Review: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves This New York Times Bestseller by Dan Ariely was a great read. I loved the research and personal stories that filled his pages. Not too often can a social scientist keep the attention of the average joe. The book is not that long - 282 Pages.

Some questions he explores:

  • Does the chance of getting caught affect how likely we are to cheat?
  • How do companies pave the way for dishonesty?
  • Does collaboration make us more honest or less so?
  • Does religion improve our honesty?


  • There’s one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says “yes,” he is a crook. —GROUCHO MARX p. 1
  • As Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Morality, like art, means drawing a line somewhere.” The question is: where is the line? p. 28
  • We generally believe that we have a privileged view of our own preferences and character, but in reality, we don’t know ourselves that well (and definitely not as well as we think we do). Instead, we observe ourselves in the same way we observe and judge the actions of other people—inferring who we are and what we like from our actions. p.122
  • The good news is that we all have a moral compass. The bad news is that we can’t just assume that our consciences will effortlessly and continuously protect us. p. 281