An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Response Distortion and the “Dark Side” Personality

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TITLE An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Response Distortion and the “Dark Side” Personality
RESEARCHER Atsuko Murakami
Department of Psychology
Radford University
Unpublished Master’s Thesis: August 2008

The purpose of this thesis was to examine the relationship between the “dark side” personality and leadership performance as well as the effect of response distortion of the “dark side” of personality on construct and criterion validity

The sample consists of 177 students (28% male) at universities and community colleges in the southeastern United States. The majority of the participants were students from psychology and business classes. Among those, 143 students (26% male) completed both Study 1 (honest condition) and Study 2 (simulated applicant condition). Peer ratings were collected from participants’ acquaintances to assess personality and leadership. Peer data was obtained for 102 students. More than one peer ratings was obtained for only 15 participants. Respondents completed the Hogan Development Survey (HDS; Hogan & Hogan, 2001), and peers completed the HDS Adjective Checklist and the student version of the Leadership Practices Inventory. Internal reliability for the S-LPI ranged between .78 and .89. An overall leadership score was created from the Five Practices, with an internal reliability of .93.

No significant differences were found between the correlations for the HDS self rating and peer ratings of leadership between the honest and applicant condition. The results did not support previous research suggesting a non-linear relationship between self-ratings and peer ratings of leadership (Benson & Campbell, 2007). These results indicate that peer rating can be a predictor for leadership but self-rating of the HDS was not. Enabling was the most frequently used leadership practice followed by Encouraging, Modeling, Inspiring and Challenging.