This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Attention Salt Lakers: Twelve percent of those among us are filthy liars.
Or at least thirsty liars.
That's according to Honest Tea's National Honesty Index, a nonscientific social experiment by the bottled organic tea company. The test: Pop-up kiosks are filled with Honest Tea and Honest Ade beverages, with a sign advertising $1 per bottle "on the honor system."
Salt Lake City scored 88 percent in 44th place, below the national average of 92 percent one year after scoring 100 percent and seeming to prove that you can't spell scruple without SLC. This year's booth was set up July 11 at the Olympic Legacy Plaza in The Gateway.
Sixty-one locations across all 50 U.S. states were tested, with Alabama and Hawaii earning perfect scores. The least honest place? Dirty rotten Washington, D.C., as any Utah Republican could already tell you. The nation's capital saw just 80 percent of participants pay for their drinks.
Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, said in a news release that the D.C. residents took more than his tea.
"Even though my bicycle was stolen the same day as our D.C. experiment, it's reassuring to know that 92 percent of Americans will do the right thing even when it seems no one is watching," Goldman said.
Some other tidbits: Women (95 percent) beat men (91 percent), blondes (95 percent) were most trustworthy, and people in groups (96 percent) were more likely to be honest.
The experiment has grown significantly in its four years, from just eight cities in 2010. Past bastions of integrity include Boston (2010), Chicago (2011) and Oakland (which tied with Salt Lake City last year).
See more findings at www.NationalHonestyIndex.com.
New Mexico 90%
* Not large enough Sample Size
National average • 92%.