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Integrity vs. Authenticity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 8, 2023
Integrity refers to adherence to moral and ethical principles, while authenticity means being true to one's own personality, spirit, or character.

Key Differences

Integrity involves the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It's about the consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In essence, integrity is about doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Authenticity, however, is about being genuine and original, not a copy or imitation. It is the degree to which one is true to their own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.
A person with integrity is someone who is trusted by others because their moral compass is steady and they are known to keep their promises. Authenticity relates to the self and is about the self in relation to others; it is the expression of the true self, of one's beliefs, and of one's emotions. Integrity can be seen as the external manifestation of one's ethical beliefs, while authenticity is the internal experience of being true to oneself.
In a professional context, integrity might be shown by a business leader who makes decisions that are ethical and responsible, while authenticity in the same setting could involve a leader expressing their true thoughts and feelings in a way that aligns with their values and beliefs. Both are considered virtues and are highly valued in individuals and leaders, but they play out in different ways.
Integrity can be assessed by how well one's actions match their proclaimed values. It's often associated with honesty, honor, and righteousness. Authenticity, on the other hand, is about the congruence between what you feel and what you do or say. It's about being real with yourself and others, and not just playing a role.
While integrity is often seen as a commitment to ethical action, authenticity is about the alignment of one’s actions with one’s personal identity or state of being. People with high integrity are not necessarily authentic, and vice versa. You can be a person of integrity without revealing your true self, and you can be authentic but act in ways that are not necessarily ethical.

Comparison Chart


Adherence to moral and ethical principles.
Being true to one's own personality or character.


Ethical actions and honesty.
Congruence between internal and external self.

Professional Context

Making ethical decisions and keeping promises.
Expressing genuine thoughts and feelings.


Consistency of actions and values.
Alignment of actions with inner feelings.


Trust and respect from others.
Personal fulfillment and self-acceptance.

Integrity and Authenticity Definitions


Integrity can also mean the state of being whole or undivided.
The integrity of the ecosystem is vital for all species living there.


Authenticity can relate to credibility and truthfulness.
The documentary was praised for its authenticity in storytelling.


Integrity is the quality of being morally upright.
She was admired for her integrity in all her business dealings.


It involves staying true to one's self.
He felt that wearing a suit to work every day was not in line with his authenticity.


Integrity involves being honest and truthful.
His integrity prevented him from lying about the incident.


In terms of products, authenticity refers to the quality of being genuine and not counterfeit.
The authenticity of the brand's products is what makes them so popular.


Integrity means consistency of actions, values, and principles.
Despite the challenges, she maintained her integrity throughout her career.


Authenticity also refers to the quality of being original.
The authenticity of the painting was confirmed by experts.


Integrity can refer to the soundness of construction or condition.
The structural integrity of the building was compromised after the earthquake.


Authenticity means being genuine in one’s expressions and actions.
Her authenticity shines through in her unique way of speaking.


Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code
A leader of great integrity.


The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.


The state of being unimpaired; soundness
The building's integrity remained intact following the mild earthquake.


The quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original, of having the same origin (or attribution, commitment, intention, etc.) as claimed.
I hereby certify the authenticity of this copy.
The authenticity of this painting is questionable.


(obsolete) The quality of being authentic (of established authority).


The quality of being authentic or of established authority for truth and correctness.


Genuineness; the quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original.


Undisputed credibility


What is authenticity?

Authenticity is the quality of being genuine, true to one's own personality, character, and values.

What is integrity?

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent adherence to strong moral and ethical principles.

Can you be authentic without integrity?

Yes, one can be true to oneself but not always act in morally upright ways.

Why is integrity important in the workplace?

Integrity builds trust and fosters a positive ethical environment in the workplace.

How is integrity judged?

Integrity is often judged by one's actions and their alignment with ethical and moral standards.

What role does authenticity play in leadership?

Authenticity in leadership helps in building rapport and inspiring trust in followers.

Why is authenticity important in personal relationships?

Authenticity allows for genuine connections and trust between individuals.

Can you have integrity without authenticity?

Yes, it's possible to act ethically without necessarily revealing your true self or feelings.

What is an example of integrity in action?

Returning a lost wallet full of cash is an act of integrity.

How is authenticity judged?

Authenticity is judged by the congruence between what one says and does and what one feels and believes.

How does authenticity affect self-image?

Being authentic can improve one's self-image and lead to higher self-esteem and self-acceptance.

Can integrity be taught?

While aspects of integrity can be encouraged and modeled, it largely depends on individual choice and moral development.

Can authenticity be taught?

Authenticity can be fostered by encouraging self-awareness and self-expression, but it ultimately comes from within the individual.

What role does integrity play in leadership?

Integrity is essential for leaders to be seen as trustworthy and to lead by example.

How does integrity affect reputation?

A person's integrity can significantly enhance their reputation and how they are perceived by others.

How does society view integrity?

Society generally views integrity as a fundamental virtue that builds trust and social cohesion.

How does society view authenticity?

Society values authenticity as it allows individuals to connect in a real and meaningful way.

Is authenticity a skill or a trait?

Authenticity can be seen as a trait that involves being true to one's own character and values.

Is integrity a skill or a trait?

Integrity is more of a moral trait than a skill, encompassing one's ethical beliefs and actions.

What is an example of authenticity in action?

Speaking openly about one's feelings and thoughts can be an act of authenticity.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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