The beverage company, HONEST Tea, conducted a hidden camera experiment a 61 locations throughout the United States between July 8- 18. The company staff left bottles of tea for sale in unmanned kiosk with a sign that said to leave $1 to purchase the tea.
People in Hawaii and Alabama were the most honest in the country and they were honest 100 percent of the time. On average, citizens across the country were honest 92 percent of the time.
No surprise that the least honest destination was where our politicians are based – Washington, D.C.
Data was also collected on participants’ physical appearance including gender, hair color, hair length, facial hair, and whether or not they were wearing hats and sunglasses.
Some results from the test:
- “Washington, D.C. was the least honest location in the experiment with 80 percent of participants paying for their beverage.
- “Overall, women are more honest than men (95% vs. 91%)—the same percentages in both our 2012 and 2013 tests.
- “Unlike last year where redheads were most honest, in 2013 blonds were the most honest (95%) and followed by brunettes (93%) and then redheads (92%).
- “The longer your hair, the more honest you are. People with short hair were 91% honest, vs. people with medium and long hair (93% and 94% honest, respectively).
- “People in groups (96% honest) tend to be more honest than people on their own (91% honest).”
“We’ve conducted our experiment in different cities over the past few years, but this is the first time we’ve conducted the experiment on a national scale,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and TeaEO of HONEST Tea. “Even though my bicycle was stolen the same day as our D.C. experiment, it’s reassuring to know that 92 percent of Americans will do the right thing even when it seems no one is watching.”
The complete National Honesty Index findings are available atwww.NationalHonestyIndex.com. Visitors to the site can use the data to compare the honesty of certain attributes – gender, hair color, hair length, etc. – vs. those of friends, spouses or colleagues, and share their profiles on Facebook or Twitter.