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Ziegler, Matthias (2007): Situational Demand and Its Impact on Construct and Criterion Validity of a Personality Questionnaire: State and Trait, a Couple you just can’t Study Separately!. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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Abstract

The present paper had four goals which all aimed at understanding more of the psychological process taking place when people intentionally distort their answers to a questionnaire. Moreover, possible causes for individual differences in responding to situational demand were investigated. Finally, it was explored whether there were any differences in the criterion validities of different conscientiousness scores. The results of the qualitative and the quantitative analyses show that the psychological process happening when people fake a questionnaire starts with the evaluation of the importance of an item regarding the situational demand. This evaluation is based on specific knowledge, implicit theories, and reasoning. The actual answer then depends on the preference for one of three response sets: regular response (rr), slight faking (sf), and extreme faking (ef). People with high self efficacy of positive self – presentation beliefs tend to endorse extreme categories. Moreover, the actual answer has a solid base in the real conscientiousness score. Finally, it was shown that honest, faked, and MRM corrected conscientiousness scores did not differ in their criterion validity, but in the ranking of people.