Effects of Social Desirability Scores on Hiring Judgments

Neil D. Christiansen, Renee F. Rozek, Gary Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Practitioners (N = 160) working in the area of selection and assessment read descriptions of a managerial position and the assessment profiles of two hypothetical candidates who were finalists for the job. Embedded in the profiles were scores on a battery of cognitive and personality tests that included information on socially desirable responding such that there were no social desirability (SD) scores provided, differing SD scores, or elevated SD scores for both candidates. Ratings indicated that elevated SD scores were used as personality information to infer that candidates were less candid and sincere individuals. Candidates with elevated SD scores were judged to be less hirable, and less weight was given to the personality assessment. Despite this, even when SD scores were elevated, personality test results had more influence on hiring judgments than scores on the cognitive tests. Implications are discussed in the context of research that had failed to show SD scores are useful for facilitating hiring decisions or adjusting trait scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Faking
  • Impression management
  • Personality assessment
  • Personality tests
  • Personnel selection
  • Social desirability


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