15/07/2009 14:22 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Cute Baby Helps Get Lost Wallet Back

If you lose your wallet, you're more likely to get it back if there's a picture of a baby inside, scientists have discovered.

Researchers left 240 wallets around Edinburgh last year and tracked them to see how many were given back to their owners.

Some of the wallets had photos of babies, some a cute puppy, some a family and some a picture of an elderly couple.

Other wallets contained a card suggesting the owner had recently made a charity donation, while a control batch had no additional items inside.

A total of 42 per cent of the wallets were posted back to their owners.

Those with a picture of a baby inside were most likely to tug on the finder's heartstrings - 88% of them were returned.

The cute puppy was the next most heartrending, with 53 per cent of these wallets being returned. Almost half of the wallets containing the family photograph were sent back, but only 28 per cent of those with the photo of the elderly couple.

Those without any photographs were the least likely to be returned.

The experiment was supervised by Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire.

He explained: "The baby kicked off a caring feeling in people, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective.

"We were amazed by the high percentage of wallets that came back."

This does make me wonder whether those "Baby on Board" signs that people put on the back of cars work.

They have always wound me up. "Oh, okay," I think. "I was going to crash into you, but now I won't..." But now I wonder if perhaps they are having an effect on people.

I might put a picture of my baby in my wallet, too. There hasn't seemed much point up until now, as she is always with me, but you can't argue with science.

However, none of the wallets in this experiment contained money. It would be interesting to see how many would be returned if there were a couple of crisp tenners tucked inside.

Source [The Telegraph]