Effects of targeted self-coaching on applicant distortion of personality measures

Katherine A. Sliter, Neil D. Christiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The present study evaluated the impact of reading self-coaching book excerpts on success at faking a personality test. Participants (N = 207) completed an initial honest personality assessment and a subsequent assessment with faking instructions under one of the following self-coaching conditions: no coaching, chapters from a commercial book on how to fake preemployment personality scales, and personality coaching plus a chapter on avoiding lie-detection scales. Results showed that those receiving coaching materials had greater success in raising their personality scores, primarily on the traits that had been targeted in the chapters. In addition, those who read the chapter on avoiding lie-detection scales scored significantly lower on a popular impression management scale while simultaneously increasing their personality scores. Implications for the use of personality tests in personnel selection are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Impression management
  • Personality assessment
  • Response distortion
  • Self-coaching
  • Social desirability


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