Posts tagged with "Honesty"

In a moment that evokes spirit of John McCain, candidate Pete Buttigieg stands against racism

July 8, 2019

At a July 4 campaign event in Iowa, Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg emphatically reproached a man for a racist comment. It was a move that brought back stunning memories of Senator John McCain during his own presidential run in 2008, when he clapped back at a woman’s suspicions about Barack Obama at a town hall meeting—saying, “I have to tell you. Senator Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States.”

The issue that provoked the biased remark in Iowa actually had originated in mid-June. At that time, Buttigieg—who currently is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana—pulled himself off the campaign trail for a few days in the wake the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer in his hometown. Since then, he has been asked—by both the press and the electorate—to directly address the issues of race and policing.

At the July 4 barbecue, David Begley of Omaha, Nebraska, took the spotlight when he suggested to Mayor Pete, “Just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crimes and doing drugs.”

“Sir, I think that racism is not going to help us get out of this,” Buttigieg told Begley, according to a report by CNN Politics.

Buttigieg added.The fact that a black person is four times as likely as a white person to be incarcerated for the exact same crime is evidence there’s systemic racism. It is evidence of systemic racism, and with all due respect, sir, racism makes it harder for good police officers to do their job too.”

He went on to say, “When black people and white people are treated the same by the criminal justice system, it will be easier for white people and black people to live in this country and it will be easier for law enforcement to do their job. But racism has no place in American politics or in American law enforcement.”

“He dismissed me as a racist, which I resent,” Begley told CNN in an interview afterward.

However, Buttigieg has won praise—not only for saying that racism has no place in America, but for honestly admitting that he wanted to make the South Bend Police Department more diverse, but hadn’t yet accomplished the job.

Buttigieg was asked about the shooting during the first Democratic presidential debate and was asked why South Bend’s police force isn’t more diverse.

“Because I couldn’t get it done,” he said at the debate.

“We are hurting. I could walk you through all of the things we have done as a community,” he added. “All of the steps we took, from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan. When I look into his mother’s eyes, I have to face the fact that nothing that I say will bring him back.”

Buttigieg first acknowledged that he had “not succeeded” in recruiting a diverse police force in a tense town hall in South Bend following the shooting.

Research contact: @CNN

Ethics and greed: Would you return a lost wallet?

June 24, 2019

Finders keepers, losers weepers? Most of us would keep a penny (or even a $1 bill) that we found in the street, without even thinking about it. But what if one of us found a notebook with a name and phone number on it? Or a wallet full of money and payments cards? (And there was nobody around to see—and judge—our actions.)

Recently, three researchers—Alain Cohn from the School of Information, University of Michigan, Michael André Maréchal from the Department of Economics a the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and David Tannenbaum of the Department of Management at the University of Utah— conducted a real-world study on ethics and greed.

The results established that we are much more honorable and trustworthy than we might assume.

In fact, most subjects in the three-year study were more apt to return a wallet when there was money and plastic inside it. And the more money, the better the chances that people would return it, The New York Times reported last week in its coverage of the research.

Experts say the study, published June 20 in the journal, Science, suggests that policymakers and businesses might better prevent dishonest behaviors, such as lying on tax returns, by using moral carrots instead of punitive sticks.

“It shows that when we make a decision whether to be dishonest or not, it’s not only ‘What can I get out of it versus what’s the punishment, what’s the effort?’” Nina Mazar, a behavioral scientist at Boston University who was not involved in the study told the news outlet in an interview. “It actually matters that people have morals and they like to think of themselves as good human beings.”

For the study, researchers planted 17,303 wallets in 355 cities on every continent except Antarctica. The American segment, conducted in 2015, involved 25 cities including Albuquerque, Chicago, Memphis, and New York.

The wallets, transparent business card cases with contents instantly visible, contained three business cards with a male name common to that country (e.g., Dimitri Ivanov for Russia, Tono Hendrianta for Indonesia, Peter Kihiga for Kenya). The American names were Brad O’Brien, Brett Miller, and Connor Baker.

Each business card listed an email address and identified the man as a freelance software engineer so people wouldn’t try contacting employers, the Times said.

Each wallet also contained a key and a handwritten grocery list in the native language: milk (or a locally analogous drink), bread, pasta (or rice or noodles), bananas. Some wallets had no money inside; some had $13.45 in local currency, adjusted to a comparable value for each country.

According to the New York Times report, research assistants walked into post offices, hotels, police stations, banks, museums or similar places, approached someone at the reception desk and said, “Hi, I found this on the street around the corner.” They slid the wallet toward the person, saying “Somebody must have lost it. I’m in a hurry and have to go. Can you please take care of it?”

In all but two countries, more people emailed to return wallets containing money than cashless wallets. Only Peru and Mexico bucked that pattern, but those results were too slight to be statistically significant, the researchers said. On average, 40% of people given cashless wallets reported them, compared with 51% of people given wallets with money.

Researchers were surprised, the news outlet noted. But then they ran the experiment again in three countries (Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States), adding “big money” wallets containing $94.15. The difference was even starker. Way more people emailed to return the wallets with the larger amount: 72% compared with 61% of people given wallets containing $13.45 and 46% of people given cashless wallets.

Why?

“The evidence suggests that people tend to care about the welfare of others and they have an aversion to seeing themselves as a thief,” said researcher Alain Cohn, People given wallets with more money have more to gain from dishonesty, but that also increases “the psychological cost of the dishonest act.”

Overall, different nationalities showed different rates of reporting lost wallets. Switzerland and several Scandinavian countries had the highest rates; China and Morocco had the lowest. The United States was in the middle. Americans were about as likely to report wallets containing money as people in Spain, France and Russia.

Research contact:  adcohn@umich.edu

If truth be told (even in tourism campaigns): ‘Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.

October 19, 2018

Most of us would not put a trip to Nebraska on our bucket list. In fact, the 2016-17 Portrait of American Travelers puts Nebraska last out of all 50 states in terms of people “likely to visit” in the next two years.

And of those who did visit the Cornhusker State last year, the Nebraska Tourism Commission admits that 92.7% arrived on August 21, 2017, for the total solar eclipse—and left shortly thereafter. Sadly enough, of those who blew in for that event, a majority (61%) of out-of-state visitors said they would not have made the trip to Nebraska otherwise.

Thus, when it came to rolling out a new tourism campaign this week, the commission opted for a new strategy—honesty. The slogan is “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

So who is it for? The marketing campaign goes on to say, “If you like experiences that are unpretentious and uncomplicated or if you enjoy escaping the big city life for moments of solitude in the open plains, creating your own fun or exploring the quirkiness the state has to offer, chances are, you will like it here.”

In 2017, before creating the campaign, the Nebraska Tourism Commission had Brand Lever, a brand consultancy specializing in destination marketing, conduct research. They discovered that consumers don’t consider Nebraska a leisure travel destination, and because they don’t view the state that way, most won’t put forth the effort to find or research things to do in the state. Therefore, the goal of this new campaign is to change the perception there is nothing to do in Nebraska.

“It was important to the Nebraska Tourism staff, marketing committee and Commissioners to be true to who we are and honest about what we are not.  Along each step of the way we were heavily involved in discovering ourselves and what those outside of our borders thought and felt,” Deb Loseke, Nebraska Tourism Commission Chair said in a prepared statement. “So we discovered that we can’t offer something to everyone – but to those that we can, this campaign speaks to their sense of adventure and discovering what we as Nebraskans are all about.”

Because of the marketing challenge Nebraska faces, the campaign needs to be disruptive. Nebraska’s qualities of warm and welcoming are good, but the campaign needs to go beyond that. The new approach addresses people’s preconceived notions about the state using self-deprecating humor.

“What we set out to do is create a brand that is rooted in a core human value that is shared by Nebraskans and potential visitors to the state,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “The new brand platform is defined by honesty. The overarching concept of honesty is rooted in a mindset that values transparency, purity and simplicity. A way of embracing the not-so-obvious bits of life. We feel we’ve accomplished just that.”

Last spring, the campaign was tested in key out-of-state markets that have the greatest potential to deliver visitors. Testing proved that the advertising effectively overcomes significant hurdles Nebraska faces as a leisure destination, the campaign increased the likelihood to visit for most or increased their potential time in the state. Respondents also recognized and understood the self-deprecating humor and it worked well for them, in fact, the humor is a key reason why the campaign was so well received.

“I think the brilliance of the campaign is it captures the essence of who we are in Nebraska, while also understanding the type of consumer who is attracted to who we are and speaks right to them,” said David Fudge, Nebraska Travel Association (NETA) president. “It also frees those of us on the front lines to be authentic with people who come into our facilities.”

The content was created from a statewide photo and video shoot in August 2018. In the advertisements you will find tanking, unique and quirky locations like Carhenge and Hollywood Candy, conservation photographer Michael Forsberg roaming the Great Plains, Toadstool Geologic Park and more.

The look and feel of the campaign will carry over into VisitNebraska.com, the official Nebraska Travel Guide and on social media using #HonestlyNE.

The new campaign will begin in spring of 2019 in key out-of-state markets.

Research contact: erin.lenz@nebraska.gov