CISI YouGov Ethics Survey

We asked over 2000 people a number of questions about every day situations which people typically face and how they would choose to react - the findings show a disparity between participants responses when an individual is affected as opposed to their response when a company/commercial entity was involved.

Is it acceptable to buy an item of clothing, wear it once and return it the following day for a refund when purchased online?

1 In 3 18-29 year-olds thought this was acceptable

Overall, the percentages were highest in London and lowest in the East Midlands

However, this fell to 1 in 4 18-29 year olds when purchasing face to face


A round of drinks has been omitted from your bill, how acceptable is it to say nothing and pay the bill?

Overall, 39% thought this was acceptable and 51% of these respondents were 18-29 year olds

Is it acceptable to stream or download video or TV content without paying for it?

43% of respondents thought this was acceptable

Is it acceptable to avoid paying the fare on public transport?

1 in 7 thought it was acceptable to do so


Is it acceptable to fail to report accidental damage you have done to a parked car?

Only 7% of people thought this was acceptable

London had the highest percentage regionally

Is it acceptable to ask someone to accept a speeding ticket when you were not driving the car?

Only 5% of people thought this was acceptable

Again, London had the highest percentage

Gender and money

Is it acceptable to fail to report a bank error which occurs in your favour?

Is it acceptable to use confidential information belonging to a competitor for the gain of your own employer?

Age, technology and ethical behaviour

Is it acceptable to watch live TV without a TV licence?

Overall, 1 in 5 people thought this was acceptable. Of those people, 35% of 18-29 year olds thought it was acceptable compared to 13% of 50-59 year olds

Is it acceptable to accept the offer of a friend to download software from a copied CD, for which neither of you have paid?

39% of respondents thought this was acceptable. Those in the East Midlands (46%) thought this was more acceptable than those in the West Midlands (32%)

Is it acceptable to not to pay as much income tax as you should by under declaring some income?

15% of retirees found this acceptable, compared to 8% of 30-39 year olds