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What are Integrity Tests?

Integrity tests, also known as honesty tests in recruitment and selection, refer primarily to self-report tests that are used during pre-employment screening to predict the possibility of dishonesty and counter productivity. Integrity tests work on the rationale that there are meaningful differences in behaviours, attitudes and values between individuals that could be used to identify individuals who are more likely to engage in dishonest behaviors and behaviours that are counter-productive at work. The results from integrity testing are then typically utilized to screen out individuals who may present a greater risk to an organization in areas such as absenteeism and other forms of counterproductive behaviour. The typical dimensions that integrity tests measure are perceived incidence of dishonesty, leniency towards dishonest behaviours, theft rationalization, theft temptation or rumination, perceptions regarding dishonest behaviours, impulse control and punitiveness towards self and others (Murphy, 1995).

Integrity tests typically come in two distinct forms, the first is overt integrity tests, also known as “clear-purpose” integrity tests and personality-based integrity tests, which are also known as “veiled-purpose” integrity tests (Gatewood & Feild, 2001). Overt integrity tests directly inquire about an individual’s attitudes and admissions about behaviours that are undesirable at the workplace such as workplace theft. Personality-based integrity tests are personality inventories that measure personality constructs that are linked with the undesirable behaviour.


Gatewood, R.D., & Feild, H.S. (2001). Integrity Testing, Drug Testing and Graphology. In Human Resource Selection (5th ed, pp. 667-679). Mason, Ohio: South-Western

Murphy, K.R, (1995) Integrity Testing. In N. Brewer & C. Wilson (Eds), Psychology and policing. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.