You are a thief and a liar! You may not be a grand thief—you won’t take the office computer home, but the office pen won’t hurt, will it? You lie to yourself (that dress doesn’t make you look fat), you lie to others (just this one brownie won’t hurt you), and you cheat, although minimally (just five minutes in the no-parking zone). These things add up and change our character over time.
In this post we will address just what does the research show us about our self-deception.
Here is a clip of it.
Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, has written another provocative book, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty. This book is about the experiments Ariely conducted with approximately thirty thousand people, where he found that very few people cheat a lot, but almost all of us cheat a little bit. Ariely’s book is written with a great deal of humor and stories where he argues that we “lie to everyone—especially ourselves.”
It is a common assumption that, whether consciously or not, we use a “cost–benefit analysis” method to decide if we will cheat: “What do I stand to gain, and how much do I stand to lose?” According to Ariely, however, how we decide whether to be dishonest is a lot more complicated than that. The standard model takes into account only the punishment (typically of a legal nature) and does not include variables such as psychological, environmental, or societal factors that may exist to help keep us honest. Ariely argues each of these factors affects our decision about whether to act dishonestly or not. His scientific research establishes that the myth that we are all basically good is false. His conclusion is that we all cheat (and, I add, including Christians), but the question is: how much, when, and why?
We Are All Dishonest in One Way or Another. You probably consider yourself to be a law-abiding, good citizen. But what if you were faced with a cataclysmic event that devastated your community and destroyed your social structure—where there were no police, no hospitals, and no grocery stores? What would you do, or not do, to survive—to protect and provide for your family? The thought about what I am capable of under the right circumstances frightens me,
Read the rest here.
What did you think? Is human nature fundamentally flawed? Do we all lie?