A Brilliant Honesty Experiment To See if 200 Wallets Dropped Across the United States Get Returned

Former NASA engineer Mark Rober (previously) arranged a rather wonderful experiment in which he and a number of co-conspirators casually dropped 200 identical wallets around towns and cities across the United States to see if people would return it or not. Each of the wallets contained a small amount of money, a picture-less ID card, a sonogram photo (“It’s a boy”), a picture of a puppy and a phone number to call if found.

After analyzing the resulting data, Rober was able to determine that, no matter age, income background, religion, neighborhood, state, housing status or gender, most people are essentially honest. A point that is often overlooked, but very much appreciated.

So much of what you see online is meant to stoke outrage at some group of people versus ourselves, because that’s what gets shared and that begins to warp our perspectives …But this cold hard data shows that across any age or gender or socio-economic background, across the whole religious spectrum, through middle of America and along the coast there are lots of good people everywhere. And not only that but they constitute a majority …they did it because it was simply the right thing to do and I think that’s pretty cool.

200 Dropped Wallets