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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dan Ariely tells truth about dishonesty, being irrational

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely says it's human to act irrationally, that most people lie, but that we can trust each other.

By Karen Ravn
The Los Angeles Times
Originally published September 6, 2013

Most of us would rather not think of ourselves as irrational or dishonest. But in the books "Predictably Irrational" and "The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty," Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University, makes the case that we're all probably both. And what's more, he says, that's not entirely bad.

Does everyone behave irrationally sometimes?

Absolutely yes. Irrationality is not about stupidity. It's about being human. Actually it's about both. Sometimes we behave irrationally because we don't think, or we don't think long-term. But other times it's because we're human, because we're kind and generous and not selfish. So we're all irrational from time to time, and occasionally it's a good thing. How often we do it is hard to say. But consider texting and driving. If you text only 10% of the time that you drive, or even 1%, is that a lot or a little? The trouble is, however rarely you do it, the danger is just tremendous when you do.

The entire interview is here.

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