Are you Honest? How do stack up?

How honest are you? While walking through an urban park in the heat, you have worked up a thirst. You look over to see a display of refreshing bottled tea. Would you deposit the requested dollar donation in the box and help yourself to the thirst quencher? No one is looking. Would you grab a bottle and skip the donation?

According to a, Harris Interactive Poll, trust by the American public is eroding. No shock there. Only one quarter believe in the credibility of banks and a whopping ninety-six percent distrust Wall Street. The government is distrusted by seventy six percent of those polled. Ethics is the basis of credibility.

truth-mdThe reported that 42.7 percent of all resumes had inaccuracies. Some of these could have been honest mistakes on the dates of employment, but other errors were more egregious. The former CEO of Radio Shack was fired when discrepancies were found in his resume. He had claimed to possess two degrees when he had not earned either. Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson, also fell victim to an error in his resume.

According to the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer, 91% of consumers indicated they purchased a product or service from a company that they trusted, and while 77% refused to conduct purchases from companies, they did not trust. As President Theodore Roosevelt said,  “To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” In today’s society, ethics are quite often shoved aside in pursuit of profits.

Back to the refreshing tea question. The Honest Tea Company performed this honor system experiment in 61 cities across America. How many folks deposited the dollar? The overall honesty was 92%. That is an enlightening result. Alabama and Hawaii were found to be the most honest at 100% compliance. Who finished last? Would it be surprising to you that Washington, D.C. came in dead last at 80%? Didn’t think so. By the way, the CEO of the company, Seth Goldman had his bicycle stolen from our Nation’s capital during the experiment. Ooops.

I advocate that first impressions count. Who do you think were the most honest? Females were honest more than males and the longer the hair, the more you could be trusted. If you were in a group, you were more likely to contribute the requested donation. Group dynamics can be relevant on decision-making and stereotypes do not always apply.

The proof of honesty is in the pudding or in this case the tea. Maybe we are not as devious as some think and perhaps more likely to be honest.

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2 Responses to Are you Honest? How do stack up?

  1. Andrea says:

    Words of wisdom, Mike! People say they don’t trust politicians, yet are still willing to elect known liars such as Weiner. That sort of implies that people don’t mind electing liars and then complaining that they don’t trust them.

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