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The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves Hardcover – Jun 5 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 2 Sub edition (June 5 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062183591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062183590
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“Ariely raises the bar for everyone. In the increasingly crowded field of popular cognitive science and behavioral economics, he writes with an unusual combination of verve and sagacity.” (Washington Post)

“I thought [Ariely’s] book was an outstanding encapsulation of the good hearted and easygoing moral climate of the age.” (David Brooks, the New York Times)

“The best-selling author’s creativity is evident throughout. . . . A lively tour through the impulses that cause many of us to cheat, the book offers especially keen insights into the ways in which we cut corners while still thinking of ourselves as moral people.” (Time.com)

“Captivating and astute. . . . In his characteristic spry, cheerful style, Ariely delves deep into the conundrum of human (dis)honesty in the hopes of discovering ways to help us control our behavior and improve our outcomes.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Dan Ariely ingeniously and delightfully teases out how people balance truthfulness with cheating to create a reality out of wishful-blindness reality. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of your own personal ethics—and those of everybody you know.” (Mehmet Oz, MD; Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and host of The Dr. Oz Show)

“Anyone who lies should read this book. And those who claim not to tell lies are liars. So they sould read this book too. This is a fascinating, learned, and funny book that will make you a better person.” (A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy)

“I was shocked at how prevalent mild cheating was and how much more harmful it can be, cumulatively, compared to outright fraud. This is Dan Ariely’s most interesting and most useful book.” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan)

“Through a remarkable series of experiments, Ariely presents a convincing case. . . . Required reading for politicians and Wall Street executives.” (Booklist)

From the Back Cover

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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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book, makes the point -- based on lots of ingenious research tests -- that we all engage in dishonesties that serve the purpose of burnishing our self-images. Given the book's amusing jacket design and title, we might call these 'Pinocchio dishonesties'. We tend to this troublesome behavior whenever the idea assaults us that we are not worthy by our own standards and sometimes also when we think we are not worthy by others' standards. This behavior is a natural human habit/instinct out of which we can only grow either with the love and help of others or by reminding ourselves of the value of sorting out truth from its opposite (and it appears -- to coaches and therapists -- to arise most strongly when we are verging on losing the will to engage or live). The prevalence of the behaviour implies that we are in the automatic habit of remembering events in such a way that we remain worthy in our own eyes.

This point is, in my opinion, true for me, true for you, and true for everyone on the Planet, although not, of course, to the same extent because there are differences in how we were nurtured, are educated, and practise learning to respect, discover, and discuss what is actually true or not.

Prof. Ariely tries hard to find optimism in the implications of his work and certainly makes some practical suggestions proven reliable by his research. A more thorough-going work to help us all emancipate from the Pinocchio tendencies to which this book draws our attention may have to await the documentation of Eye-Zen English, whose root idea rests on the value of acknowledging our states of being with "I have 'X emotion' now" statements in which 'X emotion' is verifiably authentic.
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By Jennifer K. TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2016
Format: Paperback
As someone with Asperger's, I've always struggled to understand why people lie, how they keep track of their lies (or, if they don't, how they then cover their lies with more lies), why so many people are happy to believe lies, and corruption in general. A friend got this book for me, but I've found it very tough to try to get through. (Tough as in having to sometimes go page by page with friends to ask for their input so I can wrap my mind around certain concepts and ideas).
I don't know if everyone with Asperger's finds lying irrational and confusing, but I always have, and while I think I have a somewhat better understanding now of lies and corruption (thanks in large part to this book and subsequent conversations with friends), the whole concept still baffles, confuses, and angers me. (Angers me because lying still makes no sense, is confusing, and I've had to go to extraordinary lengths to try to protect myself from lies other people tell, such as having to tape conversations with certain people to prove I correctly remember* a conversation and didn't agree to this or that, or didn't yell at someone, etc). *I read The Invisible Gorilla a few years ago, so I understand that many people misremember and delude themselves about a lot of things, but The Honest Truth goes much further and deeper.
I think the subject matter is very unpleasant, but needs to be read. However, the reader should make up their own mind about what to believe and accept. For example, I think the observations about tolerance of corruption and lies in government are very good, but many sweeping statements about other things are nonsense as not everyone is the same. Or.. is stating, "Everyone does [this or that]" meant to be an example of a convincing lie? You decide. But if you're a neurotypical, I think you'll have a much easier time reading and understanding this book. It gave me a headache.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well researched and documented. Written in a compelling style. His conclusion are worth considering. Leaders in educational institutions, government and business should read this, as well as the general public. Countries which do not curb widespread dishonesty, which becomes elevated over time in business and government eventually slide into serious corruption. Corruption robs the vulnerable of educational opportunities, medical care, etc because money is siphoned off by the powerful.
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Format: Hardcover
*A full executive-style summary of this book is now available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com.

There is certainly no shortage of lying, cheating and corruption in our society today. At their worst, these phenomena do substantial damage to our communities and the people in them. Picking on the corporate world for just a moment, consider a few high-profile examples from the last decade: the scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, Haliburton, Kmart, Tyco, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a host of banks in the financial crisis of 2008.

If you are a particularly pessimistic person, you may think that people are fundamentally self-interested, and will engage in dishonest and corrupt behaviour so long as the potential benefits of this behaviour outweigh the possibility of being caught multiplied by the punishment involved (known as the Simple Model of Rational Crime or SMORC). On the other hand, if you are a particularly optimistic person, you may think that the lying and cheating that we see in our society is largely the result of a few bad apples in the bunch.

Given that the way we attempt to curb cheating and corruption depends largely on which view we think is correct, we would do well if we could come up with a proper understanding of these tendencies, and under what circumstances they are either heightened or diminished. Over the past several years, the behavioral economist Dan Ariely, together with a few colleagues, has attempted to do just this--by way of bringing dishonesty into the science lab. Ariely reveals his findings in his new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves.
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