Readers Digest tested the honesty of hundreds of people in 16 countries by dropping wallets and recording how many were returned – and discovered that people in Helsinki are the most likely to return a found wallet, and Lisbon residents are the most likely to pocket the cash.
Around 200 wallets with a cell phone number, family photography, coupons, business cards and local currency worth around $50 were dropped in parks, shopping malls and on the pavement in 16 cities: New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Helsinki, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbai, Prague, Rio De Janeiro, Warsaw and Zurich.
Ninety of the wallets – almost 50 per cent were returned, the test found. Age, sex or wealth seemed to be no predictor of honesty, the experiment found.
“It is truly inspiring to see that there are so many honest people in the world,” said Readers Digest editor in chief Raimo Moysa. “And most of all, that honesty is valued among young and old, men and women, poor and rich in very different cultures.
In Helsinki, 11 of the 12 wallets dropped around the city were returned, the best result.
“Finns are naturally honest, it’s typical of us,” said business student Lasse Luomakoski, 27, who found a wallet on a Helsinki pedestrian street. “We are a small, quiet, closely-knit community. We have little corruption and we don’t even run red lights.”
Mumbai residents were the second-most-honest people, returning nine of the 12 ‘lost’ wallets. New York City and Budapest came next in the honesty stakes, with eight of the 12 wallets returned.
“I teach my children to be honest, just like my parents taught me,” said Mumbai mother-of-two Vaishali Mhaskar. Three young adults who found wallets in Mumbai called immediately, Readers Digest said.
Less honest were residents in Amsterdam and Moscow, who handed in seven of 12 lost wallets. Berlin and Ljubljana residents handed in six wallets and in London and Warsaw just five wallets were handed in.
So who is most likely to pocket your cash if you loose a wallet? Residents in Lisbon were the least honest, with only one person handing in the wallet. Also less-than-impressive were Bucharest, Rio and Zurich (four wallets handed back), Prague (three wallets) and Madrid (two wallets).
News courtesy of news.com.au