Thursday, 23 April 2015

What nations think of each other: honesty

100 people from each of 8 countries were asked to flip a coin and report the result. They got a cash reward (either $3 or $5) if they reported heads.

If a group reports completely honestly, we'd expect 50 heads and 50 tails on average. If you get tails, there's an incentive to lie, and if the group is completely dishonest we'd expect 100 heads.

People were then asked to guess how many people (out of 100) from each nation would report heads. This graph shows average guesses, split by the nationality of the guesser, and the nation they were guessing about. Higher numbers and lighter colours mean that the country was expected to be more dishonest.

BR = Brazil
CH = Switzerland
CN = China
GR = Greece
JP = Japan
RU = Russia
TR = Turkey
US = United States

Some highlights:
  • The Greeks had a poor reputation, especially among other Greeks.
  • Everyone thought that Japanese people would be very honest.
  • Chinese people expected almost every nation to be honest, except the Greeks – and themselves.
  • People tended to expect their compatriots to be more dishonest than average (74% vs 66%)