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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  6,165 ratings  ·  564 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
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Harper (first published January 1st 2012)
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Comp112358 I think you should try some other book, since this mostly deals with cheating rather than lying, mostly with how lying to oneself facilitates…moreI think you should try some other book, since this mostly deals with cheating rather than lying, mostly with how lying to oneself facilitates cheating. (less)

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This might save you needing to read the book -

And this is the cartoon version -

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
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
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
We all admit to telling ‘white lies’ or cheating/bending the truth and usually, several times a day. How often do we admit to (and even realize) that we also lie to ourselves to the point of believing our own dishonesty? Best-selling author, professor, and cognitive psychologist Dan Ariely explores the topic in, “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone- Especially Ourselves”.

Ariely instantly dives into thought-provoking and interesting dialogue regarding the topic of dishonest
Christine Cavalier
See this review on my blog:

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
An interesting exploration of how and why humans cheat, just a little bit. I'd watched the TED talk from the author which I found interesting and entertaining, so had some high hopes for this book, which unfortunately weren't quite met. There were some fascinating anecdotes in this book, and the section on the impact of collaboration on cheating was really worthwhile. If this book was more concise it could be four or five stars, however as it really only has one point, that we all cheat a little ...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
Khyati Gupta
The book was quite an eye opener for me. Somewhere it was always there at the back of my mind that we justify our dishonesty to ourselves...i am talking about small lies here...but this book helped me think about it more deeply.
Dan talks about some very interesting and powerful ideas to curb dishonesty through a better understanding of human psychology. This was the most interesting part.
I wish he could add some pictures of his experiments because similar experiments were conducted for various
Rebekah Jones
Insightful. It's always helpful when the mind behind academic research see fit to write colloquially about their findings so that the general public can understand its meaning. Surprisingly, our tendency to be dishonest isn't increased by what we think it might be, and often isn't decreased by what we think it might be. I find studies on human nature very interesting, we're very complex creatures that operate beyond the instinct and cost vs benefit framework of the animal world at large. Maybe p ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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 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

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“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.” 20 likes
“One percent of people will always be honest and never steal," the locksmith said. "Another one percent will always be dishonest and always try to pick your lock and steal your television. And the rest will be honest as long as the conditions are right - but if they are tempted enough, they'll be dishonest too. Locks won't protect you from the thieves, who can get in your house if they really want to. They will only protect you from the mostly honest people who might be tempted to try your door if it had no lock".” 16 likes
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