Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely on Lies, Cheating, and Creativity
An interview with Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and author of the book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty. Ariely studies economics by running behavioral studies in a lab setting, and says he's discovered that people are less likely to lie when presented with a "moral reminder" of some sort. This can be as simple as something like a disclaimer urging participants not to lie. But he's also demonstrated that urging participants to swear on the Bible or recall the Ten Commandments before running an experiment resulted in less cheating overall. An individual's penchant for cheating, Ariely says, is determined by the balance between two conflicting desires: wanting to gain an edge versus not thinking of oneself as immoral.