For better or worse, it’s human nature to make assumptions about the people you see and interact with on a daily basis. And especially in a country as big as the United States, it’s easy to make generalizations about people from regions and cities different than the ones we come from. That’s what makes experiments like this lost wallet “honesty test” from YouTuber Mark Rober so interesting — and enlightening!
In an attempt to find out which people are the most honest, Rober devised an experiment that involved dropping 200 wallets (each designed to appear legitimate) around 20 different parts of the US and Canada. He then compiled findings about which wallets were returned and in what condition.
While it’s imperative to watch the full video to truly grasp Rober’s findings, there are some important highlights to note. More than half of the wallets were returned, and nearly all of those were returned with the money still inside. The “honesty” of wealthy people was on par with that of lower-income test subjects, and women were basically equal in their honesty with men.
The most “honest” test locations — read: the places where 100 percent of the wallets were returned — were Chicago and Salt Lake City. The returners were an average age of 36, the majority identified as nonreligious, and some even went so far as to post on social media seeking their respective wallet’s owner.
Watch the full video above to see the experiment in detail, and pay special attention to Rober’s takeaway: that all across the nation, there are amazing people who do good things for others without expecting anything in return. More often than not, when given the chance, people will choose to do the right thing — not for recognition or reward, but purely out of the goodness of their hearts.
It’s nice to find a little slice of happy in this crazy world, isn’t it?
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