Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Faking is a FACT: Examining the Susceptibility of Intermediate Items to Misrepresentation

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Michael Zickar (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Steve Jex (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

William O'Brien (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Kate Magsamen-Conrad (Other)


As personality assessment continues to become more common in business settings, the need to understand and address faking and misrepresentation of personality in selection processes becomes extremely important. The recent advances in ideal point item response theory offer a new and more nuanced way to create personality inventories and to investigate the psychology of faking. The present study uses a within-subjects experiment to investigate how intermediate items, specifically those of the FACT taxonomy, behave under honest and faked response conditions. The effects of faking on item characteristics and respondent scores are assessed, and a technique for identifying faked responses is demonstrated.