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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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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

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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