The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

By Dan Ariely

Rating: 8/10

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  • Essentially, we cheat up to the level that allows us to retain our self-image as reasonably honest individuals.

    Page: 23
  • On one hand, we want to view ourselves as honest, honourable people. We want to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and feel good about ourselves (psychologists call this ego motivation).

    Page: 27
  • As it turns out, people are more apt to be dishonest in the presence of nonmonetary objects— such as pencils and tokens— than actual money. From all the research I have done over the years, the idea that worries me the most is that the more cashless our society becomes, the more our moral compass slips. If being just one step removed from money can increase cheating to such a degree, just imagine what can happen as we become an increasingly cashless society. Could it be that stealing a credit card number is much less difficult from a moral perspective than stealing cash from someone’s wallet?

    Page: 34
  • If you wear down your willpower, you will have considerably more trouble regulating your desires, and that difficulty can wear down your honesty as well.

    Page: 106
  • We are storytelling creatures by nature, and we tell ourselves story after story until we come up with an explanation that we like and that sounds reasonable enough to believe. And when the story portrays us in a more glowing and positive light, so much the better.

    Page: 165
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