Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Psychology, Industrial and Organizational

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Therese Macan


Stephanie Merritt

John Meriac

Lara Zwarun



Despite their widespread use in employee selection procedures, personality measures are susceptible to applicant faking. Explicit warnings, often included in test instructions to deter faking behavior, inform applicants that items are included on the test to detect faking, and that those caught faking, will be removed from the applicant pool (i.e., invalidation warnings). The current research examined the effectiveness of another warning type informing applicants that faking is not in their best interest, as it is likely to get them into a job for which they are a poor fit (i.e., job fit warnings). Results for Study 1 supported the application of The Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) to the context of applicant faking on personality tests; invalidation warnings appear to function by lessening applicants’ perceived ability to fake successfully without being caught. Moreover, the positive job fit warnings were just as effective as the negative invalidation warnings at lessening applicant faking behaviors. Positive job fit warnings also elicited much more positive reactions from applicants than did the negative invalidation warnings and thus, appear to have greater utility than the negative invalidation warnings. Study 2 revealed that combining the negative invalidation warning with the positive job fit warning minimized the adverse reactions to the negative invalidation warning, resulting in more positive applicant reactions. Additionally, this combination warning was slightly more effective in deterring applicant faking behavior than either single-consequence warning alone. Taken together, organizations may benefit most by utilizing the negative invalidation + positive job fit combination warning.