The unitarian understanding of construct validity holds that deliberate response distortion in completing self-report personality tests (i.e., faking) threatens trait-based inferences drawn from test scores. This “faking-is-bad” (FIB) perspective is being challenged by an emerging “faking-is-good” (FIG) position that condones or favors faking and its underlying attributes (e.g., social skill, ATIC) to the degree they contribute to predictor–criterion correlations and are job relevant. Based on the unitarian model of validity and relevant empirical evidence, we argue the FIG perspective is psychometrically flawed and counterproductive to personality-based selection targeting trait-based fit. Carrying forward both positions leads to variously dark futures for self-report personality tests as selection tools. Projections under FIG, we suggest, are particularly serious. FIB offers a more optimistic future but only to the degree faking can be mitigated. Evidence suggesting increasing applicant faking rates and other alarming trends makes the FIB versus FIG debate a timely if not urgent matter.

Corresponding Author Information

Robert P. Tett




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