The influence of item order on intentional response distortion in the assessment of high potentials: Assessing pilot applicants

Lale Khorramdel, Klaus D. Kubinger, Alexander Uitz
Published Online:
20 Nov 2013
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 49 Issue 2

Additional Options

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of item order and questionnaire content on faking good or intentional response distortion. It was hypothesized that intentional response distortion would either increase towards the end of a long questionnaire, as learning effects might make it easier to adjust responses to a faking good schema, or decrease because applicants' will to distort responses is reduced if the questionnaire lasts long enough. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that certain types of questionnaire content are especially vulnerable to response distortion. Eighty‐four pre‐selected pilot applicants filled out a questionnaire consisting of 516 items including items from the NEO five factor inventory (NEO FFI), NEO personality inventory revised (NEO PI‐R) and business‐focused inventory of personality (BIP). The positions of the items were varied within the applicant sample to test if responses are affected by item order, and applicants' response behaviour was additionally compared to that of volunteers. Applicants reported significantly higher mean scores than volunteers, and results provide some evidence of decreased faking tendencies towards the end of the questionnaire. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that lower variances or standard deviations in combination with appropriate (often higher) mean scores can serve as an indicator for faking tendencies in group comparisons, even if effects are not significant.

© 2013 International Union of Psychological Science