If someone came up to you and said you dropped a $100 bill, what would you do?
Japan is generally known for the politeness of its people, but they are also known for being a relatively safe country. Part of that safety comes from the honesty of its citizens, which has already been demonstrated in an experiment with a dropped wallet. However, what happens when people aren’t being asked to return something, but rather someone coming up to you willing to hand you free money? The Chinese TV site JokeTV decided to test the morals of Japanese people by seeing how they would react if a young woman stopped them asking whether they’d dropped 10,000 yen (about US$100). As unusual as it would be for Americans to be walking around with a $100 bill, it’s actually pretty common for people in Japan to carry multiple 10,000 yen notes on a daily basis. What happens when faced with the decision to add another bill to the pile?
The video is all in Japanese without English subtitles, but it’s not too difficult to understand what’s going on. All of the participants who were filmed either say that the money isn’t theirs, though sometimes they check their wallet to make sure that they didn’t drop anything. An older lady even tells the young woman that she might get a reward if she turns the money in to the police.
▼ What would you do if someone told you you’d dropped a 10,000 yen note?
According to Livedoor News, a large number of viewers wondered whether a similar experiment in China would yield the same positive results. It turns out that the same experiment was also run in China in late 2016 and showed 15 out of 16 people refusing the dropped cash. Needless to say, both the experiments are nowhere close to exhaustive and you can’t make any sweeping generalizations about either country. However, it’s nice to know that in a random small sampling, you are more likely to run into honest people than dishonest, and that is good enough for us!