A New Approach to Explain Applicant Faking Behaviors: A Model Based on Trait Contract Classification Theory
Applicant faking behavior (AFB) on personality measures is a problematic phenomenon in selection context. It is important to address applicant faking behaviors because it will result in hiring unqualified people and lead to fairness issues. Researchers have developed many theoretical frameworks to understand applicant faking behaviors, and it is commonly accepted that applicant faking behaviors is an interaction effect of the both situational factors and individual factors. In this study, we examined applicant faking behaviors based on one of the interactional framework, the Trait Contract Classification (TCC) theory (Griffith, Lee, Peterson & Zickar, 2011) which took one step further to examine different forms of applicant faking behaviors (honest responding, self-presentation, exaggeration, reactive responding, and fraudulent responding). Specifically, the study examined whether people fake differently and how different faking behaviors relate to different faking outcomes. The results suggested that more than one faking response sets correlate with faking behaviors. Exaggeration response set (b=.19, p<.05) and fraudulent responding response set (b=.14, p<.05) both positively correlated with observed faking behaviors, but the honest responding response set was negatively related with faking behaviors (b=-.15, p<.05). In addition, TCC response sets had significant effect on observations of faking outcomes in terms of faking magnitude and faking variability. The study also found that ethical relativism positively related to TCC reactive responding (b=.19, p<.05) and fraudulent responding (b=.31, p<.05), and perceived behavioral control positively related to Reactive Responding (b=.11, p<.05) and Fraudulent Responding (b=.39, p<.05). Implications, limitations and future directions were discussed as well.