Dan Ariely’s extensive research into human rationality includes a lot of material on honesty, which is a key component of Reality-Based Thinking. It’s that moral part of RBT by which we keep ourselves on the straight and narrow, being responsible to reality even when we might rather not! This book recounts a series of experiments in which people were allowed to cheat and steal in various ways. The results–and Ariely’s explanations of them–are very instructive to us in understanding our own temptation to be deceitful.
In this book, Ariely points out how test subjects cheated far less when they had been asked to recite as many of the Ten Commandments before they were given the task in which their level of cheating would be measured. Even among those who couldn’t recite any of the Ten Commandments, cheating was virtually stopped altogether! Ariely suggests, therefore, that someone should write a moral code that doesn’t come from religion, so that it could be used in government institutions, such as schools, where codes that are religious in nature are simply too controversial to use. This suggestion was the impetus for Jack Pelham to develop The Realitan Code, which appears here on this website, and which will be detailed further in Pelham’s upcoming book.
You need to read Ariely’s book. It’s an extended exploration into just what we tend to be like, and this exercise is crucial to anyone wanting to be an authentic and honest human!
Formats available include Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audible, and Mass Market Paperback. Various abridged versions of this book are also available at the Amazon page linked below.
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