Daily Archives: September 9, 2014

Honest to Goodness

The makers of Honest Tea, so named because they make their drinks with “honesty and integrity” (as opposed to all those other tea and juice manufacturers who are stealing secret recipes, lying about sugar content or dropping spiders into the mixing vats) have put together a fascinating report. They call it the “National Honesty Index.” Note: By national, they mean Americans, so this may or may not include you. But it’s still interesting.

Capitalizing on its brand name, the Maryland-based company conducted a fun and entirely non-scientific experiment to find out which types of people are most honest. They set up drink stands in dozens of different cities, posted signs asking people to leave a dollar if they took a cold beverage, and unobtrusively observed the results.

And these may surprise you. Divorced people were more honest, at a rate of 98%, than married people (95%). Blondes (95%) were more honest than redheads (92%). Rock and roll and hip-hop fans (100%) were more honest than country music fans (97%). And those who adore puppies (98%), naturally, were more honest than those who melt over baby kittens (95%).

My hands-down favourite fact: enthusiasts of the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy (99%) were a lot more honest than fans of Eat, Pray, Love (94%). I haven’t read either, but as a female, married brunette who appreciates rock music and puppy cuddles, I think my odds are pretty good I’d leave the dollar. (Besides, I’ve met me.)

Overall, the social experiment revealed an average rating of 95% honesty. That means that for every 20 people who took a drink, 19 of them paid what they owed. So when it comes to moral behaviour, I think our society is doing pretty well.