The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

76%

15 Critic Reviews

Captivating and astute study.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.

 

About Dan Ariely

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Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in many outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and others. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, Sumi, and their two creative children, Amit and Neta.
 
Published June 18, 2013 by Harper. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
All: 15 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Jun 28 2012

Readers love the fast, blinky reasoning behind such books . . . Ultimately this sunny author believes that most people mean to behave honestly unless they are allowed to feel that minor cheating is justified. What to do? Mr. Ariely isn’t strong on solutions. 

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Apr 09 2012

Captivating and astute study.

Read Full Review of The Honest Truth About Dishon... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Keckonen on Sep 30 2012

The useful and informative sections in the book could go on for another thousand words; so just look into it yourselves and be the judge.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Roth on Aug 10 2011

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. 

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Kathryn Canavan on Jun 24 2012

Consider Ariely's book a field guide to dishonesty — from you parking illegally to the dentist who insists those tiny craze lines in the enamel surface of your tooth require a costly crown.

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Scientific American

Below average
Reviewed by Jordan Lite on Sep 28 2012

Ariely does not consider the potential benefits of dishonesty beyond those of white lies . . . he touches on the neurological underpinnings of only pathological liars, leaving the rest of us with little biological insight into our transgressions.

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The Commentator

Excellent
Reviewed by Alex Radzyner on Jun 01 2012

Ariely has written a thoughtful, entertaining and very readable book which can surely add much needed insight to hotly debated and polarising topics. 

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Summary

Excellent
Reviewed by Summary on Jan 01 2012

This fascinating book on the psychology of dishonesty can be disheartening, yet at the same time offers hope for a world with less "fudging." 

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Luxury Reading

Good
Reviewed by Poppy Johnson on Aug 02 2012

The book is an interesting amalgamation on why we are dishonest . . . Ariely does a very good job at making the findings understood in only as many scientific words as it takes to be clear.

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Amy Reads

Good
Reviewed by Amy on Aug 02 2012

Very well written and well-researched. Engaging and interesting, keeping the reader learning and wanting to know more.

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DWD's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by DWD on Apr 03 2012

This could have been a stupefyingly dull book, but Ariely has a deft touch and makes it a very fun and very quick read. 

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Canting Candrakirana

Good
Reviewed by Canting Candrakirana on Jun 20 2012

The author’s honesty . . . stays true to the book’s title.

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Neuromarketing

Good
Reviewed by Roger Dooley on Jun 05 2012

The part of the book I found most interesting was Ariely’s discussion of conflicts of interest. 

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Purple Car

Below average
Reviewed by Christine Cavalier on Jul 01 2012

Where the book falls short, besides the lack of Ariely’s personal stories, is in the area of some needed philosophical talk about morals. 

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Healthcare Reform, Practice Management Systems, and Medical Billing

Good
Reviewed by Yuval Lirov on Jul 05 2012

Read this book and observe how it changes the way you think about your relationships and your work.

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