No more socially desirable answers? This is how you measure personality.


Eric Castien

Onderwerp Blog
Gepubliceerd op

27 September 2018

Insights into the thinking ability (cognition) are the key to achieve optimal functionality on the work floor. Our motto therefore is “Match cognitive Demand & Supply”. The NeurOlympics offer a helping hand in giving insights into the most important cognitive building blocks of our human performance (Working memory, Anticipation, Control & Attention). Matching thinking ability and job requirements is the way to find the perfect employee, but thinking ability is obviously not the only thing that is important in the quest for the perfect match.

Personality: More insights into daily functioning
Besides cognition, personality also plays a role in employee succes. For example, a research led by Professor Michael Mount at the University of Iowa has shown that a particular pattern of personality traits is predictive for success in sales functions. The main distinguishing factor here is surprisingly not the “so popular and expected extraversion”, but agreeableness. Agreeable, conscientious sales managers get the highest ratings and achieve higher targets. Studies like these show that, by mapping personality, you get more insights into one’s daily functioning (social behavior and interpersonal communication). These insights are of tremendous added value in finding the best people for the job.

BIG FIVE Personality test
The most common personality model is the so-called BIG FIVE (also known as OCEAN). This is a scientifically substantiated, validated personality measure with which, in a fairly simple way, insights can be obtained in the 5 main dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Many personality tests therefore try to chart these five personality traits. In general, long, boring and very extensive questionnaires are used with multiple questions about each of the five personality traits.

Danger of personality testing in HR: Stop faking
Unfortunately, many tests that try to measure the BIG FIVE are very sensitive to social desirability. This sensitivity to social desirability makes these tests not very reliable for HR. By giving socially desirable answers to these types of tests, participants can make sure that they fit perfectly with the job description and are actually pretending to be different than they actually are. For example, you can answer that you love parties, new people and varying contacts, while you are actually very introverted. By giving false answers as an applicant, you will not only fool the recruiter, but when accepted for the job, you probably will encounter a lot of problems. This because the job requirements are not in line with your Personality characteristics.

Link: New personality test is faster and tougher to trick

BrainsFirst Presents: Personality Test 2.0
BrainsFirst has developed the ideal personality test. This personality test is based on 3 years of scientific research and gives insights in the BIG FIVE. In this test, the effects of socially desirable responses are minimised. By using adjectives and placing the candidates under time constraints. Hereby, participants are triggered to respond as honestly and intuitively as possible. The time pressure makes your first hunch harder to correct, because you simply don’t have time for it. Too slow and so ‘ suspicious ‘ answers are thus virtually impossible. Another additional advantage is that the test costs less energy and takes less time than common questionnaires. With the help of the personality test of BrainsFirst, personality traits can be mapped correctly within 10 minutes.

Learn more about our personality test?
Are you interested in the NeurOlympics and the Personality test of BrainsFirst and do you want to know more? Please reach out to Ivar Schot.