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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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333533,108 (3.78)13
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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Showing 5 of 5
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 |
I really liked this book. It was interesting to see the way people would act to different situations and how some simple things could make people more honest. I would recommend this book to everyone. There is some very useful information, it helps you understand what can make people be a little dishonest and some things you can do to minimize that behavior.

I won an uncorrected proof from goodreads First Reads. ( )
  garcia6690 | Aug 6, 2012 |
Entertaining, eye-opening, disturbing

This funny, fascinating, personal paradigm shattering book is in a genre I love, books that make me examine my thinking process, but this one caused me more soul searching than any other I’ve read. According to the Simple Model of Rational Crime (SMORC) we decide whether or not to be dishonest based on a logical, mathematically calibrated cost-benefit analysis, and we’d all be as dishonest as we could be as long as it brought us a benefit greater than the likely cost. Fortunately, author Dan Ariely discovered that people aren’t as cold-bloodedly calculating as that. Unfortunately, the news about human morality isn’t all good.

Ariely is very skilled at conceiving, conducting and describing experiments that tease apart the tangle of human motivations. According to what he’s discovered, we’ll cheat, lie and steal, but only as much as we can rationalize because we want to be able to feel good about ourselves. We’re all capable of dishonesty, and being natural story tellers we’re extremely adept at creating perfectly logical seeming explanations justifying our less than moral actions, though we rarely understand exactly why we make the choices we do. We invariably underestimate how much we are influenced by a myriad of circumstances ranging from conflict of interest to how tired we are feeling.

Since we want to see ourselves as good, most of us never stray far from the straight and narrow path, but small frequent transgressions can create bigger problems than the egregious acts of a few bad apples. Our collective peccadilloes can wreck havoc, but with an improved understanding of the situations that increase dishonest behavior Arliey hopes his book can be a guide for corrective actions and legislation. ( )
2 vote Jaylia3 | Apr 7, 2012 |
Showing 5 of 5
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:55 -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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