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on 9 February 2013
If this is the first book you read by Dan Ariely, you will probably find it well written, entertaining, full of insights and counter-intuitive facts about cheating. This is a book based on insights obtained from experimentation centered around a specific subject: cheating.

From that perspective this book is an excellent read for those that want to understand cheating and lying, importantly even lying to ourselves. The author arguments wery well how the traditional economists' model of looking for self interest does not work for lying or cheating. He shows very convincingly that we all cheat by a little bit, while trying to keep a good self-image of ourselves. More interestingtly, he explores, through experimentation, what factors influence cheating, some reducing it, others increasing it. In short, if you have not read any book from Dan Ariely yet and you are interested in the subject of cheating and lying, this is a very nice book.

Now, I have read Dan Ariely's two previous books and I was slightly disappointed for a couple of reasons. First there is a significant amount of material that was already covered in previous books. Second, compared to the other two, this book feels rather "light". Knowing the other two books I expected more content.

I would give it 3.5 stars, but because I had to choose between 3 and 4, I give it 4, thinking especially about those who have not yet read any book from this author.
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on 16 November 2012
I first heard about this book through a friend. I picked it up in a local bookshop during a lunch hour and raced through the first 30 or so pages enjoying the clear moral questions that the book brings.

The author describes the results of thousands of experiments that he has conducted to show in what situations we are likely to cheat or lie and by how much. For example are we more or less likely to lie about how we did in a test if we know we cannot be caught? Or if there is monetary reward on offer? Or if we work in a group with complete strangers? The experiments are clearly explained and easy to follow. The results do seem predictable, but perhaps that is only in hindsight having read the explanation.

They raise some very interesting questions and real life applications, and the author seems to enjoy relating these to business situations. It really does make you consider your real life interactions and the behaviour of yourself and others, for example when your dentist tells you that you need an expensive filling, in what situation would he be exaggerating about the benefits it would bring to you? If you were seeing him for the first time, or if you had a long standing relationship?

I have to admit that I do have my reservations about social science experiments. I feel they can be set up in a way to fit whatever the person conducting the experiment wants to show. (Is this being dishonest!??) My other criticism of the book is that it does become a little repetitive and most of my enjoyment came from reading those first 30 pages in the book shop.

All in all an interesting read and I may well pick up Dan Ariely's earlier books that seem to have very favourable reviews.
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on 20 March 2013
1% are dishonest, and 98% of us will get away with what we think we can.

Ariely is a highly entertaining academic looking what makes us tick and how our honesty/dishonesty can affect how we behave and interact, and more importantly how we shape and manage our systems and environments to counter act human frailty/weakness.

If you have any interest in behavioral economics or human psychology this is definitely worth a read.
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on 23 April 2016
The title says it all. Great research into the realities of our illusions of our own virtue.
Valuable to open your eyes to the cold objective realities of the trustworthiness or otherwise of yourself and other people, and the strange and surprising, counterintuitive factors that influence it.
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on 5 August 2017
This is enlightening. I couldn't recommend it enough.
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on 22 November 2017
Excellent product, arrived right on time and with better than expected quality.
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on 5 February 2018
Really excellent book for people that want to understand dishonesty and cheating. Lots of easy to understand experiments demonstrate the practical side.
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on 5 March 2013
I bought this book after reading Dan's previous books and it completely met my expectations. His books are always interesting with plenty of experiments to prove his theories.
And I think that's the most interesting part of his books: the experiments. He won't just tell you "that's the way is is" period. He thinks "I believe that's the way it is, so lets test it with real people" And thats what he describes.
I would honestly [:)] recommend this book.
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on 8 October 2012
The book covers a large variety of topics under the category of dishonesty, whilst maintaining a close focus on the topic. The statistics provided throughout are both convincing and surprising, posing questions about things in life that are often not even considered. Overall both an easy and interesting read.
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on 12 August 2017
Another fascinating book from Dan Ariely! Not quite as good as Predictably Irrational but still a very enjoyable read.
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