Would Israelis take advantage of a blind man?

Social experiment tests how Israelis react to 'blind man' asking for 20 shekel change - of a 200 shekel bill. The results? See for yourself.

Ari Soffer ,

Blind man (illustration)
Blind man (illustration)
iStock

Anyone who's ever spent a considerable amount of time in Israel will have become acquainted with the disarming tendency of Israelis to offer (sometimes very much unsolicited) help to members of the public they have never met before.

This remarkable sense of brotherhood and mutual responsibility has been exhibited on countless occasions during the ongoing wave of Arab terrorism. Civilians of all ages and stripes have regularly intervened to stop attacks, with countless pieces of CCTV footage showing onlookers running towards, rather than away from, the scene of attacks to help, despite the danger. Several heroic citizens have even been killed in the process of attempting to save others.

So the results of an Israeli student's social experiment into how Israelis would react to a "blind man" handing them the wrong change are hardly surprising - if nonetheless still remarkable.

In recent months a number of similar social experiments (both real and staged) have been circulated online, showing how members of the public in the US and Australia react when asked for change of a 5 or 10 dollar bill by a "blind man", who then offers them a much greater sum "by accident." The results tend to be mixed; while many quickly explain his mistake, others are seemingly happy to take advantage of the situation.

But in Israel, not a single individual in dozens of scenarios hesitated for a second before explaining to the "blind" man that his 20-shekel note was in fact a 100 or 200 bill.

In one case, a total stranger gave him 20 shekels without taking anything in return.

So - surprising? No. But inspiring? Most definitely.




top