Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty Book Report

I chose the book “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty” by Dan Ariely. The author is a Psychologist and in this text he details the many experiments and interviews he conducted in order to study human dishonesty and cheating. An example of the studies he conducted included a “matrix test” which was a mildly challenging mathematical test that he used to determine whether participants would cheat on it or fudge their answers by being allowed to shred their test and report their answers without evidence. He uses these experiments to test both his own theories about cheating as well as previously established ones such as the Simple Model of Rational Crime also known as SMORC.
The interviews that Ariely conducted in order to make these books shed light on many different businesses, careers, and lifestyles that support cheating and lying. It is impressive how many resources he has and how interesting their accounts are. At some points in the book I had my jaw hanging down because I could not believe the sneakiness and illegitimacy of businesses and organizations that are meant to help the common good or serve an incredibly important role in society.
My favorite part of this book was in Chapter 3: Blinded by Our Own Motivations. Ariely had interviewed pharmaceutical representatives and asked them how they convinced doctors to purchase drugs from their companies and push them onto their patients. My mind was blown by how conniving pharmaceutical companies can be. The Pharmaceutical reps were all beautiful and charismatic. They also learned what the doctor’s interests were, what their favorite foods were, and what politics they agreed with. The reps will give the doctor and their staff members gifts that can be as small as a coffee mug to as large as a steak lunch once per week for a year. I couldn’t believe that the people who I trust with my well-being were being seduced by companies in order to push their agenda. It truly changed my perspectives on the medical field.
I was watching videos on the internet one night and stumbled across this one. It reminded me so much of the book I read for this class and thought it would be a great addition to my paper. The video demonstrates just how powerful lying and putting suggestions in people’s heads is.

Adam Ruins Everything
This book has truly changed the way I see the world and I have been thinking a lot about how I and the people around me can cheat while not feeling bad about it. Everyone draws a line somewhere and cheating just a little bit can go a long way. In one of the chapters Ariely discovered that putting small reminders of morality near a tempting situation can greatly reduce the amount of cheating performed there. I was thinking about the laundry room at Stockton and how people will take others clothes out and put them on top of the machine in order to put their own clothes in. This behavior is very rude especially when the person doing it does not even wait five minutes for someone to retrieve their belongings. I think placing a sign in the laundry room that asks students to please wait a reasonable amount of time for the owner of the clothes to retrieve their belongings before moving their things would change this behavior. Also placing a sign that asks students to not steal other students clothing articles would most likely reduce that behavior as well. 

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