Study: Variations in Honesty Among Countries

Posted on November 17, 2015

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In a recent study conducted by researchers form the University of East Anglia (UEA), participants were asked to flip a coin and state whether it landed on 'heads' or 'tails'. They knew if they reported that it landed on heads, they would be rewarded monetarily.

The same participants were then asked to complete a music quiz where they were again rewarded financially if they answered all questions correctly. They were asked not to search for the answers on the internet - in other words, not to cheat. Data from the tests was compared to estimate whether people from particular countries were more likely to tell the truth.

The countries studied include Brazil, China, Greece, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, Argentina, Denmark, the United Kingdom, India, Portugal, South Africa, and South Korea - chosen to provide a mix of regions, levels of development and levels of social trust.

There was evidence for dishonesty in all the countries, but levels varied significantly. Dr Hugh-Jones, who led the study, said there was increasing interest in the cultural and behavioural roots of economic development. While the honesty of countries related to their economic growth - poor countries were less honest than rich ones - honesty may be less important to a country's economic growth in present times than during earlier periods in history.

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Category(s):Other, Values Clarification

Source material from Medical News Today