Comments about ‘Social experiment shows Utah one of least honest states in country (+ video)’

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Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 2:40 p.m. MDT

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BYUtah Fan
Herriman, UT

Keep in mind that good Mormons do not drink tea. So they would be excluded from the set of "honest" people in Utah. Try setting up a chocolate milk stand.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Since a good percentage of people in this state doesn't drink tea, it's harder to get an overall accurate picture. Interesting idea nevertheless.

The other issue is the placement of these kiosk.

But that's why it's non-scientific.

Santa Clarita, CA

This experiment excluded all active, Temple recommend holding members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they do not drink tea. It would be interesting if they would repeat the experiment with something like lemonade.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

So, this experiment gives us an unscientific look at how honest tea drinkers are. If you want a more representative sampling of the overall population, use bags of M&Ms.

Provo, UT

Interesting - perhaps it is accurate to find some correlation between tea-drinking and dishonesty in Utah. Who exactly would this survey be selecting?

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

Yeah put it in SLC. Great idea for an experiment about honesty. Try the same thing in Provo and see what you get.

Kaysville, UT

Location, location, location.
Downtown SLC is not reflective of Utah.

Capitol T
Stafford, VA

I have another theory. The first time I saw Honest T lemonade I thought that I would try it. It was the most disgusting beverage I had tried that claimed to be lemonade. Another guy at the table laughed and said the same about the one time he tried it. With an easy way to ask for your money back, my guess is that some frugal participants asked for their money back and received it. Warning, stay away from Honest T lemonade. Just sayin. Utah being one of the least honest states with 88 percent leaving money isn't too bad, I am shocked that anyone felt obligated to pay after tasting.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

The only way to improve the value of this experiment would be to set up an alcohol kiosk on Temple Square.

I understand that teas is the company's product. But they have to take local preferences into account.

Salt Lake City, UT

That's right, of course it's not the Good Mormons. They don't drink tea. But you know the old joke about why you take two Mormons fishing with you, right?

Santa Clarita, CA

The point is not about good Mormons vs. bad Mormons or Mormons vs. non-Mormons. But the truth is, this experiment excluded a significant portion of the Utah population. Yes, it was an unscientific poll, and it's not that big of a deal.

It's just that I'd be curious to see what the results were with a different drink.

Leo Femedlers
El Paso, TX

I lived in upstate NY for several years. The first time I saw an unmanned honey kiosk sitting by the side of the road I thought I was hallucinating. As we stopped we also saw that the vendor had placed stacks of coins by their denomination so that customers could make their own change. I had never seen anything like that nor have I ever since. A few years ago when I was back visiting the same area I had the good fortune of talking to the owner as he was present that day. We discussed his kiosk and I asked him if he had lost money. He admitted that he had but it was worth more to him to place his trust in the passers by. Repeat offenders were asked not to return. (He could see his kiosk from his home some 50 yards away.) And his honey was amazing! Different colors, different flavors, with no added ingredients. Good stuff!

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Utah is well known for its financial fraud schemes, so this doesn't surprise me. Those people who think that the Provo area is more honest than SLC better think again. A larger number of Ponzi schemes were found to be in Utah County.

Zadruga Guy
West Jordan, UT

The success of Ponzi schemes in Utah is evidence FOR Utah being an overall honest state. A Ponzi scheme requires the victims to be very trusting in order for the scheme to work. I think there is a high correlation between people who are trusting and people who are honest.

Salt Lake City, UT

Most states seem to be between 85 and 95%. Depending on how many beverages they had at each stand, it might not even be all that statistically significant a difference between the city ranked 40th and the city (since it's picking one isolated location in the state I think the use of city rather than state is more accurate) ranked 10th.

Provo, UT

The 2013 "experiment" results don't correspond with those reported for a similar "experiment" in Salt Lake City in 2012, where 100% of the participants were "honest". Perhaps the experimental parameters were changed. Perhaps the sample size was insufficient.

In any case, I tend to be rather suspicious of anyone trying to market tea products in Utah, with "honesty", or on any other basis.

St. George, Utah

Lets leave the LDS Church out of this discussion, I feel bad of the findings though non scientific. This show our society at its worse no mater what the product or the location of the test. My question is were there other people near by that saw the theft and said or did nothing? I always hate to see the results of these kind of tests, they say a lot about our society no matter what the excuses are.


Yes, a more interesting experiment for UT would've been with a different product.


it is ridiculous to put forth the proposition that no "active Temple attending" Mormons don't lie or cheat. (why do we need locks for the lockers?)

I remember the experiments in "Tipping Point" conducted at corporations which showed the higher up one was, the more dishonesty there was.

West Jordan, UT

This study does miss a lot of crucial facts. It is based on percentages-which if anyone has taken a statistics class, they can tell you that numbers are easily distorted. Second, location-comparing apples to apples is essential for viable data. Third, as many have mentioned, a large portion of this state has moral issues with the actual drink.

However, it does show interesting and even encouraging results nationwide as far as integrity of individuals.

West Jordan, UT

Also, for those who think Provo is next to heaven, think again. As a former manager of a restaurant in Provo near BYU, I can say that every September, we had to purchase new silverware in mass due to theft. Yes, our silverware was taken right after fall semester began. I might have thought it to be a coincidence had it not happened for 8 years in a row.

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