Why it’s important to draw the line

A new book to be published next week,”The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty” by Dan Ariely looks at why people lie or cheat.  Its findings may provide reflection points for a country trying to stem corruption.  Ariely writes, “Everybody has the capacity to be dishonest, and almost everybody cheats – just by a little”- torn between opposing motivations of personal gain and your own belief that you’re honest and honorable. He adds,”sadly, it is this kind of small-scale mass cheating, not the high-profile cases, that is most corrosive to society.” He and his colleagues ran a series of experiments and found that being reminded of moral codes at the point of decision can help stop cheating or lying.  He says, “while it’s important to pay attention to flagrant misbehaviors, it’s probably even more important to discourage the small and more ubiquitous forms of dishonesty – the misbehavior that affects all of us.”  These findings echo an earlier piece by Rappler’s Maria Ressa, which talks about the importance of drawing your own line to prevent a psychological skid to corruption.

 

Read more about Ariely’s findings on the Wall Street Journal and about drawing the line on Rappler.  

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