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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

May 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 208

"The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves" by Dan Ariely is a fascinating look at cheating and dishonesty. Backed by research, Ariely provides explanations for the unethical behavior that seems to be endemic from Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, and everywhere else you turn.

It is interesting to see that irrational forces are often behind whether we behave ethically or not, and cheating and dishonesty are not merely derived from a cost-benefit analysis. The more engaging element of this book is Ariely's ability to make his research interesting, engaging, and relevant. It was not only an educational book, but a very engaging and entertaining one too. One of the many things I found interesting was the conclusion from an experiment that suggested that the probability of getting caught doesn't have a substantial influence on the amount of cheating. This is just the opposite that I thought would happen and that I suppose many others would believe too.

The book explores why we cheat others and why we cheat ourselves. One especially interesting part were the findings of how people only cheat "a little bit" so they can still consider themselves honest and good. It was also interesting when some experiments showed people would cheat to help others more than themselves, and at other times how certain things such as reminding people about honesty could decrease the amount of cheating. The opposite is also true, with findings that wearing "fakes" can lead us to cheat more. Think having a stronger relationship with a professional will reduce the likelihood of the professional acting for a self-interest when faced with a conflict of interest? Think again! The chapter on conflicts of interest and being blinded by our own motivations sheds some interesting light on this topic as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and it explained occurrences I've seen in others and myself. It provided information for me to use when maintaining my own honesty as I try to raise honest children and influence others with ethical behavior. As the author concludes, once we better understand what really causes our less-than-optimal behavior, we can start to discover ways to control our behavior and improve our outcomes. Ariely's "The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty" is definitely a start to better understanding what really causes cheating and dishonesty, and it is a book I recommend highly to anyone interested in this field of study.

Alain Burrese, J.D. is a writer, speaker, and mediator. He has authored several books (including Lost Conscience and the Tough Guy Wisdom series) and a number of instructional DVDs (including Hapkido Cane and the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series). He has also reviewed hundreds of books, DVDs, and products. His Warrior's Edge programs focus on safety, marial arts, self-defense, and living with The Warrior's Edge. His Black Belt Communicator programs focus on effective communication for conflict resolution, negotiation, leadership, and mediation. You can find out about Alain and his reviews, as well as click to his site from his amazon reviewer's page:

Source: EzineArticles
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