University of East Anglia via EurekAlert:
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Research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has found that people’s honesty varies significantly between countries.
It also suggests that honesty is less important to a country’s current economic growth than during earlier periods in history.
The study examined whether people from different countries were more or less honest and how this related to a country’s economic development. More than 1500 participants from 15 countries took part in an online survey involving two incentivised experiments, designed to measure honest behaviour.
Firstly, they 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 with $3 or $5. If the proportion reporting heads was more than 50 per cent in a given country, this indicated that people were being dishonest.
The same participants were then asked to complete a music quiz where they were again rewarded financially if they answered all questions correctly.