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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We…

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially… (edition 2012)

by Dan Ariely

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Title:The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
Authors:Dan Ariely
Info:Harper (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:From Wellington City Libraries, Read in 2013

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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

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Surprising observations of our moral behaviour. I liked the insights into research methods and the author's sense of humour and sympathy for our human condition. ( )
  plansea | Oct 17, 2015 |
This book is a psychological and sociological investigation into lying, with the emphasis on the ways in which all humans more or less lie and cheat throughout their whole lives. Ariely notes that while big scandals like say Enron get headlines for their irrational amount of dishonesty, that these types of problems grow from the small actions of many people making cost-benefit analysis rather than high-level conspiracy. Interesting anecdotes about lying are backed-up by tests and studies. To be honest, I've allowed too much time from listening to this audiobook to writing about, so I'm now fuzzy on the details. But I do recall it is a fascinating book entertainingly performed by Simon Jones. ( )
  Othemts | Nov 17, 2014 |
I read this book in one sitting. It is a fascinating look into the inherent dishonesty that lies in all of us. We all cheat. Just a little. White Lies, Pens from the office, travel expenses, etc. But what is interesting is what allows us to cheat; What factors are in place that let us choose to cheat and by how much we will cheat; And how we trick ourselves into rationalizing our cheating.
It's a bit disheartening, and perhaps a bit relieving, to know it just apparently in our nature and that to control it we need to be monitored.
The book is an easy, entertaining and quick read. Like many of these types of books, in order to fill up pages there is a small amount of repetitiveness. But not nearly so much as others I could name that fill up 40 to 50% of the book by repeating themselves.
( )
  blatherlikeme | Sep 28, 2014 |
I’m a big fan of Ariely’s work and this book is no exception. As in his previous books, he uses a number of behavioral experiments to understand how people act. This book was not as good as Predictably Irrational which I would recommend to everyone. But, The Honest Truth about Dishonesty is well worth reading. The experiments he looks at are variations on one or two primary ones. Basically, they bring in people to take a test that is fairly hard and time consuming. Each person gets a reward such as one dollar for each correct answer. They then vary the conditions to allow for opportunities to cheat and see how that influences the score. One of the big things they do for most of the experiments is have people score the results themselves and then shred their answer sheets. Basically, that means they can cheat and no one will know. Generally, people cheat some, but not too much. So, if there are ten questions and people who can’t cheat would answer five, when given the opportunity to easily cheat, they might claim seven, but not ten. All of this is very interesting, but what makes the book for me are some of Ariely’s personal examples coupled with his conclusions. One of the interesting takeaways is that just reminding people not to cheat has a positive effect. ( )
  wbc3 | Aug 17, 2013 |
Ariely engagingly presents research on what encourages (and sometimes discourages) cheating of various kinds. If assured of not being caught, most people will cheat a little; if you authorize it with various kinds of social signals, they will cheat a lot, which explains a lot of progressively worsening bad behavior in organizations. If they see someone from a group they think of as “not us” cheating, however, they will cheat a lot less, and they’ll even cheat less if they just see a picture of eyes. People who know they’re wearing counterfeit sunglasses cheat more. Et cetera—though some of this has appeared in his earlier work, it’s still quite interesting. Among other things, his research suggests that a context-neutral task—like the ones he uses in standard testing, where you solve matrices and then either self-report how many you solved or hand in your solutions (thus creating a control group for how many problems an average participant can solve)—people from different countries cheat at virtually the same rates, despite the researchers’ expectations. It’s only the contexts, like whether bribes for certain things are commonplace in your home country, that authorize or discourage cheating. ( )
  rivkat | Oct 22, 2012 |
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To my teachers, collaborators, and students, for making research fun and exciting.

And to all the participants who took part in our experiments over the years--you are the engine of this research, and I am deeply grateful for all your help.
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My interest in cheating was first ignited in 2002, just a few months after the collapse of Enron.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062183591, Hardcover)

The New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality returns with thought-provoking work to challenge our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take an honest look at ourselves.

Does the chance of getting caught affect how likely we are to cheat? How do companies pave the way for dishonesty? Does collaboration make us more honest or less so? Does religion improve our honesty?

Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it's the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it's actually the irrational forces that we don't take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe, there are countless puffed résumés, hidden commissions, and knockoff purses. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Ariely shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior, both intentionally and unintentionally. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.

But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty will change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The author, a behavioral economist, challenges our preconceptions about dishonesty; we all cheat, whether it is copying a paper in the classroom, or white lies on our expense accounts. He explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of use, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards. He explores the question of dishonesty from Washington to Wall Street, and the classroom to the workplace, to examine why cheating is so prevalent and what can be done to prevent it.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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