Analysis Of The (Honest Truth About Dishonesty By Dan Ariely

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Have you ever told a lie? Or cheated - harmlessly enough, maybe by accident, you realized later? If your answer is yes, do not despair -- all is not lost, and there is a good chance that your counterparts who answered “no” are lying. Human behavior - regardless of culture, creed, country of origin, or religion - is irrationally peppered with numerous, documented examples of lying and cheating. Individually and collectively, people lie to and cheat everyone -- especially ourselves.
We lie a lot, says behavioral economist Dan Ariely. The central thesis of Dan Ariely’s The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty is that human behavior is driven by two conflicting motivations, and that most human values are not compatible all of the time. On one hand,
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The “control condition” of the matrix experiment works like this: Ariely and his colleagues posted announcements, typically on a college campus, offering students a chance to earn up to $10 for around ten minutes of their time. At the appointed time, participants entered a room set up for a typical college examination; each participant received a sheet of paper containing twenty different matrices and were told that they needed to find two numbers that added up to ten in each matrix. Participants were also told that they had five minutes to solve as many of the matrices as possible and that they would be paid 50 cents per correct answer (although the amount varied during other versions, or “conditions,” of the same experiment); from there, what happened at the end of the five minutes varied depending on the particular…show more content…
Even the innocuous "cheating" of wearing faux designer clothing and accessories (such as fake Prada) makes people more likely to cheat in other areas of their lives; observing dishonesty in co-workers (such as witnessed among investment banks proceeding the financial crisis of 2008) may make people more impervious to dishonesty than if they had observed the same level of dishonesty in people less proximate. As a result, Ariely writes, "We should not view a single act of dishonesty as just one petty act…the first act of dishonesty might be particularly important in shaping the way a person looks at himself and his actions from that point on - and because of that, the first dishonest act is the most important one to prevent." (p.

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