It’s weird to see a carton filled with coins bearing a sign that invites you to take some if you need. In normal conditions, no matter how many coins there are, the carton would become empty sooner or later. However, many people suspect that they are being watched as a result of the large number of such social experiments taking place these days.
This test is meaningless. Not only does it fail to reflect the public’s real moral standards, but the company behind the test was in it for publicity. After all, it offered coins only this one time, not always. If it provided coins in many spots around the city and continued to do so every day, then it might be praised as doing a good deed. But obviously, the company dare not to do so. It is not doing a good deed, but only wants to make itself known through marketing.
The company has provided only a little money, and has lost nothing while simultaneously gaining a reputation. By any measurement, it has succeeded. Then who has lost out? - Those that have paid attention to this commercial stunt. More importantly, social morality and credibility have been misunderstood. It seems that this test reveals these cities have a high moral standard, but actually, this is a fictitious moral standard. It’s not a result the public should believe.
When there are so many people around, no one will take the coins unless they are in urgent need. Also, there is a possibility that the whole carton may be taken when beggars see it. What do these results prove? Do you really believe that a city has high moral standards just because the coins increased in the carton? Will you shun a city where the amount of coins decreased? We all know that this test can prove nothing. The designers of this test also know this clearly, but they don’t care, as they only want to attract more publicity.
More worrisome is the fact that a lot of media outlets, rather than making independent and objective judgments on the act, are unanimously praising it.