The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,585 ratings  ·  482 reviews
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 h...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Harper (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Trevor
This might save you needing to read the book - http://www.thersa.org/events/video/vi...

And this is the cartoon version - http://www.thersa.org/events/video/an...

A few years ago I read Predictably Irrational – a book that remains one of my favourite books on Behavioural Economics. The research reported in that book has just about everything going for it – it is amusing, fascinatingly interesting, clever and fundamentally undermines the core dogma of our age, that we are economically rational agen...more
Aryn
When I was in college I learned a bit about the Simple Model of Rational Crime which basically states that people lie/cheat by rationally looking at the pros and cons and make a decision based on that. Needless to say, this never sat right with me. People don't make rational decisions, they just don't.

In this book Ariely puts forth another theory, one that he calls the Fudge Factor. The theory goes that there are basically two opposing forces when we decide whether to lie or cheat. One of the fo...more
David
How can such a depressing book be so much fun to read? Dan Ariely is an excellent author; I've read two of his previous books, and I haven't been disappointed yet. Ariely combines a light-hearted writing style, a solid set of psychology studies (many of which he personally conducted), and a big dose of common sense. Many of Ariely's findings are not intuitive at first glance--but he is able to explain his findings and make them understandable to the reader.

Ariely shows why we cheat--but with a l...more
Christine Cavalier
See this review on my blog: http://www.purplecar.net/2012/07/book...

I “cheat” on crosswords. I don’t cheat, exactly. I don’t look at the answer key; THAT would be Cheating, with a capital C. Instead, I cheat with a lower case c; I Google or Wiki the subject of the difficult clues online. This only works for clues with keywords like an author’s name or a movie title, but the answers I find give me enough forward motion to continue solving the puzzle. If I get stumped again, I scan the clues for m...more
Oana Sipos
My rating is 5 because it is that kind of book which made me reflect upon my own behaviour. On the one hand, because of some mistakes and the stories I told to myself, and on the another hand because it was a confirmation for the times I felt really bad, as I was aware of my action.

First thoughts when trying to predict what is the book subject, were that it's most probably a book about cheating in relationships and cheating for becoming richer. Sorry to disappoint you, but it's not about cheati...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Five stars means everyone should read it. Two happy evenings in a quiet room should do it - but it'll probably take longer because you'll keep interrupting yourself to share bits with family or housemates.

Good science - Ariely takes his well-done experiments and research out of the college labs, out of the ivory tower, out into the streets, and even around the world. I'm loving the fact that the so-called 'soft' sciences can be studied rigorously by researchers sufficiently dedicated.

Good writin...more
K
I feel a little bad about the three stars. I enjoy Dan Ariely's entertaining and informative books about behavioral economics and the many ways in which we are far less rational than we want to believe. Exploring the topic of honesty from a variety of angles appeals to me as well, and true to form, Ariely highlighted many interesting aspects of honesty/dishonesty -- contagion of dishonesty, how a sense of altruism and collaboration can facilitate dishonesty, the relationship between creativity a...more
Jaylia3
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 lik...more
Dale
To be published in June of 2012 (DWD's Reviews received an uncorrected proof advance copy) by Harper.

Dan Ariely's The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty is a fun look at a serious topic - lying. Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, describes his simple experiments and details his results in a light, easy to understand way. His results are often surprising and counter-intuitive.

For example, it is often considered that people are dishonest because they have calculated the...more
Alain Burrese
"The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves" by Dan Ariely is a fascinating look at cheating and dishonesty. Backed by research, Ariely provides explanations for the unethical behavior that seems to be endemic from Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, and everywhere else you turn.

It is interesting to see that irrational forces are often behind whether we behave ethically or not, and cheating and dishonesty are not merely derived from...more
Malda
The honest truth is, we are all dishonest.

I want to share a real life scenario that happened with me just yesterday right after I finished reading Dan Ariely's new book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.

The situation: An anonymous person at our office refills the office refrigerator with a dozen small water bottles, everyday. They’re stacked in the top compartment on their own, unlocked, unmarked, un-anything. They’re just there. Sinister, isn't it? Next to that fridge are two water coolers that...more
Arvin
A really great look into the current research into how/why people cheat/lie to other people and even to themselves. The book is well written, well paced and I personally think the topics discussed are fascinating.

I really like Dan Ariely's (Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke, formerly of MIT) books because:

His writing is easy to understand and has a playful entertaining tone. His anecdotes always add to the topic being discussed - unlike Daniel Kahneman, Nobel prize winner...more
Olivia
Dan Ariely (so far) never ceases to impress me in his quest to unlock the secret of human irrationality. In his third book, he puts dishonesty on the centre stage. I read it, I am hooked, I love it.

First, I admire his passion and ability to narrate researches using layman language in a way that makes readers feel as if they're involved in the journey. It makes me able to appreciate research more - you see something, no matter how trivial it is, that intrigues your interest, design the research c...more
Breakingviews
By Martin Langfield

It is said that the philosopher Diogenes the Cynic roamed ancient Athens with a lamp in daylight to search for an honest man. Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics, uses more modern research techniques for a similar quest. He reports his findings in a new book, “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.”

Diogenes said he found nothing but scoundrels. Ariely is more nuanced: most people will cheat, given half a chance, but only to the point where they can st...more
Andrew Macfarlane
Dan Ariely writes casually, informatively and convincingly on a topic that many of us will have pre-conceived opinions and hypotheses about. Dishonesty is part and parcel of being human, and as Ariely unravels, is often done for reasons other than being immoral/rebellious. As part of my own field, I have to read through academic psychology journals, and so it's a rewarding treat to have experimental methods told to me as if from a friend: you will find no 'x number of participants were recruited...more
Diane
Honestly, this is not my normal type of book, but it would be dishonest to say I didn’t like it. (ok, ha ha) I was surprised when this book arrived from the library (my wonderful library sends me books I request as they become available). Did I really request this? Oh, yes, I was impressed with Cheryl’s review and must have asked for it. I was a bit skeptical about reading it but I am glad that I did. A good advertisement for the benefit of GoodReads.

Author Ariely defines honesty broadly, includ...more
Sara
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...more
Joshua Guest
Ariely's style doesn't vary much across his non-fiction books. He makes some general hypotheses about human behavior, he briefly describes experiments conducted by him and his colleagues to test them, and then he adds a paragraph that (like clockwork) begins with, "This result suggests... [some possible conclusion about human behavior in general]." I always enjoy Professor Ariely's books because he does a good job of connecting the scientific takeaways to pop culture references, Shakespeare, poe...more
Stefanos
Dan Ariely adds another excellent piece of work in his highly educational and delightful repertoire.Τhis time he examines human dishonesty towards ourselves and others.

Context:The typical assumption about human dishonesty,and immoral acts in general, is that,under situation where cheating is possible,people perform a cost-benefit analysis of the possible scenarios and their consequences.Their chances of being caught and punished versus the gains - and then follow the most profitable decision.If...more
Joaobispo
It's was enjoyable. Written by a social scientist, it is like a condensed and resumed version of his past research about cheating and dishonesty.

The conclusion? There are few people who are great cheaters, but most of us, if not all, cheat a bit. The interesting part, we cheat just enough to do the deed and feel honest anyway, by using some kind of justification.

In the end, this is a book about human psychology, and the pitfalls of our intuition and rationalizations. Some of the conclusions, fr...more
Eric Schreiber
I've always enjoyed Dan Ariely's work - first as a regular contributor to NPR's Marketplace, and more recently as an author of multiple books. His relaxed and informal writing style combined with some really cool experiments makes for an easy and enlightening read. I particularly like how he points out that we can't necessarily fix ourselves (or others) outright but we can make things better by being aware of our issues. Through multiple versions of the "matrix test", Dan shows all the ways peop...more
Whitedragon
Iedereen liegt wel eens of doet zich beter voor dan hij of zij is. In het boek "Heerlijk Oneerlijk" probeert Dan Ariely door middel van een aantal goed bedachte experimenten uit te vinden welke factoren van invloed zijn op de mate waarin mensen liegen en bedriegen.

Juist omdat leugens en bedrog in ons dagelijks leven zo vaak voorkomen is dit een interessant onderwerp om over te lezen. Ook onderzoekt Dan Ariely niet alleen hoe fraude onstaat maar ook hoe je fraude kunt tegengaan. Hier kun je als l...more
Jacob
The rating is close here between 4 and 5 but I will tip it into the 4-star bucket because it doesn't quite live up to the promise of the title. I think about it a lot and I suspect it will be even more useful than the author's previous two books, but it doesn't build any real model of _how_ we lie, or _why_, other than destroying the "factor in the likelihood of getting caught and the severity of punishment" model. I have to admit I was interested in this book as soon as I heard about it; I like...more
Shiri
Loved the newest installation from Dan Ariely. I'm a huge fan so I'm already biased, but this book was a breezy read and very insightful. It was also disturbing and slightly distressing, as the main premise is that most harm to society comes from normal people each cheating just a little bit, then rationalizing it to fit in our personal "fudge factor". With connections to many great researchers, including Roy Baumeister of "Willpower" fame (among others), Ariely presents a delicate balance betwe...more
Nik Conwell
Take home points:

Simple Model of Rational Crime (dishonesty based on rational analysis of cost/benefit of cheating, benefit of the crime, probability of getting caught, expected punishment) is completely bogus. Study was set up (solving math problems for $$), subjects did not cheat more when the payout (for cheating) was higher. It was actually less. Probability of getting caught? Study showed roughly the same amount of cheating as when there was NO chance of getting caught.

The more distanced f...more
Jerrod Hansen
The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty by Ariely is terrible. It got good reviews and I was expecting something akin to Freakonomics, I suppose, but found it utterly worthless. The entire book is little more than descriptions of various college-level psychology experiments on "honesty" that are then overgeneralized to apply to all human behavior. A few other anecdotes were used, included the author's own experiences, as if they were authoritative or valid evidence in support of the larger arguments...more
Mike O'connell
After reading Ariely's first book, Predictably Irrational, I was looking forward to this one. It does not disappoint.

Airely is one of the nation’s top academics in the field of behavioral economics; he has taught and MIT and currently teaches at Duke. Sounds like what would make for boring reading, but in these books, designed for a wider audience, Airely brings humor, wit and fascinating overviews of experiments about dishonesty.

Some captivating examples…

-We are less likely to cheat if we sign...more
Jon
So many times people want to say that if you've read these 47.5 words, you know everything this book has to offer and can go ahead and save your hard earned. Often I heed those warnings or try to find the book in the library.

However, I was so interested in the Wall Street Journal article which discussed this book from a few month ago, that I went ahead and took the leap. After all, I think I am an honest person. And I (think I) always strive to be more so - and especially to be a proper role mod...more
Ved Prakash
Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational has returned with his original thinking and results of his experiments for educating people about the reasoning and rational that goes behind dishonesty (which is no different than cheating). Dan is completely against the SMORC (Simple Model of Rational Crime) and proves this model wrong initially with the help of an experiment and many other times in his book.
The best thing about this book is that you will find yourself a part of this book many times...more
Eric
Another great book from Dan Ariely on how we do - or do not - act in accordance to logic and rationality. All of his books, which center on behavioral neurology and specifically the "nonsensical" or irrational angles of it, have been fast enjoyable reads for me and this was no exception. He describes a number of experiments and methods - namely the "more dots on the right or left" and "how many matrixes did you fill out" - without dragging you into the muck of scientific methodology, and the app...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite
  • Wait: The Art and Science of Delay
  • Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing
  • The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good
  • The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain
  • Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer
  • Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions
  • Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)
  • Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
  • The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity
  • How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life
  • The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
  • Who's in Charge?
  • The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology
  • Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
  • The Art of Choosing
  • This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking
  • Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
788461
From Wikipedia:

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Dan Ariely grew up in Israel after birth in New York. He served in the Israeli army and...more
More about Dan Ariely...
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012 A Taste of Irrationality: Sample chapters from Predictably Irrational and Upside of Irrationality The Irrational Bundle

Share This Book

“We all want explanations for why we behave as we do and for the ways the world around us functions. Even when our feeble explanations have little to do with reality. We’re storytelling creatures by nature, and we tell ourselves story after story until we come up with an explanation that we like and that sounds reasonable enough to believe. And when the story portrays us in a more glowing and positive light, so much the better.” 15 likes
“The more cashless our society becomes, the more our moral compass slips.” 12 likes
More quotes…