Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

  General Overview:
          The Honest Truth About Dishonesty is written in a humorous and matter-of-fact way. The author, Dan Ariely, feels that we lie to others including ourselves. Some of us like to believe we are honest and do not lie. At times, we may not be aware of our lies.  We may think of reasons why lying is acceptable and view it as a social morality issue. Ariely uses several experiments to find out more about dishonesty.

    Favorite Part:
My favorite experiment was “The Coin Logic”. This was an imaginary situation where you cannot decide which camera to buy. Your final choices are between two cameras. A quarter is then used to help with your decision. The ‘head’ of flipping the quarter was one camera and ‘tails’ was the other camera. If you do not like the outcome of flipping the coin, sometimes we all say “the next toss is the real answer”. Flipping the coin again can show maybe we wanted the other camera all along and you feel better following the coins “advice”. Sometimes in real life situations, we can flip quarters during decisions or even ask a friend or family member’s advice until we receive the answer we want to hear from someone. Throwing the coin multiple times in order to get the answer we desire is an example of lying and cheating, although, most people would not think of it as such.

Willpower, self control and self management are often seen as external behaviors such as dieting, quitting smoking, or not drinking alcohol. The coin logic scenario is not only an example of lying to oneself but also shows a lack of willpower by the repeated coin toss to get the answer that is wanted. 

          I found some several videos on YouTube related to the book and this was an interesting four minute video. Dan Ariely spoke more about lies and dishonesty. He spoke about white lies and how children are brought up to tell white lies to be polite. Lies that don’t hurt anyone else but benefit us were discussed. He also spoke about the way that the business and social world of lies may cross. It is interesting to think more about how lies impact our daily lives even when we do not realize a lie is involved. Please see link:

Extension: The book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, made me realize that we all lie and cheat at some points in our lives. Sometimes we have to lie for certain reasons. For example, if you have a friend’s surprise party this Saturday and that friend asks what you are doing this Saturday, you will have to lie and make something up so you do not ruin the surprise. Lying to someone for no reason still intrigues me. Why do we lie? Does it make you feel better - even if it is not true? 

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