The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves
Author: Dan Ariely
"There's one wat to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says "yes", he is a crook".
The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves, written by a Duke University Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Dan Ariely. Ariely is also a New York Times bestselling author. Ariely's book caught my attention do to the fact that eveyone plays the part of Pinocchio at some point in their lives. All Pinocchio wanted was to be a real boy, but ended up telling lies along the way. Do we have the same perception? Do we feel the need to lie or stretch the truth to feel like a real person, to feel liked, or to feel as we fit in? So, thinking about a childhood movie, such as Pinocchio made me think how people are in their everday honest and dishonest lives. This lead me to be intrigued by what Ariely had to say about the topic.
Ariely breaks the chapters up by introducing different motives for individuals to be dishonest. Each motive is an action or reasoning we have seen someone in our lives, perhaps even ourselves portray. May it be we were dishonest to receive more money, or cheated on an exam for a higher grade, the motives are endless. Most of the time we feel that little white lies won't hurt anyone. We do not see being dishonest as being bad. Ariely writes about how being dishonest in fact can hurt you in the long run or hurt others. He also touches base on what may cause an individual to be more honest, such as religion. With this day and age of social media, individuals are always trying to look more exciting or desirable to millions of others (some being complete strangers). So, why are so many individuals dishonest and looking for the approval of others, causing this dishonesty? If this is something that has crossed your mind, then Ariely's book is a great read!
Ariely's book was a page turner, not a chapter left me disappointed. I loved how on page 106, he named the section. "Dead Grannies". He talked about how professors encounter the phenomenon of a close loved one dying right before an exam or an assignment is due. This caught my eye, because it is so true! I couldn't imagine how many times a professor must get that excuse. He mentioned that about 10% of his students go to him asking for an extension because of a death in the family, especially a grandmother. It got me thinking that these students must have a lot of grandmothers for them to be dying off left and right, semester after semester. Or their grandmothers are like cats and have nine lives. For some reason this part of the book actually made me laugh. Since it was something easily relatable and I have seen before, I find it to be extremely interesting. I related to the topic on a few levels. One, while I was getting my first bachelors degree, my mother actually passed away during the end of my very last semester of college. I still did my work because all she wanted was to see me graduate. I never told my professor what I was going through, due to the fact of this book. I thought how many other people are telling him they lost someone. On a another level, I coach girls soccer at a high school. It is amazing when their is a big party happening, or I hear that a bunch of the teens are going away for the weekend, that out of nowhere a player of mine lost a family memeber and will not be at soccer on Saturday (yes, for some reason they make a lot of the high school games on Saturdays, horrible I know!) or during pre-season they have as the book would call it, "dead grannies", especially the day they are suppose to run the mile and take the fitness test.
Chapter 6: Cheating Ourselvs in Ariely's book it talks about self-deception. It mentions that seld-deception is a useful strategy for believing the stories we tell, which will leave individuals not even flinching when they are claiming they are anything other than what they are pretending to be. Reading this part of the book made me think back to the lecture slides. Especially, the collection of slides on drugs. During the slides it talked about addictions. Many individuals that suffer from addictions, live in denial. They live in denial so much that they actually themselves believe they do not have an addiction or a proble, This made me think of how the book mentioned self-deception, because they are seeing and believing themselves to be what they want to believe they are. Addictions can come in all forms; drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, caffiene, use of cell phones, etc. For example, someone may think they do not have a shopping problem, however, they can not leave a store with out buying something. They might not even had a need for the item, or even the finanical ability to afford it, yet they feel they need it and will leave with it. They will justify their actions to make themselves feel like their choice was not a bad choice. Their self-deception is off from what is really going on.
This is a picture (not the best and old), of myself in London at Platform 9 3/4. This is also a picture of being dishonest, to go along with the Ariely's book. My friend that I went to London with loves Harry Potter. I have actually never sat through a whole Harry Potter movie or read any of the books (I know hard to believe). However, knowing she was a huge fan, I told her I had seen the movies and wanted to go see this movie location while we were in London. Reality, I could of careless if I saw it or not. Sometimes being dishonest is just to try and make someone else happy. I felt bad pretending I wanted to be there, but at the same time it made her really happy.
Do you lie more than the average person? Check out this link to find out!