Sunday, January 06, 2013

The honest truth about dishonesty -Dan Ariely

I have enjoyed 2 books of Dan Ariely and both have influenced me into looking at myself in multiple levels. This one that way had to live up to high expectations and I have to admit that it effortlessly did. I loved the read and considering my long vacation I read it over a period of time and did not finish it in one sitting like i usually do.

There are multiple ways in which we lie to ourselves and coincidentally before reading the book i had been talking with people about how our moral standards are becoming more and more flexible. I related a lot to the experiments he conducted and found myself agreeing or surprised with his results. The one thing I found a bit disheartening to note is that almost all his experiments show how much we cheat when there is no supervision. I have an internal watchman as one thing I am too scared of is that I might become a liar. I keep trying to watch my actions and make sure I am at least honest to myself and those I really care about. When Ariely points out that the first act of dishonesty leads to a lot more, I was just constantly nodding my head. I just tightened the rules around my life and I hope I don't give up.

I wish he has more funding and conducts experiments in India as I do want to see how my countrymen fare. The results might show that with our fudge factor and attitude around rules we ain't that honest. Or maybe it won't because when called to a test we might want to act more honest. Who knows?

I haven't done full justice to the book in this review but I would call it a must read for anyone interested in behavioural economics.