Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Personnel selection procedures often include integrity tests to aid in the attempt to hire the best possible candidates for a given job. Meta-analyses of integrity test validity coefficients have found evidence of incremental validity in the prediction of many performance criteria, but questions remain regarding the nature of the construct they actually measure. The classical interpretation of higher integrity scores being linked with higher job performance is that honest people are more productive. This study surveys another possibility: those that score highly on these measures may possess higher degrees of a problem solving ability related to intelligence that allows them to beat the test. The purpose of the following study was to determine whether a connection exists between the degree of success at faking a commercially available overt integrity test and the intelligence of the test taker. We administered an overt integrity test twice to a sample of college students with instructions to answer honestly on one administration and fake good on the other. Participants also completed measures of general and practical intelligence. Correlations between the difference of the honest and faked administrations of the integrity test and the measures of general and practical intelligence were computed in order to investigate the relationship between faking success and intelligence. Overall, a weak positive relationship between general intelligence and faking success was found, r = .17. An investigation of more specific integrity test characteristics revealed more about the nature of the overall relationship. Several limitations concerning the measure of faking success employed by this study are addressed.



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