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Faking personality profiles on a standard personality inventory
Kurzfassung auf EnglischA study is reported which investigates the fakeability of personality profiles as measured by a standard personality inventory, the Freiburger Persönlichkeitsinventar (FPI). Unlike previous studies investigating laypersons' ability to fake a global good or bad impression, the present study examined individuals' ability to fake a specific personality profile. Four groups of subjects were instructed to fake their FPI scores so as to present themselves as high vs low scorers on the "social orientation" dimension or high vs low scorers on the "achievement orientation" dimension. The results clearly demonstrate that subjects are successful in manipulating their scores on the critical dimensions according to instruction.
Moreover, they also fake related scales in a way that corroborates the intended image of a person with a high (or low) achievement (or social) orientation. The overall pattern of results reveals that subjects were able to distort their responses in a way that reflects their intuitive understanding of the dimensional structure of the FPI. The implications of the present findings for the use of personality inventories as valid diagnostic instruments are discussed.
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