Fraud lies and morals in the job: Cheat until the ego shakes

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Lying and fraud are part of our daily lives - also in the job. But what makes us lie, and how can we be honest despite all the temptations? A book by bestselling author Dan Ariely continues to help.

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Here writes for you: Oliver Ibelshäuser is a journalist and owner of the editorial office Text und Vision. Profile

Subjects at lie detector


Spicy, informative and seasoned with a lot of fine humor, the author in "Half the Truth is the Best Lie" searches for the causes of small and large frauds in professional and private life.

Dan Ariely does not speculate on how morally and honestly people act in different situations, he just tries it out - tempting them. And look what happens. A book that really impressed me personally.

If we can, we take things away


Ariely's tests are simple: he leaves a few cents here and looks what happens to them. Or put students in a magnetic resonance tomograph to prove how the "one-hand-washes-the other" principle works (it stimulates the prefrontal cortex).

For, that we do not take it all with honesty and understanding of law every now and then, his exciting stories and experiments leave no doubt. "When we have the possibilities, we take things away from each other.

Wrong as a balancing of costs and benefits? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!


As a social scientist, Ariely has been investigating the causes of fraud in laboratory and field research for years, and now provides the answer to the question of the conditions under which people tend to lie. It provides an interesting contribution to the subject of fraud and morality in our society.

After all, the SMORC model (Simple Model of Rational Crime), which is always a rational weigh-in of costs and benefits, is banished as inadequate.

Personal guilt consciousness decides


The author shows that the propensity to cheat does not just follow the likelihood of getting away with it. The personal guilt consciousness plays an essential role. "Basically, we cheat to the point that allows us to preserve the self-image of a reasonably honest person."

Everyday life lays constant bait for small, immoral "misconduct": memory lapses in the tax return, fake branded articles on vacation, the dodgy subway.

To resist the compulsion to lie


Ariely knows them all and also knows, "that we are not helpless at the mercy of our weaknesses (including dishonesty), that we can restructure our environment and thus come to honest behavior.

With his wonderful book, Ariely shows why we are cheating and cheating others on a daily basis in work and private life. And he gives enough stimulus to resist the apparent constraints of the lie and to decide and act sincerely in the future.

The whole in amusing form and without pastoral teachings. Great!

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  2. Thomas Eggert

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  4. Pingback: Cheating until the ego wiggles ... | ... and he moves!

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