If you accidentally dented someone's car late at night, would
you leave a note? Would you feel bad for stealing a
promotion-worthy idea? Researchers at PsychTests put people on the
MONTREAL, May 14, 2022
/PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- How honest was "Honest Abe," aka Abraham Lincoln? One story tells of his job as a
store clerk where he would tirelessly track down customers if he
had accidentally short-changed them. Another tells of a reporter
who was writing Lincoln's 1860 biography, and had mistakenly
assumed that the soon-to-be president was well-versed on Plutarch.
Lincoln not only made it a point to buy and read one of Plutarch's
books, he also informed the reporter of what he had done. Although
it would be fair to say that most people these days are not nearly
as much of a stickler for honesty as Abraham Lincoln was, research from
PsychTests.com reveals that on average, the majority are fairly
Analyzing data collected from 5,395 people who took the
Integrity and Work Ethics Test, PsychTests' researchers examined
how people would behave in different moral dilemmas. Here's what
their statistics reveal:
THE FOLLOWING PERCENTAGES REFLECT THE PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THE
TRANSGRESSIONS BELOW TOTALLY OR MOSTLY ACCEPTABLE:
> 9% of people think it's acceptable to keep extra change
($5) instead of returning it to the
> If they found a wallet in a restaurant bathroom, 6% feel it's
okay to take all the money inside but give the rest of the wallet,
including the credit cards, to the manager.
> 45% believe it's fine to cross the street on a red light if
there are no cars around.
> 39% have no problem with a mother who allows her child to take
packets of condiments from a restaurant.
> 19% agree with a father who tells his 13-year-old to pretend
to be 11 in order to get into a movie for free.
> 19% don't feel there is anything wrong with illegally
> 16% think it's acceptable to buy pirated copies of movies.
> 6% believe it would be fair to keep a package of imported
foods if the mailman accidentally delivered it to the wrong
> 10% have nothing against someone who throws their cigarette
butt on the sidewalk.
> 37% are fine with a teenager who visits a popular makeup
boutique in order to get free samples rather than purchasing what
> If a person accidentally dents a car late at night, 5% of
people think it's okay not to leave a note and to simply drive
Once a rule is broken or a dishonest act is committed, some
people may struggle with a guilty conscience and some may not. Here
is what PsychTests' study revealed about people who feel only
somewhat remorseful or not remorseful at all after committing a
> 36% would not feel very remorseful for breaking a piece of
equipment at work and covering it up.
> 21% would not feel very remorseful for allowing a colleague to
take the fall for a mistake they themselves made.
> 22% would not feel very remorseful for making a hurtful
comment that caused a colleague to spend the rest of the day
> 56% would not feel very remorseful for accidentally eating a
> 23% would not feel very remorseful for spreading a rumor that
prevented a colleague from getting the promotion that they
> 63% would not feel very remorseful for refusing to help a new
(and panicky) junior employee prepare for a presentation.
> 21% would not feel very remorseful for stealing a colleague's
idea and getting a raise and promotion as a result of their
brilliant (but pinched) contribution.
"Honesty may appear as a black-and-white issue, but what is
perceived as unseemly is very much a question of perspective
influenced by many different factors. On the extremes it is pretty
much unanimous, but in between lies a huge area in different shades
of gray. Many people feel that certain acts of dishonesty can be
rationalized," explains Dr. Ilona
Jerabek, president of PsychTests. "Take theft, for example.
Ask the average person whether they think it's right or wrong to
steal, and most would probably say that it's generally wrong, but
that it also depends on the situation. When we asked participants
the circumstances in which an employee should be pardoned for minor
theft - food, supplies - 41% said the person should be let off the
hook if he or she puts in a lot of overtime and asks for little in
return. Another 39% said it's forgivable if the employee is having
"And here's an interesting statistic that really puts this
attitude in perspective: The average score on our honesty test was
68, indicating that most people are fairly upstanding," continues
Dr. Jerabek. "However, we also assessed people's level of altruism,
accountability, and empathy, and the averages were 80, 75, and 73
respectively. What this tells us is that for many people, honesty
is not so much about good or bad as it is about intent. Sometimes,
dishonesty stems from fear, desperation, or frustration after years
of unfair treatment. This is not to say that a lack of integrity
can be justified, but perhaps we need to ponder the complexity of
human existence and the particular circumstances before we cast a
Want to assess you level of honesty? Check out the Integrity and
Work Ethics Test by visiting
Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and
therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments
from ARCH Profile's extensive battery:
To learn more about psychological testing, download this free
About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in
1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of
psychological assessment products and services to human resource
personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a
host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc.
staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test
developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial
intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests
AIM Inc., 5147453189, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.