Difference WikiGeneral

Difference Between Honesty and Integrity

Main Difference

The main difference between Honesty and Integrity is that Honesty is a spoken action of telling the truth, whereas Integrity is the practical performance of right actions generally accepted by society.

Honesty vs. Integrity

Honesty is a spoken action of telling the truth, whereas integrity is the practical performance of right actions generally accepted by society. Honesty is a verbal action and has negative connotations like selfishness and cunningness; on the other hand, integrity is a physical demonstration of ethics and always has positive connotations. Honesty depends upon situations; conversely, integrity is independent of situations. A person may be honest at a time, but it does not necessarily mean that he posses integrity.

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Honesty is not necessarily a part of the personality, whereas integrity is a strong component in an individual’s personality. Honesty may depend upon the fact that a person has benefited by speaking truth; on the flip side, integrity is a character of virtue, so a person does right, no matter he is benefited or not. Honesty sometimes has no connection with moral strength on the opposite integrity reveals moral strength.

Honesty cannot be called a practical performance of the right things; on the other hand, integrity is the performance of the right actions at any cost. Honesty can also be called truthfulness or factualness; conversely, integrity can be called as high morality. Honesty is about what a person says; conversely, integrity is about what a person does and believes.

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Comparison Chart

HonestyIntegrity
Honesty is defined as the spoken action of telling the truth.Integrity is defined as the practical application of the right things accepted by society.
Connotations
Sometimes has negative connotationsAlways has positive connotations
Dependency
Depends upon situationIndependent of situation
Component of Personality
Not necessarily a part of one’s personality.A strong component of personality
Personal Gains
Depends upon personal interests and gainsDoes not depend upon personal interests and gains
Moral Strength
Does not represent moral strengthRepresents strong moral strength
Synonyms
Also called truthfulness and factualnessAlso called high morality
Representation
It is all about what a person saysIt is all about what a person believes
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What is Honesty?

Honesty is defined as an act of speaking the truth. It is highly situation-dependent; a person who speaks truth in a particular situation might not speak it all the time. Speaking truth all the time is truly a virtuous character possessed by a few. It has positive as well as negative connotations. If someone tells the truth about what he did wrong rather than making excuses, it is taken as positive. If someone comments negatively about others, it is taken negatively even if it true.

Generally, honesty is taken as a conception of truth, and the truth is the synonym of honesty. But the concept of truth varies from person to person. Something which is considered as the biggest truth may be meaningless for the other. The perception of truth depends upon situations and personal experiences of everyone. Sometimes a lie is molded in the shape of truth and believed by many.

Benefit and personal gain is probably the biggest reason that compels a person to blurt out the truth. A person who often lies, speaks the truth when it comes to his interests and benefits. Fear is another factor compelling the people to speak the truth. People may have a fear of being caught, fired from a job, losing someone, etc.

There are certain factors that make one an honest person. It is highly dependent on the working of mind and psychology. Society, norms, culture, family, and peer groups play a vital role in building up the character of a person. If a person is encouraged to speak the truth, he becomes an honest person.

What is Integrity?

Integrity is defined as the practical performance of the right actions generally acknowledged by society. It shows an individual’s strong belief in moral and ethical principles and values. It is not situational dependent; rather, it is a part of one’s personality. It is honesty within the character. A person has made a set pattern of ethics in his brain and reacts according to them in every situation.

These ethics and moral values are cultivated by social norms, culture, family, and peers. A person is consistent in integrity if he sticks to his beliefs and accepts them wholeheartedly. It is a hue of the mental framework of actions. There is another interesting fact associated with integrity, the person behaving according to set pattern behaves the same with all and expects others to be the same.

Integrity may be an individual’s own, or enforced by law or universally called a general worldview. According to philosophers, politicians must possess integrity as they have the power of influence, and people follow their lead. Also, they had to serve society, so they must set an ethical framework before them.

In general, integrity includes never betraying trust, keeping promises, avoiding negative comments, honesty in work and dealings, sincerity and loyalty, etc. Among all these factors, language is the most important one. Language predetermines actions and moods. It reflects one’s behavior. Language is probably the most dominant expression of the human race, which determines whether they are loyal, ironic, sincere, or judgmental.

Key Differences

  1. Honesty is a spoken action of telling the truth, whereas integrity is the practical performance of right actions generally accepted by society.
  2. Honesty is a verbal action and has negative connotations like selfishness and cunningness; on the other hand, integrity is a physical demonstration of ethics and always has positive connotations.
  3. Honesty depends upon situations; conversely, integrity is independent of situations.
  4. A person may be honest at a time, but it does not necessarily mean that he posses integrity.
  5. Honesty is not necessarily a part of personality; on the other hand, integrity is a strong component in an individual’s personality.
  6. Honesty may depend upon the fact that a person has benefited by speaking truth; on the flip side, integrity is a character of virtue, so a person does right, no matter he is benefited or not.
  7. Honesty sometimes has no connection with moral strength; on the opposite, integrity reveals moral strength.
  8. Honesty cannot be called a practical performance of the right things; on the other hand, integrity is the performance of the right actions at any cost.
  9. Honesty can also be called truthfulness or factualness; conversely, integrity can be called high morality.
  10. Honesty is about what a person says; opposingly, integrity is about what a person does and believes.

Conclusion

So, honesty is a verbal action highly dependent on the situation, whereas integrity is a practical action, part of one’s personality and independent of situations.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson