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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves
Cfi has released their top 10 Science & Reason books of 2012. Here's what they have to say about The (Honest) Truth:
Dan Ariely has built a compelling body of scientific work charting the depths of deception. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares to call himself a critical thinker or who wants to understand why we behave the way we do when left to our own devices. The author is not only a prolific, thorough and imaginative scientist, but also a gifted writer and a superb story-teller. You will have plenty of fodder for dinner party conversations, taking you through the dark winter months.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry I wasn't able to make it, something came up at the last moment...I did read the book and had my notes ready. Hope to see you all next month.

    August 4, 2013

    • Leo F.

      Hi Kari, no problem, hope to see you next month.

      August 5, 2013

  • Sharon M

    I won't be able to make it this month but here are my two cents. The book seemed a little lightweight - was expecting something more profound. The idea that one cheats only a little bit (on the trivial tasks) because it still allows one to think of themselves as a relatively decent human being I guess is plausible. I suspect it has more to do with the idea that a small amount is less likely to raise suspicions. I had difficulty believing that we could extrapolate the findings on trivial tasks to major issues such as the financial dealings on Wall Street, with the exception of a culture of cheating.

    I was a little surprised at how many people cheat. Very interesting that people think they are more capable than they are based on their performance on a task on which they had cheated.

    3 · August 2, 2013

    • Leo F.

      I agree the science in this book is relatively lightweight compared to some of the other science books we have discussed. It presents interesting bits of information about some of the factors that influence cheating in various circumstances, but it doesn't amount to a comprehensive or extensively tested theory of human dishonesty. I think it is worth noting, though, that until very recently economists had been developing their theories based on ideas of human decision making that weren't based on any experiments whatsoever. The basic idea behind these economic models is that humans make decisions based on a purely rational and self-interested analysis of the situation.

      2 · August 5, 2013

    • Leo F.

      The author refers to that in the introduction when he describes the SMORC model of cheating, which received the Nobel prize in economics. At the very least, his research shows that there is a lot more to decision making in matters of cheating than a pure cost/risk/benefit analysis, even if it is not yet clear how exactly we can take advantage of this knowledge and how existing economic theories should be modified to account for it.

      2 · August 5, 2013

  • Mary

    I was on Barnes & and it says that the book won't be released until June 18th. Is there an older edition?

    May 6, 2013

  • Leo F.

    Dan Ariely has some great talks at He's a really interesting guy.

    April 1, 2013

  • Paisley (.

    This author has a free six week long online course that started March 25th through Coursera -

    A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior -

    "In this course we will learn about some of the many ways in which people behave in less than rational ways, and how we might overcome these problems."

    People can usually sign up for courses for at least a week or so after the starting date. I just started it, and so far am intrigued. It is the most entertaining Coursera course I've taken, and I think I'll learn a lot.

    3 · March 27, 2013

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