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Experiment

Honesty Experiment  (c) Jenny Jenkins 2015    https://sites.google.com/site/valueslessons     

Goal 
To discover whether a person's level of honesty affects their self esteem as it does their health.
Have the students complete the following anonymous survey honestly before introducing this lesson.

Survey

Answer both questions by filling in the spaces with these one of these words:

(Write the first word choice that comes into your mind.)

1. never  2. occasionally  3. often  4.  usually  5. always


A. I am............................... happy with myself, just the way I am.

B. I ................................ tell others the truth.


Collect the survey papers, add up the class scores for each question and divide by the number of students to get an indication of the level of pupil self satisfaction and honesty. See if there is a co-relation between students happiness and honesty.

Lesson

Anita E. Kelly, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame ran a research project called The Science of Honesty. 
Kelly and her team recruited 72 adults and randomly assigned them to two groups: a Sincerity group and a control group. 
The control group wasn’t given specific instructions (other than they’d be in a study for the next five weeks, topic unstated). 
The sincerity group was given the following mandate:“Throughout every day of the next five weeks, you must speak honestly, truthfully, and sincerely — not only about the big things, but also about the small things, such as why you were late. You must always mean what you say.”
During the next five weeks, both groups came to the lab for tests and standard measures of physical health. 
By the fifth and final week, Kelly says that the results were “amazing.” 
The Sincerity group reported significantly less physical health symptoms than the control group – specifically fewer sore throats, headaches, and nausea. 
They also reported fewer mental health complaints like feeling tense.
The conclusion of the study that was consistently telling the truth makes a noticeable difference to your health.
Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2014/08/10/how-telling-the-truth-could-keep-you-healthier/

Introduce the Class Challenge:
For three weeks, each of us are to do our very best to keep to the same mandate. (Have the one below printed and displayed on the wall.)
Let's say it together: 
“Throughout each day, 
I will speak honestly, 
truthfully, and sincerely
Not only about the big things, 
but also about the small things. 
I will always mean what I say.” 

Each day for the next three weeks, read the mandate, together or alone. Ask for feedback on how the students are doing.
At the end of the three weeks, ask the students to once again fill out the 2 question anonymous survey, giving no hint that it is related to the Challenge.
Compare the results and share them with the class as in Question 4 below.

Discussion Questions  (End of third week)
1. Did it get any easier as you went along? At what point.
2. Do you think you have become a more honest person as a result of this challenge?
3. Has anyone noticed any improvement to their health over the last 3 weeks? Can you share?
4. Who thinks they are happier about with themselves than they were 3 weeks ago? (Share the results of your experiment.) Why do you think this is?
5. Who thinks they are more honest than they were 3 weeks ago? If you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit. This means that those of you who took this challenge seriously are now making more honest decisions than before. You can choose to stay honest, or you can choose to slip back into dishonesty in your relationships with others. You can stay at this level of honesty, one choice at a time, or you can lose it, one choice at a time. Who you become is completely up to you. Which do you choose?

Image source: http://images.clipartpanda.com/man-thinking-image-q-man-thinking-7.gif http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/ncB/5K7/ncB5K7BcA.png