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Just how honest are Americans?

  • The National Honesty Index conducted an experiment to see how upstanding Americans are
  • Are you surprised by the findings?
Just how honest are Americans?
Honest Teas

Be honest: If you saw an iced tea stand that asked for one dollar per bottle on an honor system, would you take the beverage without leaving a dollar if no one was looking?

That’s the test the National Honesty Index put all 50 states to in July. For 10 days, the organization put unmanned kiosks selling Honest Teas for a dollar in 61 locations nationwide. The experiment tracked the participants’ honesty and broke the data down by state, gender, hair color, hair length, facial hair and accessories.

Turns out, 92% of Americans are pretty honest! Alabama and Hawaii are the most honest states, with 100% of participants paying for their drinks, while Washington, D.C. is the least honest location, with only 80% honoring the system.

The experiment also found that women are more honest than men, blondes are more honest than brunettes or redheads, and that people in groups are more honest than individuals. According to last year’s results, redheads were the one leading the honesty pack.

“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,” says Seth Goldman, co-founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea. He adds that all proceeds collected during the experiment will be donated to FoodCorps, a non-profit organization that helps kids eat healthy.

You can find the full state-by-state honesty breakdown here, where you can also challenge your friends to an honesty contest.

Do these results surprise you?

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