Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

Author: Dan Ariely
Title: The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty: How we Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves
Description: Ariely is a psychologist who has conducted many (slightly) varying experiments about the conditions under which people will be dishonest. Here he reports his findings in an accessible style in a book designed to give laypersons insight into their behavior and that of others.
Writing style:  Blessedly free of academic jargon, thank goodness, but the endless variations on basically the same experiment got really old.
Audience: Nonfiction readers, especially those with an interest in psychology or human behavior.
Major ideas: Certain circumstances make people much more vulnerable to the temptation to be deceitful, while other situations reinforce the tendency to be honest.
Wrap-up: The lack of variation in the basic setup of the experiment made the book lose steam by about halfway through. 3/5*

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