4

Some Brazilians love to say that we are a dishonest country (which some people call Jeitinho Brasileiro). Someone even created an article on Wikipedia for this so-called behaviour.

I don't believe that dishonesty is inherent to any country or culture, but I've never seen any good study that endorse this.

There is this experiment where they "lost" 12 wallets with $50 on purpose in 16 cities. It's clear that there are some problems with this experiment. For instance, 12 wallets is a small number for scientific purposes.

There is also this one, which was a survey asking some travellers around the globe about their honesty. The problem with this is that they just asked people hoping that everybody would answer honestly (relevant question on Skeptics). Also, honest people might be more willing to answer this survey than dishonest people.

5
  • I'm not really sure if this question can be answered with empirical data.
    – My Name
    May 2 '15 at 15:26
  • It isn't clear what the claim is here, and whether that is testable. The Wikipedia article doesn't talk about honesty, but resourcefulness and cunning. The lost wallet test talks about honesty, but is really measuring something different (valuing others over yourself?). Another option is corruption indexes but that doesn't tell us about day-to-day honesty.
    – Oddthinking
    May 2 '15 at 15:39
  • The Jeitinho article suggests that corruption indexes could be a good proxy measurement.
    – ChrisW
    May 2 '15 at 16:29
  • 1
    "It is a typically Brazilian method of social navigation where an individual can use emotional resources (appeal to emotion), blackmail, family ties, promises, rewards or money to obtain favors or to get an advantage". Isn't this related to honesty? May 2 '15 at 16:38
  • 2
    The 'Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index' is based on opinions. "The 13 surveys/assessments are either business people opinion surveys or performance assessments from a group of analysts." May 2 '15 at 16:38

Browse other questions tagged .