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The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves

Dan Ariely

Top 10 Best Quotes

“We all want explanations for why we behave as we do and for the ways the world around us functions. Even when our feeble explanations have little to do with reality. We’re storytelling creatures by nature, and we tell ourselves story after story until we come up with an explanation that we like and that sounds reasonable enough to believe. And when the story portrays us in a more glowing and positive light, so much the better.”

“One percent of people will always be honest and never steal," the locksmith said. "Another one percent will always be dishonest and always try to pick your lock and steal your television. And the rest will be honest as long as the conditions are right - but if they are tempted enough, they'll be dishonest too. Locks won't protect you from the thieves, who can get in your house if they really want to. They will only protect you from the mostly honest people who might be tempted to try your door if it had no lock".”

“The more cashless our society becomes, the more our moral compass slips.”

“Maybe we feel meaning only when we deal with something bigger. Perhaps we hope that someone else, especially someone important to us, will ascribe value to what we've produced? Maybe we need the illusion that our work might one day matter to many people. That it might be of some value in the big, broad world out there [...]? Most likely it is all of these. But fundamentally, I think that almost any aspect of meaning [...] can be sufficient to drive our behaviour. As long as we are doing something that is somewhat connected to our self image, it can fuel our motivation and get us to work much harder.”

“We are all very good at rationalizing our actions so that they are in line with our selfish motives.”

“[..] we human beings are ready and willing to steal something that does not explicitly reference monetary value - that is, something that lacks the face of a dead president.”

“Moreover, grandmothers of students who aren't doing so well in class are at even higher risk - students who are failing are fifty times more likely to lose a grandmother compared with non-failing students. In a paper exploring this sad connection, Adam speculates that the phenomenon is due to intrafamilial dynamics, which is to say, students' grandmothers care so much about their grandchildren that they worry themselves to death over the outcome of exams.”

“The question, then, is whether the only force that keeps us from carrying out misdeeds is the fear of being seen by others ...”

“The first dishonest act is the most important one to prevent.”

“Once we are painted as cheaters in our own eyes, we start behaving in more dishonest ways.”

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Book Keywords:

dishonesty, money, cheating, lying, works, honesty, funny, motivation, morality, psychology, meaning

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