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Once ranked most honest city, SLC drops to 44th place

By Cait Orton | Posted - Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 4:49pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly a year after coming in on top as the most honest city in the country, Salt Lake City dropped drastically in rankings and earned 44th place in the recent Honest Tea’s National Honesty Index.

The social experiment gathered data from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Honest Tea set up stocked, unmanned kiosks and used an honor system asking customers to pay $1 for their beverages.

The experiment took place July 8-18 and more than 60 locations were tested to tally the number of people who actually paid for the beverages. Utah’s Honest Tea kiosk was set up at Olympic Legacy Plaza in The Gateway.

The national average of people paying for their beverage was 92 percent, while Utahns only paid for their drink 88 percent of the time. Three states — Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi — didn’t have sample sizes big enough to make a conclusion.

At the top of the list are Alabama and Hawaii, tied for first with 100 percent honesty. At the bottom is Washington, D.C with 80 percent.

The company also tallied in gender and physical characteristics like hair color, facial hair, hair length and whether the person wore a hat or glasses into the results.

“Overall, women are more honest than men (95 percent versus 91 percent),” the company said in a news release, adding that the 2013 statistics are the same as 2012 in that bracket.

The results also found that people with longer hair are more honest than those with short hair — 94 percent versus 91 percent, respectively. The news release stated those buying in groups were more likely to be honest as well.

“We’ve conducted our experiment in different cities over the past few years, but this is the first time we’ve conducted the experiment on a national scale,” Seth Goldman, co-founder of the company, said in the news release.”It’s reassuring to know that 92 percent of Americans will do the right thing even when it seems no one is watching.”

Interactive results are available on the company’s website. People can enter in their own characteristics to see how honest those in their gender and physical characteristics bracket were.

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