The research partnership between SACS and Deakin University has yielded another publication (Anglim et al 2018). Once more we thank the many people who participate in our research through completion of psych tests and our follow up surveys. One of the reasons we keep getting published is that we are able to access large samples of real live employees at work and it is the contribution of our many thousands of contacts which allow us to do this.

The survey involved personality testing a group of people who were applying for jobs as well as another sample who were not applying for jobs – just completing the survey for research purposes. We then came back to these people a couple of years later and asked them to complete a confidential survey about the good things and bad things they had done at work – an internationally validated measure.

In brief, we found that:

  • Honesty-humility, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness predicted lower levels of bad behaviour and higher levels of generous and positive behaviour in both job applicants and non-applicants.
  • We also wanted to assess the effect of faking on the accuracy of prediction. We assume that people applying for jobs have more motivation to fake their answers than people who are simply helping us out by completing a survey for research purposes. If so you would expect the personality results of the job applicants to be worse at predicting future good and bad behaviour than the results from the research group who had little motivation to fake. In fact we found surprisingly little difference between the two groups, leading us to conclude that:
  • People do fake psych tests, but they don’t do it very much and they don’t do it very well.

Thanks once more to Jeromy Anglim for his excellent captaincy of the research team on this project and thanks also to our distinguished colleagues Filip Lievens from Singapore Management University and Sharon Grant from Swinburne.

Click here to find out how psych assessment can help you to have more good behaviours and less bad behaviours at work.

Anglim, J., Lievens, F., Everton, L., Grant, S. L., Marty, A. (2018). HEXACO Personality Predicts Counterproductive Work Behavior and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Low-Stakes and Job Applicant Contexts. Journal of Research in Personality, 77, 11-20.

Andrew Marty

Managing Director at SACS Consulting
Andrew is a qualified psychologist who has over 25 years of human resource management consulting experience, including extensive senior executive search and selection experience.
Andrew Marty