Job Desire and Motivation: Response Distortion in Personality Assessment
Roess, M. D. (2014). Job Desire and Motivation: Response Distortion in Personality Assessment (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9000
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9000
This study examined personality response distortion based on an individual‟s job desire within a personnel selection scenario. The aim was to determine the extent to which job desire affected individuals‟ responses to a personality assessment. Numerous researchers have studied individuals‟ choices and thought processes that lead to response distortion (Ellingson & McFarland, 2011; McFarland & Ryan, 2000; Snell, Sydell, & Lueke, 1999). Although one determinant that has been proposed is the concept of an individual‟s perceived job desire, little research has been conducted relating to this. Job desire was defined as an individual‟s motivation and passion for a position being applied for. As the study inferred individual‟s job desire from their motivation, individual‟s growth need strength (GNS) and need for achievement (nAch) measures were also assessed. Ninety-four participants were subjected to two conditions: one a situation of high job desire and one a situation of low job desire. Responses to a measure of the Big Five personality dimensions (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability), GNS and nAch were assessed and compared between the two conditions. The findings suggest that job desire affected the individuals‟ pattern of response. Participants responded more positively within the high job desire condition in regards to all five personality dimensions and nAch. Significant correlations occurred between GNS and openness to experience and emotional stability and nAch significantly correlated with openness to experience and conscientiousness. If an individual possesses high job desire, they are more likely to respond more positively on a personality assessment. The increase in response means from low to high job desire could be related to item transparency. High job desire may motivate the individual to think about the items more to determine the desired correct response. In addition, individuals who change their behaviour depending on the situation are thought to have a higher functional awareness of what is needed. The results indicated that personality assessments are affected by response distortion raising possible consequences relating to personnel selection. Hiring managers may benefit from using use personality assessments in conjunction with other appropriate selection methods tools to cross-reference the self-report measure. Further investigation of an individual‟s job desire is recommended to confirm which personality dimensions are most affected by response distortion. Additionally, further exploration of whether it is possible to assess an applicant‟s job desire may be warranted.
University of Waikato
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