The predictive accuracy of a Candidate’s test results depends not only on the validity of the test, but also on their responsiveness to items in the test (thoroughness), response consistency (attention), and test-taking approach (straightforwardness). Because of the high stakes involved in preemployment screening, Candidates are generally motivated to be attentive and thorough when completing the tests, leaving test-taking approach as the primary threat to accurate reporting.

When Psychologists review a Candidates approach to testing they will find that such testing generally falls into two broad categories:

  • overreporting (also referred to as malingering and faking bad), is defined as any pattern of responding in which Candidates claim to have problems they do not have or exaggerate ones they do have; and,
  • underreporting, is defined as any pattern of responding in which test takers emphasize their strengths and deny and/or minimize their problems and/or shortcomings. Specific test-taking approaches that belong to the category of underreporting include (1) intentional underreporting or impression management, which is the conscious dissimulation of test responses, including deliberate denial or over minimization of physical and/or psychological symptoms in an effort to create a favorable impression, and (2) unintentional underreporting or self-deception, which is positive biased responses that the Candidate actually believes are true.

For more information regarding POST: Test-Taking Approaches: Overreporting & Underreporting, click the link below:
Peace Officer Psychological Screening Manual

If you failed your NYPD Psychological Evaluation or have been disqualified for any reason and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact Kevin Sheerin at 516 248 0040.




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