Integrity Tests

The procedures known as “integrity tests” or (more confrontationally) as “honesty tests”[12] aim to identify prospective employees who may hide perceived negative or derogatory aspects of their past, such as a criminal conviction, psychiatric treatment[according to whom?] or drug abuse. Identifying unsuitable candidates can save the employer from problems that might otherwise arise during their term of employment. Integrity tests make certain assumptions, specifically:[13]

  • that persons who have “low integrity” report more dishonest behaviour
  • that persons who have “low integrity” try to find reasons to justify such behaviour
  • that persons who have “low integrity” think others more likely to commit crimes—like theft, for example. (Since people seldom sincerely declare to prospective employers their past deviance, the “integrity” testers adopted an indirect approach: letting the work-candidates talk about what they think of the deviance of other people, considered in general, as a written answer demanded by the questions of the “integrity test”.)[14]
  • that persons who have “low integrity” exhibit impulsive behaviour
  • that persons who have “low integrity” tend to think that society should severely punish deviant behaviour (Specifically, “integrity tests” assume that people who have a history of deviance report within such tests that they support harsher measures applied to the deviance exhibited by other people.)

The claim that such tests can detect “fake” answers plays a crucial role in detecting people who have low integrity. Naive respondents really believe this pretense and behave accordingly, reporting some of their past deviance and their thoughts about the deviance of others, fearing that if they do not answer truthfully their untrue answers will reveal their “low integrity”. These respondents believe that the more candid they are in their answers, the higher their “integrity score” will be.[14][clarification needed]

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