Most Honest Americans Found in Alabama and Hawaii; Least Honest in…Washington, D.C.

Thursday, July 25, 2013
(photo: Honest Tea)

More than 90% of Americans unknowingly passed an informal test about honesty this month, according to the beverage company Honest Tea.


The company set up more than 60 unmanned kiosks around the U.S., with at least one in every state, offering cups of tea for $1. Each location included a drop box for the payment.


Overall, 92% of Americans who visited the stands paid their buck. In Alabama and Hawaii, everyone paid without exception. Folks in Indiana and Maine did almost as well, achieving a 99% honesty score.


But in Washington, DC, about 20% took a drink without paying. The least honest (after DC) were West Virginia (85% paid) and Texas and Kentucky (both 87%). The morality level in DC was so low that someone even stole a bicycle belonging to the Honest Tea’s founder.


Men and women were nearly equally honest, with females taking a slight edge, 95% to 91%. Blondes were more honest than bald people 95% to 90% and people who wore glasses were more honest than men with “5 o’clock shadow” 94% to 88%.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Experiment Finds D.C. Residents are the Least Honest Americans (Agence France-Presse)

The National Honesty Index (Honest Tea)

Surprise: Studies Show Rich People are more Unethical than Poor People (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)       


John 7 years ago
Well I can see a that a good Alabama Southern living is where to go.
Katharyn Privett 7 years ago
Bless Their Hearts, Mallory. Not everyone has good home-training. :) Katharyn (Auburn, Alabama)
Noah 7 years ago
So many whiners and butthurt people You're probably the dishonest lot aren't ya..
Andrew 7 years ago
The bike was taken from Bethesda, MD! It said so in an article on WTOP.
StophatingDC 7 years ago
Why is DC constantly being put up against states? Not only is it NOT a state, it's also primarily occupied by tourists and people who are not from DC. I know it's the norm to look at the District of Columbia as this morally bankrupt place full of evil politicians and corporate lobbyists, but the vast majority of people who actually live there are not rich, not in politics, and are decent hardworking people.
Mallory Bear 7 years ago
Not only are we Alabamians more honest, but we are also very much more mannerly!!!! Could it be that those making disparaging remarks about the validity of the trial are totally dishonest!
Shavon 7 years ago
^^^^^^^^There are a lot of homeless people foraging for free goods everywhere, Dweeb.
bliggidy blang 7 years ago
Here in DC, citizens from all states are equally dishonest...theres something in the water...or perhaps the tea?
Etacet 7 years ago
Does anyone else see the absurdity in the conclusion drawn from this particular experiment? The experiment is so filled with erroneous assumptions, and designed so badly in terms of sampling, it is worthless.
Dweeb 7 years ago
There are a lot of homeless people foraging for free goods in DC. Did this "study" account for this? Probably not. Also what about race/ethnicity, and age?

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