The Wallet Test

 Posted by on 11 October 2007 at 6:40 am  Uncategorized
Oct 112007

This group dropped 100 wallets in a public place (each containing a small amount of cash, a fake $50 gift certificate, and an ID) in front of a hidden camera in order to see who would keep the wallet and who would return it. They then tabulated their results, including a breakdown by age, race, and gender. There’s also a FAQ and a short 8-minute video about the project.

They are careful to make the following disclaimer:

Note: It was not the intention of this experiment to make any particular group look bad, reinforce stereotypes nor to further a hidden agenda of any kind. The actions of a few members in a group should not, of course, be used to judge the whole group.

Of course, there’s plenty of online discussion, questions, and ranting about the meaning and significance of the results.

For those who care, it is technically a crime to take a lost wallet in Illinois, where the test was performed (720 ILCS 5/16-2 “Theft of Lost or Mislaid Property”.) This may or may not be widely known amongst the general population however.

(Via Clicked.)

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