For the second year in a row, residents of our nation’s capital have proven themselves the most likely to steal a dollar from your pocket. At least, that’s according to one unusual new study, which found Washington, D.C. to be the least honest city or state in the nation.
The makers of Honest Tea conducted the survey, which involved setting up an unmanned booth with bottles of their product on display. Customers were asked to use the honor system and leave $1 for each bottle of tea they took.
In the end, 80 percent of Washingtonians paid for their beverage. But that was still far less than the national average of 92 percent.
“As a company, Honest Tea values transparency,” National Honesty Index spokesman Dan Forman told Yahoo! News. “To touch on this, the company thought creating a light-hearted social experiment that takes a look at honest in America would be a good way to start a conversation about honesty and how society values it. “
And to add to the irony of the experiment, Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman said he had his bike stolen while traveling to the D.C. booth. He said he had even chained the bike up before leaving it for a few hours.
Now, a tea test is far from the final word on a city or state’s total measurement of honesty. But this is not the only study to find D.C. atop some less than ideal rankings. For example, a 2012 study found that workers in D.C. curse on the job more than of their colleagues around the nation .
This is the fourth year that Honest Tea has conducted their little experiment, during which they visited all 50 states and 61 locations in total.
Alabama and Hawaii tied for the most honest states, where 100 percent of customers paid for their tea.
West Virginia was considered the second least honest state, with 85 percent of people paying for their tea.
Still, as Forman notes, a large majority of Americans paid for their drinks even in those so-called least honest states.
“We were delighted to see that people in the U.S. were so honest,” he said. “There is so much negative rhetoric put out there. It’s encouraging to know that in reality, when faced with a choice to do the right thing or steal, 92 percent of people in the U.S. chose to do the right thing.”
Forman says the company will continue to tweak its honesty tests in future years to better measure how people respond to various scenarios testing their responses.