The Integrity Test

I was reading Josh Marshall’s blog when I saw a link on the side for a site called “The Cheating Culture?. Simply put, the site’s premise (there’s a book you can buy at Amazon that goes hand-in-hand with the site) is that Americans are cheating to get ahead more than ever.

What caught my eye once I surfed over there was a section called The Integrity Test. Depending on how you answer this test, you’re:

a) Ethically Challenged,
b) An Ordinary American, or
c) A Saint

The catch? Well, if you answer yes to more than half the questions, then you’re well on your way to signal sleazebag status. Hmmm.

Well, what are we waiting for? Here’s the test:

How Honest Are You ?

Take the Integrity Test!

1. You’re a young lawyer who could lose your job if you don’t bill enough hours. All your colleagues are padding their hours. Do you pad yours?

2. Your next-door neighbor offers to hook you up with free cable television. Do you take the offer?

3. You’re an accountant who discovers that a company you’re auditing is inflating its earnings. Your boss says to go along or you’ll be fired. Do you comply?

4. You move to a state where auto insurance is sky high. Do you keep your car registered at your old address?

5. You’re a CEO with a chance to make $100 million by cooking the books. The worst penalty you could face is two years in a country club prison – and you could keep the $100 million. Do you cook the books?

6. A friend offers you a dirt-cheap illegal sublet in a prime apartment building with a waiting list. Do you take the offer?

7. You don’t have enough money to pay your taxes at the end of the year. Your accountant recommends some made-up deductions, saying the IRS doesn’t audit anyone these days. Do you go along?

8. You’re a minor league baseball player trying to make the majors. Most of your teammates are taking steroids to hit better. Do you also dope?

9. An HMO denies a certain treatment to a patient under your care. Do you lie to the HMO to make the patient’s condition seem worse so they will get the treatment they need?

10. You’re a car salesman paid on commission. All the other salesmen are saying that the next shipment of the hot new model everyone wants is due in three weeks – when it’s really six weeks. Do you also say three weeks?


You are:

Ethically Challenged – if you answered yes to all questions.

An Ordinary American – if you answered yes to half the questions.

A Saint – if you answered no to all questions.

First impressions?

Personally, I think it’s a well-designed test. I can plausibly see all these situations coming up in real life; what’s more, I’ve actually had to deal with some of them.

So how did I do? Not to pat myself in the back, but I scored closer to Saint than Sinner. I can see very where I’d wind up on the other side of that ledger, however, so I don’t feel as good about myself as you’d think I would.


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