Applicant Review

Cherrington, D. J., and Cherrington, J. O. (1983). Applicant Review. Stanfordville, NY: CHC Forecast.

Comments: The 102-item AR assesses honesty and aggressive tendencies. It has been used as a pre-employment screening device and has been revised in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1993, and 1996. A technical manual is available as well as computer scoring. The appendix contains an article on understanding honesty.

Sample: Over 33,330 people from 10 organizations throughout the United States participated in this study. Some of the organizations sampled include employees from retail stores, convenience stores, electronic stores, specialty stores, grocery stores, small stores, hardware stores. In addition, validation studies included graduate students, students at an alternative high school, and store managers.

Validity: Face validity is established through the items that assess attitudes and behaviors of honesty. Construct validity is supported by the seven factors that were identified through factor analysis. Concurrent validity is described by using the known-group technique. Detailed information about the evidence based on test content, response processes, internal structure, and relations to other variables are presented in the technical manual. Results of validation studies are also included.

Reliability: Test-retest reliability for 30 college students over one week yielded correlations that ranged from 0.80 to

0.89 for five subscales. Another test-retest reliability for 44 students yielded a correlation of 0.83 for an overall honesty score. The alpha coefficients for the seven subscales with the original sample were: 0.73 (personal history and honesty of others), 0.66 (blame for dishonesty), 0.76 (definition/standards of honesty), 0.77 (punishment), 0.71 (moral reasoning), and 0.69 (past behavior).

Subscales: There are seven susbscales that comprise an honesty score (personal honesty, honesty of others, blame for dishonesty, definition and standards of honesty, punishment, moral reasoning, and past behavior). The first part of the review measures social attitudes (42 items). The second part measures personal behaviors (24 items). The third part measures past behaviors (11 items). The final part of the review measures future intentions (five items).

Data Analysis: Norms are provided for 33,332 people from 10 organizations within the United States. Means and standard deviations are presented. Cumulative frequencies for the 10 organizations are provided. Item analyses were conducted.


Clark, J. P., and Hollinger, R. C. (1983). Theft by employees in work organizations: Executive summary. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Government Printing Office.

Jones, J. W. (1991). Preemployment honesty testing: Current research and future directions. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Principles for the validation and use of personnel selection procedures. (1987). College Park, MD: Department of Psychology (So- ciety for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), University of Maryland.

Rest, J. R., and Narvaez, D. (1994). Moral development in the professions. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Applicant Review

1. I dislike helping people who are intentionally rude and nasty.
2. I get bored very easily when I have to do the same thing over and over.
3. Most people usually tell the truth.
4. I often think it would be an exciting intellectual challenge to steal something just to see if I could get away with it.
5. Buying merchandise on sale is dishonest because stores don’t receive a fair value for their merchandise.
6. Looking for ways to beat the system is just human nature.
7. A person who has taken company property should not be trusted in another job handling company money.
8. If an employee is caught stealing $600 from a company but promptly pays it back, he should not be fired and noth- ing should happen to him.
9. Most companies are not very concerned about honesty and do not care much about theft so long as the amounts are small.
10. Sales representatives who pad their expense accounts should be fired even if they only add an extra $10 or $15 per month.
11. Most customers are honest and if they receive too much change they will return it.
12. Nearly every worker has stolen something from his or her company at one time or another.
13. A long-term 50-year-old employee admitted that for 22 years he had stolen about $500 each year without being caught. He said he started stealing because he was underpaid and an examination revealed that he was only getting about three-fourths of what others were getting for similar work. (Use this to answer statements 13–16.)
14. This man should be arrested.
15. Criminal charges should be placed against him, and he should receive a criminal record.
16. This man should be sent to jail.
17. This man is not a thief; the company is the thief and owes him back pay for cheating him.
18. In some situations there are good reasons why it is all right to cheat a company.
19. If I saw one of my coworkers take $5 from the cash register, I would report it to management.
20. The average employee will tell his boss about a fellow employee who is stealing company money.
21. I always drive legally and never exceed the speed limit.
22. It would really bother me if I knew someone I worked with was stealing little things now and then, even if I never saw it happen myself.
23. The average policeman would accept money to overlook a traffic violation if he thought he could avoid getting caught.
24. Everyone has a price and can be bribed if the conditions are right.
25. A supervisor knew that three of her subordinates had been stealing small amounts of merchandise from the company for five years, but did not report it. The supervisor should be fired even though she did not steal herself.
26. If all the people who stole things at work were fired, three-fourths of the country would be out of work.
27. Most companies are unfair and try to cheat people working for them.
28. When an employee takes pens, paper, and envelopes from the company for her own personal use, she is stealing.
29. I have frequently associated with fellow employees who admitted they were stealing merchandise from the company.
30. If the manager of a theater offered to let me in without paying, I’d insist on paying anyway.

31. Most sales clerks deserve to steal a little now and then because they are so badly underpaid.
32. I am an honest person and would never steal or cheat.
33. I am always courteous even to people who are disagreeable.
34. If one of my friends was really broke and needed help, I would feel good about letting this friend use my employee discount.
35. Stores are primarily responsible for most of the shoplifting that occurs in them because of their carelessness.
36. If my coworkers violated company rules by taking small items, I would try to ignore it; it is better to get along with your coworker than to hassle them about stealing.
37. A person who sees a fellow employee steal from the company but does nothing about it is also guilty of a dishonest act.
38. If I were a store owner and caught one of my employees stealing $50 from me, I would prosecute her.
39. There is nothing wrong with buying stolen merchandise as long as I have nothing to do with stealing it.
40. There is nothing wrong with taking damaged goods from the company without permission if they are just going to be thrown away.
41. Making personal long-distance phone calls on your employer’s phone without permission is stealing.
42. The average sales clerk steals at least $10 each month from the company.
43. If a person took money from a company for a good cause and paid it back with interest six months later, he should tell his boss and take a chance of getting fired.

1. When things go wrong, I lose my temper.
2. If a pay phone gave me back my quarter after I finished my call, I would mail the quarter to the phone company.
3. If someone asks me how they look and I think they look awful, I will lie a little to avoid hurting their feelings.
4. When I get angry with my employer, I want to damage company property.
5. Salesmen who do not drink alcoholic beverages should feel free to add $60 to $75 to their monthly expense state- ments to make their expenses the same as others.
6. I have been completely honest in reporting my income taxes.
7. Supervisors who hassle employees deserved to be slapped or hit.
8. If I committed a crime with a friend and I got caught, I would take the blame myself and not tell on my friend.
9. If I mailed three cereal box tops to get a free baseball card and the company sent me two cards by mistake, I would immediately return the extra card.
10. When I am provoked, I get into fist fights.
11. If the conditions were right, I could be tempted to steal something from the company.
12. If I came home and found a sales clerk failed to add a $1.00 item to my bill, I would immediately return and pay the $1.00 to the store.
13. When people refuse to go along, I find it necessary to threaten them with physical force.
14. When I was in school, I used to cheat on exams.
15. If I stole little things from my employer, such as paper, pens, and envelopes, I would really feel guilty.
16. I shout at people when they do things wrong.
17. Even though I may not do it, I think about clever ways to steal without getting caught.
18. When vending machines give me too much change, I send the money to the vending machine company.
19. I will hit or slap people who really deserve it.
20. If a nine-year-old child asked my opinion of a picture she painted and I thought it was really ugly and sloppy, I would tell a lie; it’s better to lie a little than tell the truth in this situation.
21. When I find money on the sidewalk, I take it to the police, even when it’s less than one dollar.
22. I find myself in situations in which I am forced to physically defend myself.
23. When I read stories or see movies of famous outlaws, I usually find myself cheering for the outlaws and hoping they get away with it.
24. When customers accidentally receive too much change, I think “good for them; they deserve to win now and then.”

Scoring: The honesty score has a range of 0 to 99 and may be interpreted like a percentile score. Section 1: Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Agree =3; and Strongly Agree = 4. Section 2: Always = 1; Frequently = 2; Occasionally = 3; Seldom = 4; and Never = 5.