Despite our intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around? Why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together? What are the forces that influence our behavior? Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is dedicated to answering these questions and others in order to help people live more sensible—if not rational—lives.

His interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom. In addition to appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics and the School of Medicine at Duke University,

Dan is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and the author of New York Times best-sellers Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. Dan’s latest book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves, which takes a thought-provoking look at our preconceptions about dishonesty and urges us to take an honest look at ourselves.

 

 

THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY: HOW WE LIE TO EVERYONE—ESPECIALLY OURSELVES

From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us are immune, whether it’s the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In a presentation based on his most recent book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, best-selling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it’s actually the irrational forces that we don’t take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe, there are countless puffed résumés, hidden commissions and knockoff purses. Ariely shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior, both intentionally and unintentionally. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.

But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, Ariely will change the way we see ourselves, our actions and others.

HOW EQUAL DO WE WANT THE WORLD TO BE? YOU'D BE SURPRISED

The news of society's growing inequality makes all of us uneasy. But why? Dan Ariely reveals some new, surprising research on what we think is fair, as far as how wealth is distributed over societies ... then shows how it stacks up to the real stats.

 

If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.
— Daniel Gross, Newsweek