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

Format:  Hardcover,

320 pages

Publisher: Harpercollins

Publish Date: Jun 2012

ISBN-13: 9780062183590

ISBN-10: 0062183591

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

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 honest or less so? Does religion improve our honesty?

Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it's the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it's actually the irrational forces that we don't 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. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Ariely 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. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.

But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty will change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

Specifications

Publisher: Harpercollins
Publish Date: Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 9780062183590
ISBN-10: 0062183591
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.12
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.25

Chapter outline

Introduction Why Is Dishonesty So Interesting?
From Enron to our own misbehaviors
A fascination with cheating
Becker's parking problem and the birth of rational crime
Elderly volunteers and petty thieves
Why behavioral economics and dishonesty?
Testing the Simple Model of Rational Crime (SMORC)
Get rich cheating
Tempting people to cheat, the measure of dishonesty
What we know versus what we think we know about dishonesty
Cheating when we can't get caught
Market vendors, cab drivers, and cheating the blind
Fishing and tall tales
Striking a balance between truth and cheating
Fun with the Fudge Factor
Why some things are easier to steal than others
How companies pave the way for dishonesty
Token dishonesty
How pledges, commandments, honor codes, and paying with cash can support honesty
But lock your doors just the same
And a bit about religion, the IRS, and insurance companies
Golf
Man versus himself
A four-inch lie
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to take the mulligan
Schrdinger's scorecard.
Blinded by Our Own Motivations
Craze lines, tattoos, and how conflicts of interest distort our perception
How favors affect our choices
Why full disclosure and other policies aren't fully effective
Imagining less conflicted compensation
Disclosure and regulation are the answers-or not.
Why We Blow It When We're Tired
Why we don't binge in the morning
Willpower: another limited resource
Judgment on an empty stomach
How flexing our cognitive and moral muscles can make us more dishonest
Self-depletion and a rational theory of temptation
Why Wearing Fakes Makes Us Cheat More
The secret language of shoes
From ermine to Armani and the importance of signaling
Do knockoffs knock down our standards of honesty?
Can gateway fibs lead to monster lies?
When "what the hell" wreaks havoc
There's no such thing as one little white lie
Halting the downward spiral
Cheating Ourselves
Claws and peacock tails
When answer keys tell us what we already knew
Overly optimistic IQ scores
The Center for Advanced Hindsight
Being Kubrick
War heroes and sports heroes who let us down
Helping ourselves to a better self-image
Creativity and Dishonesty: We Are All Storytellers
The tales we tell ourselves and how we create stories we can believe
Why creative people are better liars
Redrawing the lines until we see what we want
When irritation spurs us onward
How thinking creatively can get us into trouble
Cheating as an Infection: How We Catch the Dishonesty Germ
Catching the cheating bug
One bad apple really does spoil the barrel (unless that apple goes to the University of Pittsburgh)
How ambiguous rules + group dynamics = cultures of cheating
A possible road to ethical health
Collaborative Cheating: Why Two Heads Aren't Necessarily Better than One
Lessons from an ambiguous boss
All eyes are on you: observation and cheating
Working together to cheat more?
Or keeping one another in line
Cheating charitably
Building trust and taking liberties
Playing well with others
A Semioptimistic Ending: People Don't Cheat Enough!
Cheer up! Why we should not be too depressed by this book
True crime
Cultural differences in dishonesty
Politicians or bankers, who cheats more?
How can we improve our moral health?
Thanks
List of Collaborators
Notes
Bibliography and Additional Readings
Index

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-05-15)

What motivates dishonesty? In his latest book, Ariely (psychology & behavioral economics, Duke Univ.; The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home) explains the psychological and economic factors that drive people to lie and cheat. He explores the rational cost-benefit forces that propel dishonesty, such as the amount of money to be gained, the probability of being caught, and conflicts of interest. To illustrate his argument, Ariely cites examples ranging from the Enron scandal to Ponzi schemes to owning fake designer bags. Along with a list of additional readings, he provides descriptions of research studies, including his own, to support his theories.

Verdict: Ariely writes thoughtfully and his sense of humor is evident throughout the book. A quick and easy read, this is for anyone who wants to learn about the psychological and economic causes of dishonesty.

[See Prepub Alert, 12/16/11.] - Tina Chan, Penfield Lib., SUNY Oswego

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

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 honest or less so?
  • Does religion improve our honesty?

Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it's the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it's actually the irrational forces that we don't take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe, there are countless puffed résumés, hidden commissions, and knockoff purses. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Ariely 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. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.

But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, The (Honest). Truth About Dishonesty will change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

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