While many do-gooders try to shine the light on the brighter side of humanity each holiday season, emphasizing our potential for charity and brotherhood, one survey company decided to delve into America’s darker side. And it turns out quite a few people have earned spots on the naughty list.
Software company Toluna QuickSurveys polled 2,000 adults from across the U.S., asking them in an online questionnaire whether they commit lump-of-coal acts like parking in handicapped spaces and dropping F-bombs. The pollsters also asked about demographics, and weeding through them makes it clear that we all have superlatives to be ashamed of. Here are the results and some highlights, both bad and good:
20% of Americans have parked in a handicapped space without the proper tag. On average, parents were twice as likely to cop to this. The most common offenders were mothers and fathers of three; more than one-third said they had done it, compared to 13% of non-parents.
19% force other drivers to merge behind them on the freeway. Midwesterners, perhaps gunning for a spot on Santa’s “Nice” list, were most likely to let other cars go ahead.
Nearly 60% leave their cell phone on at the movie theater: Females were more likely than men to neglect the off button, at 65% compared to less than 50%. But, by roughly the same margin, men were more apt to leave their empty food containers strewn about the floor.
30% get in express grocery lines when they have more than 10 items. Young people were nearly twice as likely as the over-55 crowd to say they unfairly use the 10-item-or-fewer queue. And those under 35 were less likely to speak out if a cashier gave them too much change, with almost 40% saying they’d keep mum, compared to less than a quarter of senior shoppers.
11% say they have been in a physical altercation during the past year: Men were almost twice as likely as women to have engaged in fisticuffs. Of all education groups, post-graduates were the most pacifist, with less than 7% coming to blows.
30% talk on their cell phones at restaurants: Among regional groups, Southerners were most likely to use their phone during dinner (37%); Northeasterners were the least (22%).
26% say they swear several times per day. The most popular response overall was swearing a few times per week (31%), while 19% say they never swear. Millennials were most likely to throw four-letter words multiple times per day (34%).
33%, a plurality of Americans, say s— is the curse word they use the most. The F-bomb—the favorite of men and parents—is close behind at 31%, with just 10% of respondents preferring the more tame h-e-double hockey sticks.