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

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

Hardcover | April 16, 2014

byDan Ariely

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Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational, examines the contradictory forces that drive us to cheat and keep us honest, in this groundbreaking look at the way we behave: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.

From ticket-fixing in our police departments to test-score scandals in our schools, from our elected leaders’ extra-marital affairs to the Ponzi schemes undermining our economy, cheating and dishonesty are ubiquitous parts of our national news cycle—and inescapable parts of the human condition.

Drawing on original experiments and research, in the vein of Freakonomics, The Tipping Point, and Survival of the Sickest, Ariely reveals—honestly—what motivates these irrational, but entirely human, behaviors.

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

Hardcover | April 16, 2014
Out of stock online Available in select stores
$3.00 online $29.99

From the Publisher

Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational, examines the contradictory forces that drive us to cheat and keep us honest, in this groundbreaking look at the way we behave: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.From ticket-fixing in our police departm...

From the Jacket

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 ...

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and is the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in theNew York Times,Wall Street Journal,Washington Post,Boston Globe, and elsewhere. He lives in North Carolina with his family.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.06 inPublished:April 16, 2014Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062183591

ISBN - 13:9780062183590

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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

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Editorial Reviews

“Through a remarkable series of experiments, Ariely presents a convincing case. . . . Required reading for politicians and Wall Street executives.”