Selling Honesty Tests
The American Psychological Association (APA) task force report on honesty testing contains the following statement:
Promotional claims for honesty tests, as perhaps for most other procedures used for preemployment screening, vary from the circumspect to the fraudulent. We have seen a number of promotional brochures that are so clearly excessive and overblown as to make a test expert cringe in embarrassment. In the most flagrantly hucksterish of these, all problems associated with test use are unmentioned, and the purported reduction in actual theft that can be achieved is wildly exaggerated. We recommend that test publishers adopt and enforce standards ensuring that the promotional claims made by each testing organization rest on a firm empirical foundation. This includes expending company resources to train sales representatives about the statements and claims that are appropriate for each test, and to monitor the performance of these personnel. (pp. 20-21)
The book Honesty in the Workplace by Kevin Murphy ( 1993) has this to say:
The marketing of integrity tests is, in many cases, a disgrace. The APA report notes that the claims made for some of these tests are so excessive and overblown as to be fraudulent. Indeed, if you want to see examples of dishonesty in the workplace, you need not look much further than the marketing brochures for some integrity tests. Experts in consumer fraud warn us that claims that look too good to be true often are too good to be true. A marketing brochure that claims that a simple test will eliminate most or all of an organization's theft and shrinkage problems should not be taken seriously.
At least two groups suffer from the failure of some test publishers to live up to the standards that govern other types of testing: test consumers and the many integrity test publishers who do live up to these standards. Both organizations and individuals suffer when tests with limited validity or relevance are used to make important decisions. The