SOCIAL SCIENCES

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves
The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves. Harper: HarperCollins. Jun. 2012. c.320p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062183590. $26.99. PSYCH
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What motivates dishonesty? In his latest book, Ariely (psychology & behavioral economics, Duke Univ.; The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home) explains the psychological and economic factors that drive people to lie and cheat. He explores the rational cost-benefit forces that propel dishonesty, such as the amount of money to be gained, the probability of being caught, and conflicts of interest. To illustrate his argument, Ariely cites examples ranging from the Enron scandal to Ponzi schemes to owning fake designer bags. Along with a list of additional readings, he provides descriptions of research studies, including his own, to support his theories.
VERDICT Ariely writes thoughtfully and his sense of humor is evident throughout the book. A quick and easy read, this is for anyone who wants to learn about the psychological and economic causes of dishonesty. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/11.]

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