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Whoever You Want Me to Be: Personality and Incentives

Andrew McGee and Peter McGee

No 2023-12, Working Papers from University of Alberta, Department of Economics

Abstract: What can employers learn from personality tests when applicants have incentives to misrepresent themselves? Using a within-subject, laboratory experiment, we compare personality measures with and without incentives for misrepresentation. Incentivized personality measures are weakly to moderately correlated with non-incentivized measures in all treatments. When test-takers are given a job ad indicating that an extrovert (introvert) is desired, extroversion measures are positively (negatively) correlated with IQ. Among other characteristics, only locus of control appears related to faking on personality measures. Our findings highlight the identification challenges in measuring personality and the potential for correlations between incentivized personality measures and other traits.

Keywords: personality; measurement; hiring; screening; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D82 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 55 pages
Date: 2023-12-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-hrm and nep-neu
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Working Paper: Whoever You Want Me to Be: Personality and Incentives (2020) Downloads
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