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Faking Good on Self-Reports Versus Informant-Reports of Emotional Intelligence

Walker, Sarah A.; MacCann, Carolyn


Carolyn MacCann


Research demonstrates that people can fake on self-rated emotional intelligence scales. As yet, no studies have investigated whether informants (where a knowledgeable informant rates a target’s emotional intelligence) can also fake on emotional intelligence inventories. This study compares mean score differences for a simulated job selection versus a standard instructed set for both self-ratings and informant-ratings on the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire—Short Form (TEIQue-SF). In a 2 × 2 between-person design, participants (N = 81 community volunteers, 151 university students) completed the TEIQue-SF as either self-report or informant-report in one of two instruction conditions (answer honestly, job simulation). Both self-reports (d = 1.47) and informant-reports (d = 1.56) were significantly higher for job simulation than “answer honestly” instructions, indicating substantial faking. We conclude that people can fake emotional intelligence for both themselves (self-report) and on behalf of someone else (informant-report). We discuss the relevance of our findings for self- and informant-report assessment in applied contexts.


Walker, S. A., & MacCann, C. (2023). Faking Good on Self-Reports Versus Informant-Reports of Emotional Intelligence. Assessment,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 30, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2023
Publication Date Oct 14, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2024
Journal Assessment
Print ISSN 1073-1911
Electronic ISSN 1552-3489
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL