altruistic: doing things to help other people without expecting anything in return
17,000 Lost Wallets Around The World: Are People More Honest Than We Thought?
Researchers dropped 17,000 wallets and found something interesting about honesty. People returned lost wallets with money, more than empty wallets. They tested this idea in Finland first. Then, they tried it in 40 countries with over 17,000 wallets. In 38 countries, people were more likely to return wallets with money. This was a surprise because experts thought the opposite would happen.
In the first experiment, they compared empty wallets with wallets that had $13. They later tried the experiment with wallets that had $100. The greater the amount of money, the more the wallets were returned.
Are humans more altruistic than previously thought? If so, why does the amount of money affect honesty? One possible reason is people do not want to think of themselves as dishonest. The more money is in the wallet, the more not returning it would feel like stealing. Another theory is that the more money there is in a wallet, the more empathy we have towards the person who lost it.
1. My neighbor is very altruistic; she always helps others in our community.
2. The charity is run by altruistic volunteers who want to make a difference.
3. Our teacher encouraged us to be more altruistic and help our classmates.
What Dropping 17,000 Wallets Around The Globe Can Teach Us About Honesty