Arvin's Reviews > The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely
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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 and mentor to Dan Ariely, who drones on and on about himself and his co-researcher for no good reason in his book "Think Fast and Slow".

All of the area he discusses are support by actual research that has been done, often himself - versus someone like Malcolm Gladwell who is more of a journalist looking to "collect interesting stories." Instead of just throwing unsupported conclusions at the end, he actually tries to apply the findings of his research in the real world(like getting people to not cheat on taxes or their insurance claim). There are some areas he is interested in, but admits he can't talk too much about them, because he hasn't been able to do any experiments to test his hypothesis (never stopped Malcolm Gladwell... or Steven Dubner on global warming in Superfreakomics, a disappointing followup to Freakonomics).

He does a lot of followup studies to try and answer questions left open from his initial results. That is he doesn't take it for granted that you will automatically accept his finding as correct. On the flipside, he has often noted that some people have commented that the results of research as "obvious." So instead he had people predict what his findings before giving that actual results. It turns out if people are not "forced" to commit to position before finding the "correct" answers, they delude themselves that they "knew it all along" - he devotes an entire chapter to this. BTW, that's why you do so well on those magazine quizzes that have the answers on the back page.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 15, 2012 – Shelved

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