Distortion Scales are a critical piece of the puzzle in testing design. They foil attempts by the applicant to “look good” by trying to give the “right” answers.

A scale labeled Distortion has been incorporated into Personality Plus®, Sales Plus®, and The Insure Survey®. Distortion scales deal with how candid and frank the applicant is while taking an assessment.


Based on statistical studies, questions on Distortion Scales, also called a Lie Scale, are ones for which the correct answers are already known. The applicant must answer the majority of these with the “right” response. The Distortion SCORE refers to the reliability of the results, not the honesty of the applicant. If the distortion scale suggests an attempt to give “right” answers, doubt may be cast upon the openness of the individual in their responses to other questions (which have no right or wrong answer).


Distortion Scale is vitally important in a pre-employment situation. A low score on this scale suggests that the applicant may have distorted their responses in the “look good” direction. An example would be trying to appear outgoing and competitive for a sales opening. If the assessment asked “Do you like meeting new people?” the applicant knows that meeting new people would be part of the salesperson’s duties so will answer YES, even though it may be against his/her nature to enjoy this type of activity. By using the Distortion score, the interviewer can gauge if the applicant is trying to “look good” to get the job.