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Washington D.C. is least honest city in America, study says

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Customers walk outside a Honest Tea booth (Yahoo! News)

Customers walk outside a Honest Tea booth (Yahoo! News)

For the second year in a row, residents of our nation’s capital have proven themselves the most likely to steal a dollar from your pocket. At least, that’s according to one unusual new study, which found Washington, D.C. to be the least honest city or state in the nation.

The makers of Honest Tea conducted the survey, which involved setting up an unmanned booth with bottles of their product on display. Customers were asked to use the honor system and leave $1 for each bottle of tea they took.

In the end, 80 percent of Washingtonians paid for their beverage. But that was still far less than the national average of 92 percent.

“As a company, Honest Tea values transparency,” National Honesty Index spokesman Dan Forman told Yahoo! News. “To touch on this, the company thought creating a light-hearted social experiment that takes a look at honest in America would be a good way to start a conversation about honesty and how society values it. “

And to add to the irony of the experiment, Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman said he had his bike stolen while traveling to the D.C. booth. He said he had even chained the bike up before leaving it for a few hours.

Now, a tea test is far from the final word on a city or state’s total measurement of honesty. But this is not the only study to find D.C. atop some less than ideal rankings. For example, a 2012 study found that workers in D.C. curse on the job more than of their colleagues around the nation .

This is the fourth year that Honest Tea has conducted their little experiment, during which they visited all 50 states and 61 locations in total.

Alabama and Hawaii tied for the most honest states, where 100 percent of customers paid for their tea.

West Virginia was considered the second least honest state, with 85 percent of people paying for their tea.

Still, as Forman notes, a large majority of Americans paid for their drinks even in those so-called least honest states.

“We were delighted to see that people in the U.S. were so honest,” he said. “There is so much negative rhetoric put out there. It’s encouraging to know that in reality, when faced with a choice to do the right thing or steal, 92 percent of people in the U.S. chose to do the right thing.”

Forman says the company will continue to tweak its honesty tests in future years to better measure how people respond to various scenarios testing their responses.

The full state rankings:

State/City

% HONEST

Alabama

100%

Hawaii

100%

Indiana

99%

Maine

99%

Iowa

98%

Nevada

98%

Oklahoma

98%

Tennessee

98%

Alaska

96%

Arkansas

96%

California

96%

Nebraska

96%

New Jersey

96%

North Dakota

96%

Oregon

96%

Washington

96%

Ohio

95%

Vermont

95%

Virginia

95%

Illinois

94%

Minnesota

94%

South Carolina

94%

Wyoming

94%

Colorado

93%

Georgia

93%

Massachusetts

93%

Montana

93%

New Hampshire

93%

Rhode Island

93%

Wisconsin

93%

Florida

92%

Michigan

92%

Missouri

92%

New York

91%

Pennsylvania

91%

Idaho

90%

Kansas

90%

New Mexico

90%

North Carolina

90%

South Dakota

90%

Connecticut

89%

Maryland

89%

Delaware

88%

Utah

88%

Kentucky

87%

Texas

87%

West Virginia

85%

District of Columbia

80%

Louisiana

*

Arizona

*

Mississippi

*

*

Not large enough Sample Size

Total


Average

92%

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