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

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  10,866 Ratings  ·  917 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)
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Brendan Heneghan The human mind can rationalize behavior so that it can accomplish goals while maintaining a veneer of "honesty"; which is a difficult trait to define,…moreThe human mind can rationalize behavior so that it can accomplish goals while maintaining a veneer of "honesty"; which is a difficult trait to define, particularly when applying to one's own behavior.(less)

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Trevor
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This might save you needing to read the book - https://www.thersa.org/discover/video...

And this is the cartoon version - https://www.thersa.org/discover/video...

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
David
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Aryn
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Daniel Clausen
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2018
It's strange to say, but I never expected a book on dishonesty to be so tame...even small.

The book is a look at dishonesty, especially cheating, and covers the author's own experiments and what they tell us about cheating. The most important points are these:
(1) We're not purely rational cheaters; we usually don't cheat to the fullest extent possible, we typically just fudge things in our favor. Thus, we're also sensitive to self-image.
(2) We cheat much less when we're given subtle reminders
...more
Gandi
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Through thorough research and interesting ideas, Ariely brings deception into a new light and tells how we all humans are susceptible to dishonesty as long as it doesn't interfere with our moral standards. Also, I like how the author does not alienate his audience through the encrypted language of academia yet still keep the sophisticated and informative edge.

June 17, 2018
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
Orsolya
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-brain, library-2
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
...more
Malda
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Jaylia3
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oana Sipos
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...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
Grouchy Editor
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Farhana
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Either 3.8/5 or 4.2/5 .
This one is intriguing. Ariely's writing is easy to follow. It's so fluent, spontaneous and most importantly, he explained everything in simple words with examples & experiments avoiding
complex theories & technical jargon. He discussed psychology behind dishonesty. And if you think about it you'll see that many fundamental cues behind dishonesty are accepted as normal behavior or treated as an open secret. For example, in lab experiments when the result seems to be
...more
huzeyfe
Mar 17, 2016 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.
Dale
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nikki
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The reasons why we lie and to what extent we’re willing to lie are pretty fascinating, and if you haven’t read anything else of the sort before, this might be pretty revelatory. Ariely explains the various studies and results pretty clearly, and it’s definitely not aimed at people who have actually dug into the academic publications: it’s accessible to a layperson, definitely, and to my mind pretty much aimed at the layperson. At any rate, I didn’t find any of it surprising, because I’ve read mo ...more
Shiri
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
"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
Arvin
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Rivera
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Michael Siliski
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting topic, though pretty familiar ground if you have any exposure to behavioral economics and/or cognitive psychology. Feels a bit rote, lifeless overall. A straight survey of the material. Takeaways:
* Standard classical model of dishonesty/cheating is SMORC – simple model of rational crime – which says we cheat when it's in our rational interest. EV is positive, or expected payoff is greater than the risk of getting caught and the associated punishment.
* SMORC is false. Ariely calls
...more
Sara
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Dũng Nguyễn
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.


Atila Iamarino
A primeira metade, ou o primeiro terço já está nos livros anteriores, e muitas conclusões grandes são tiradas de alguns experimentos. De repente, ele pode estar até usando outras fontes pra embasar as conclusões, mas não são citadas.

Mas, mesmo assim, gostei. Coisas novas sobre como as pessoas trapaceiam e a influência que isso pode ter nos outros.
Olivia
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
César Díez Sánchez
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A practical book talking about how our honesty works in different scenarios. Very interesting, to be honest.
Breakingviews
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Hoại Băng
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quyển sách này phân tích những lý do, cũng như những yếu tố tác động lên con người khiến họ trở nên gian dối hoặc thực hiện hành vi gian lận. Những thí nghiệm xã hội được đưa ra trong sách khá thú vị và hợp lý. Những kết quả của các thí nghiệm đó cũng vô cùng lý thú. Quyển sách này thì chúng ta có thể dùng nó để phản tư bản thân, xem thử chúng ta đã từng gian dối như thế nào. Có một số ý tưởng bất ngờ như càng sáng tạo, con người càng dễ gian lận, hay mặc đồ giả cũng có thể khiến con người gian ...more
Adrian S
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand how large organizations (empires, countries, banks, corporations, etc.) collapse, you should read this book.

Ariely explains that lying (or cheating) is a normal human mental process, just like being funny or wanting sex. If given the opportunity to cheat and not get caught, the majority of people will do it. There are a few important factors that stimulate cheating (and unlike being funny, cheating is EXTREMELY contagious in groups of people):
(1) The cheater does not fe
...more
Andrew Macfarlane
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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.” 33 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".” 26 likes
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