The truth about dishonesty

11 minutes

Why it’s so easy to cheat without feeling dishonest

According to Dan Ariely, an expert on human motivation and behaviour, rationalisation makes it very easy to be dishonest without feeling like you’re doing anything terrible. Moreover, good people doing good work who cheat a little bit do more harm than big cheaters. But, it turns out, reminders about moral codes, even when they’re not your own, result in less cheating, as does the chance to open a new page, such as through confessing or asking forgiveness.

Video by the RSA

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like
Essay/
Neuroscience
The theory of mind myth

Even experts can’t predict violence or suicide. Surely we’re kidding ourselves that we can see inside the minds of others

Robert Burton

Essay/
Social Psychology
In extremis

As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer