The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie To Everyone- Especially Ourselves

by Dan Ariely

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | April 16, 2014 | Hardcover

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie To Everyone- Especially Ourselves is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

TheNew York Timesbestselling author ofPredictably IrrationalandThe Upside of Irrationalityreturns with thought-provoking work to challenge our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take anhonestlook 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. InThe (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. InThe (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 Dishonestywill change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.06 in

Published: April 16, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062183591

ISBN - 13: 9780062183590

Found in: Science and Nature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Brief Summary and Review *A full executive-style summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com on or before Monday, July 2. There is certainly no shortage of lying, cheating and corruption in our society today. At their worst, these phenomena do substantial damage to our communities and the people in them. Picking on the corporate world for just a moment, consider a few high-profile examples from the last decade: the scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, Haliburton, Kmart, Tyco, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a host of banks in the financial crisis of 2008. If you are a particularly pessimistic person, you may think that people are fundamentally self-interested, and will engage in dishonest and corrupt behaviour so long as the potential benefits of this behaviour outweigh the possibility of being caught multiplied by the punishment involved (known as the Simple Model of Rational Crime or SMORC). On the other hand, if you are a particularly optimistic person, you may think that the lying and cheating that we see in our society is largely the result of a few bad apples in the bunch. Given that the way we attempt to curb cheating and corruption depends largely on which view we think is correct, we would do well if we could come up with a proper understanding of these tendencies, and under what circumstances they are either heightened or diminished. Over the past several years, the behavioural economist Dan Ariely, together with a few colleagues, has attempted to do just this--by way of bringing dishonesty into the science lab. Ariely reveals his findings in his new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves. In order to get at the truth, Ariely invited subjects into his lab and gave them tasks with monetary rewards, and where cheating was a very real and clear possibility. As you can tell from the title of the book, Ariely found that cheating was not in fact confined to a few bad apples, but was in fact very widespread. On the bright side, though, Ariely also found that the vast majority of his subjects did not cheat nearly as much as they could have, but instead confined themselves to just a little bit of cheating. Given his findings, Ariely concludes that most of us are torn between two conflicting impulses. On the one hand is the desire to get ahead by way of dishonesty, and on the other hand is the desire to nevertheless think of ourselves as genuinely honest and good people. Getting the best of the both worlds can be tricky, but we manage to do so by way of resorting to our trusty capacities of rationalization and self-deception. Of course, different people show different powers of rationalization and self-deception, and also different circumstances can alter the terms of the negotiation significantly for each of us, thus leading to more or less cheating. For instance, Ariely found that those who are especially creative are particularly good at rationalization and self-deception, and therefore tend to cheat more so than others (in fact, Ariely found that even priming normal subjects with words related to creativity can increase their cheating behaviour). In addition, he also found that several factors influence the amount that people cheat in general. These factors included being reminded of one's morals; playing for tokens representing money, as opposed to money itself; having one's resolve broken down by will-power depletion; wearing counterfeit clothing and merchandise (as opposed to the genuine article); having one's self-confidence artificially inflated; witnessing other people cheating (either from one's own in-groups, or from out-groups); cheating to benefit others etc. Ariely also uses his findings to chart out suggestions with regards to how we can minimize cheating and corruption in our own lives, as well as in society at large. Ariely's clever lab experiments yield many interesting findings with regards to dishonesty, and he tells about them in a very easy and relatable way in his book. My only real criticism is that Ariely does not get into the evolutionary story about the conflicting desires that he identifies, and how and why they may have been laid down in our evolutionary past. Though such a story is not absolutely essential here (as the research does stand on its own), it would add substantially to our understanding of the subject (and is interesting in its own right), and would therefore by very worthwhile. A full and comprehensive summary of the main argument in the book, as well as many of the juicier details and anecdotes to be found therein, will be available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday, July 2.
Date published: 2012-06-25

– More About This Product –

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie To Everyone- Especially Ourselves

by Dan Ariely

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.06 in

Published: April 16, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062183591

ISBN - 13: 9780062183590

From the Publisher

TheNew York Timesbestselling author ofPredictably IrrationalandThe Upside of Irrationalityreturns with thought-provoking work to challenge our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take anhonestlook 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. InThe (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. InThe (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 Dishonestywill change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

About the Author

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in many outlets, including theNew York Times, theWall Street Journal, theWashington Post, theBoston Globe, and others. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, Sumi, and their two creative children, Amit and Neta.

Editorial Reviews

?Anyone who lies should read this book. And those who claim not to tell lies are liars. So they sould read this book too. This is a fascinating, learned, and funny book that will make you a better person.? (A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy)
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