In the Media

How honest are you?

PUBLISHED January 25, 2012

New research claims we are all a little more dishonest than we used to be, but answer these questions and you may just discover that you are completely scrupulous after all

A survey of 2,000 adults conducted by the Essex Centre for the Study of Integrity has found that people are less honest than they were a decade ago. But the survey itself amounted to a dishonesty test, inviting participants to rate their tolerance of behaviour including littering, adultery and handling stolen goods. What we really need is a more positive test, one that that demonstrates just how honest we can be, in the right circumstances ?

Score each example accordingly: (1) Never justified; (2) Rarely justified; (3) Sometimes justified; (4) Always justified. A score above 35 means a high RVQ (revised integrity quotient). Help yourself to a little reward from the nearest honesty box.

? Informing a former partner, through intermediaries, that you're worried about how haggard he looks.

? Passing on a dubious but exciting rumour about a colleague, even if it goes against the express wishes of the person who told you.

? Using the internet to tell an anonymous idiot that he is an idiot, anonymously.

? Returning a DVD left in your flat by ex-girlfriend, even if you must travel across town to drop by unannounced because she doesn't seem to be answering her phone.

? Revealing daughter's excellent GCSE results to a friend whose child didn't do very well.

? Admitting to one's employer that a disastrous strategy was actually someone else's idea.

? Giving police officer detailed descriptions of vehicles that were going loads faster than you were.

? Explaining to minicab driver why you've always hated the person you just had dinner with.

? Letting neighbour know, as delicately as possible, that your new car is out of his price range.

? Taking full responsibility for dishonest behaviour in exchange for nothing more than peace of mind and a reduced sentence. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds