This undated photo provided by researchers in June 2019 shows an example of the contents of a transparent wallet used in an experiment to test how likely people are to return a lost wallet. (Christian Zünd via AP)
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That finding was consistent across 38 of the 40 countries -- the exceptions were Mexico and Peru, where the presence of money made no statistically significant difference to the (low) reporting rate.When reported wallets were collected, 98 percent of the money in them was returned.Why, then, would people be more likely to report a wallet that has more money in it? The researchers propose four factors that determine whether someone with the opportunity to return a wallet will do so: the economic payoff from keeping it, the effort of reporting it, altruistic concern for the owner and an aversion to seeing oneself as a thief. The key is presumably important to the owner, but, in contrast to money, is of no use to the person in possession of the wallet.Wallets with a key and money in them were more likely to be reported to the owner than those with money and no key, suggesting that it was not only concern for one's self-image that motivated the reports.
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