] WANG Haibin; LU Jiamei; YAO Benxian; SANG Qingsong; CHEN Ning; TANG Xiaochen. The Impact of Pre-Service Teachers' Emotional Complexity on Facial Expression Processing: Evidences from Behavioral, ERP and Eye-Movement Study[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(1): 50-65.
Full text



Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech