Topic: Personality Assessment
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (MAR 2010)
Article: The magnitude and extent of cheating and response distortion effects on unproctored internet-based tests of cognitive ability and personality
Authors: W. Arthur, R.M. Glaze, A.J. Villado, and J.E. Taylor
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
The future of employment testing is upon us and many organizations have turned to unproctored internet-based testing in lieu of proctored paper-and-pencil testing.
Among its many advantages, internet-based testing is often faster, more efficient, and more convenient than proctored paper-and-pencil methods (e.g., can be scored immediately, distributed to geographically dispersed applicants). One concern, however, is that unproctored internet-based testing allows for cheating or response distortion (i.e., faking). But is this a realistic concern? Is cheating really more prevalent in unproctored internet-based settings?
Arthur, Glaze, Villado, and Taylor (2010) recently explored this question using a speeded cognitive ability test and two different personality tests. Although the authors note that the speeded nature of the cognitive ability test may have curtailed cheating in and of itself, the pattern of their results was very similar to the pattern observed in proctored, paper-and-pencil contexts.
Ultimately, although cheating/response distortion is well known to occur, Arthur and colleagues did not find that it is necessarily more common in unproctored internet-based testing situations. In concluding this review, it should be noted that the behavior of cheating or response distortion is very difficult to measure. In fact, as Arthur et al. note, response distortion or cheating was not measured directly in their study. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that response distortion/cheating is not necessarily more common in unproctored internet-based testing situations.
Arthur, W., Glaze, R.M., Villado, A.J., & Taylor, J.E. (2010). The magnitude and extent of cheating and response distortion effects on unproctored internet-based tests of cognitive ability and personality. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 18(1), 1-16.