26 June 2012

Dan Ariely on why we lie, cheat, go to prison and eat cake

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Dan Ariely is a professor of behavioral economics and psychology at Duke University and the author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, and The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic, both New York Times bestsellers.

Ariely’s new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, explores some of the surprising reasons we lie to each other, and ourselves. Raised in Israel, Ariely holds Ph.D.s in both business administration and psychology. Wired senior editor Joanna Pearlstein spoke with Ariely as part of the Live Talks Business Forums series at the City Club of Los Angeles.

“[What] worries me is we’re moving to a cashless society; we’re soon going to have all kinds of electronic wallets. We have all kinds of esoteric financial instruments. We have lots of things that are multiple steps removed from money. We are moving to a situation which allows people to rationalize dishonesty to a much, much higher degree. And because of that whenever we have financial instruments that are further way from money, we just need to be more careful.”

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