It is well-known that scores on self-report personality questionnaires to a considerable degree reflect social desirability. This dissertation aims to provide evidence for the substantive (versus artefactual) interpretation of this social desirability component in selection situations and beyond. The findings show that scores on this component relate in a meaningful way to work-related outcomes such as job performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Furthermore, people who score higher on this component report higher levels of relationship quality and less interpersonal conflict, which in turn leads to higher levels of well-being. Higher scores on the social desirability factor seem to also facilitate better affective reactions to social setbacks such as leaving a bad impression on others. This factor proved to be a stable construct across methods of analysis, and robust to differences in the motivation and opportunity to provide self-enhancing answers on personality measures.

M.Ph. Born (Marise) , D. van der Linden (Dimitri)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The studies in this thesis were financially supported by Ixly BV, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Psychology

Pelt, D. (2019, September 5). Social Desirability in Self-report Personality Questionnaires for Personnel Selection: Friend or Foe?. Retrieved from