Front cover image for The (honest) truth about dishonesty : how we lie to everyone--especially ourselves

The (honest) truth about dishonesty : how we lie to everyone--especially ourselves

Dan Ariely (Author)
The author, a behavioral economist, challenges our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take an honest look at ourselves. We all cheat, whether it is copying a paper in the classroom, or white lies on our expense accounts. 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 honest or less so? Does religion improve our honesty? Here the author explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of use, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards. He explores the question of dishonesty from Washington to Wall Street, and the classroom to the workplace, to examine why cheating is so prevalent and what can be done to prevent it. None of us is immune, whether it is the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But the author argues, and then demonstrates, that it is actually the irrational forces that we do not take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe, there are countless puffed resumes, hidden commissions, and knockoff purses. He shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior both intentionally and unintentionally. But all is not lost. The author also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives, and with personal and academic findings, changing the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others
Print Book, English, 2012
First edition View all formats and editions
Harper, New York, 2012