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The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  8,673 Ratings  ·  733 Reviews
Fascinating and provocative, Ariely's The Truth About Dishonesty is an insightful and brilliantly researched take on cheating, deception and willpower. Internationally bestselling author Ariely pulls no punches when it comes to home truths.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
Aug 14, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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
May 16, 2012 Aryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 23, 2012 Malda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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
Apr 17, 2013 Oana Sipos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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
Apr 07, 2012 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 24, 2016 Huzeyfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dürüstlük her zaman sorgulanagelen bir kavram. Bu kitap da cok güzel somut deneylerle ve verilerle bu kavramı biraz daha iyi anlamamızı sağlıyor.

Dili, akılcılığı ve mantıklı ornekleri ile bir cok noktada ufuk açtığı gibi cok detayli düşünmemizi sağlıyor.

Daha iyi bir review ve bir kez daha okumayı hak eden müthiş bir kitap.
Apr 03, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2013 Shiri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Alain Burrese
Oct 03, 2012 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Aug 15, 2012 Arvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer Rivera
Aug 29, 2015 Jennifer Rivera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book because of the author’s interesting findings, easy to read style, and outside applications.
The findings of cheating/ being dishonest might surprise many of us mainly because some of the things we do is unconscious and not robotic. (I won't provide any spoilers here, but if you are interested in any social behavior of human beings, then this is a book I highly recommend for you, especially if you want to know more about human immorality.)
Although many of the studies c
Grouchy Editor
In all honesty, this book was a letdown. The human propensity for lying and cheating should be a juicy topic, but Ariely manages to squash reader interest by (mostly) confining his experiments to sterile classrooms, where one group of student volunteers after another pencil in answers to one dull test after another, usually involving dotted matrixes, one-dollar bills, and paper shredders. When Ariely and colleagues DO leave the artificial environment of the classroom –- sending a blind girl into ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dũng Nguyễn
Aug 21, 2016 Dũng Nguyễn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read on Behavioural Economics/Psychology.

Dan Ariely explained how we cheat and how we find excuses for all our little lies. I was impressed by Dan's so-called "Fudge Factor", and other factors on his experiments that make us irrationally lie.

This book is absolutely fun and yet still informative.

Jun 20, 2012 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2013 Breakingviews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2012 Andrew Macfarlane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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
Sep 03, 2015 Yainely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of all the books I read I think "The Honest Truth About Dishonesty" by Dan Ariely was the most interesting one. I learned many new things about myself with this book. Like the example from the book about the coke and the money.It proved to us that most humans would be willing to steal something that cost money, which in this case the coke then steal the amount of money that the coke was worth ($6) and buy it ourselves. I put myself in this situation and I probably would have done the same th ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Melissa Hurtado
Sep 03, 2015 Melissa Hurtado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-level-psych
Book review
Melissa Hurtado
Period 2
A Level Psych

To many, cognitive dissonance is a negative feeling, however few find it to be motivational. In this book, honesty reveals itself to the readers and stirs a little regret in them. I have always found me lying to myself whether it's telling myself that I'm okay or that I will eat fruits for breakfast. Men are born sinners and will sin out of innate behavior. Dishonesty is a behavior conjured up to be disliked and shunned ever since it was of a moral
Jun 10, 2015 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked this book a lot. It's stuck with me since April. I frequently find myself telling people about it. I also see it happening in real life. In fact, there other day a friend posted on FB that his iPod had been stolen out of his car and he was very angry with himself because he'd forgotten to lock the car door. I thought to myself, "That's exactly what Dan Ariely talked about in his book. The vast majority of people wouldn't walk around, bashing in car windows to steal iPods, but a lot of pe ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
JP Magalhaes
Livro muito bom que foca em experimentos que demonstram a nossa maleabilidade com relação a desonestidade/corrupção, seja individualmente ou coletivamente como grupos sociais ou profissionais. Além disso, exemplifica como podemos criar mecanismos que podem diminuir a desonestidade ou mesmo eliminá-la em alguns casos.
Vale a leitura!
Dec 05, 2014 Stefanos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
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
Nikita Morrison
Sep 03, 2015 Nikita Morrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book I would probably consider my second favorite book from how pleasure works. I think the main thing that I really appreciated about this book was the fact that he talked about things that actually related to me and relates to society and how society changes everyone and the way they want to lie and it goes to show that people are dishonest about themselves. I also enjoyed how he talks about how people rationalize their dishonest actions and going back to the nurture part being the factor ...more
Nik Conwell
Jun 30, 2012 Nik Conwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

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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.” 25 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".” 21 likes
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