Honest Tea Experiment

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Honest Tea is running an experiment testing, unsurprisingly, the honesty of the average person.  We're rooting for results showing people to be honest, but are not holding our breaths.

Basically, they set up a big display with no attendant.  Bottles of tea are available next to a big sign saying "The Honest Store" and "$1 Each on the Honor System."  There's a clear plastic box to deposit the money.  Hidden from view, and unknown to anyone without an internet connection, Honest employees stand by to note who pays, who doesn't, and demographic characteristics.  It's not a scientific experiment, it's more in good fun.  It's a great promotion, they've got me writing about it, don't they?

About 90% to 92% of people have been paying, which does not sound too bad.  Does this mean that if I leave the keys in my car and 10 people walk by, I should only expect it to be stolen once?

This reminds me of a story my dad told me about an experience he had in ROTC.  He went in to take a test and there were tables set up in a big room.  The instructor said you are working toward being future officers in the U.S. army and we operate on the honor system.  He then told the students to take every other seat and make sure they don't look at each others papers.  Trust and verify, I suppose.

A nice thing about living in Frankenmuth is that we use the honor system all the time.  Many roadside fruit and vegetable stands set out their wares with a box for payment.  They just list the prices.  Apparently, no one steals the merchandise or the money box because the farmers keep doing it.  Some of these stands are on busy state highways so I'm impressed at how few problems people have.

What do you think?  Would you set up a stand and rely on the honor system for payment?  What factors would you consider?

One other point on honesty.  Did you know that Coca-Cola now owns Honest Tea?  Do you care?

Thanks for reading.  Keep in mind that if you login to Tozy Tea and post a response, you can earn TeaPoints good toward cash discounts on our products.  Enjoy your tea!


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