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Why We Lie

Why we lie. Why we cheat. Psychology has a new theory of the case.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves (cover photo)

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves (cover photo)

Humans lie.  Humans cheat.  We don’t like to think of ourselves as liars and cheaters.  Most of us resist getting flagrant there.  And yet, we all know how that little fudge factor can creep in.  The little cheat.  The little lie.  And sometimes big ones.

Why do we do it?  When do we do it?  And what restrains us from doing it a whole lot more?  Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has been looking deeply into the land of lies.  He’s got some new insight on how we try to do right, when we fail to do right.

This hour, On Point:  Why we lie.  Why we cheat.

-Tom Ashbrook



Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. His new book is The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves.

From Tom’s Reading List

Slate “The unpleasant implication is that you’re probably trusting people you shouldn’t trust. Here Ariely explains how his view of human nature led to a tense confrontation in his dentist’s office.”

New York Times “If a refrigerator in a college dormitory contains cans of Coca-Cola and dollar bills, which will disappear faster? Hints: College students don’t often want to perceive themselves as thieves. And they are often thirsty.”

USA Today “We want to see ourselves as honorable, he says, but we also want to benefit from cheating. That’s especially true when we observe others around us cheating — fudging their taxes, boosting pens from the office supply cabinet, underreporting the number of miles they drive each year for insurance purposes.”

Video: Dan Ariely TED Talk

Check out Ariely’s talk: Are we in control of our decisions?

Excerpt: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone

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  • Ellen Dibble

    If you don’t know you are lying, if you are buying into a current worldview (like Enron’s self-deception), then are you consciously deceiving yourself?  Or just taking the shortcuts everyone in your cultural milieu is using to cut through a complicated reality?

    I like to think that without words, we would have very little ability to lie.  Infants telegraph truth.  Words, as they learn them, give them the option to prevaricate, to be polite, to deceive.   Maybe some can do that preverbally, but not many try.

    But words that can and are tested against the evidence, that is for a court of law.  And a person’s representations may astonish against that context, versus an uncontested “story,” that had seemed seamless.   I doubt anyone mistakes “fibbing,” which seems to me the normal job of language, where one accepts and even relishes the limitations of perception and understanding (one’s own and that of one’s culture), and deals with those limitations with creativity and humor, versus “lying,” per se, when it takes advantage of others, hurts others, leads astray in damaging and illegal ways, all that.  Well, yes, we can confuse those…

    • Gregg

      It is not possible to lie without knowing you are lying.

      • Ellen Dibble

        He’s defining self-deception as part of it, which really opens it up.  There is the realm of “belief,” and another realm where it’s not clear if we’re dealing with “belief,” or assumption or fact.  I can remember a time when it didn’t need to be stated that black people were inferior.  It was a given.  For example.

        • Gregg

          I don’t get the show until 7PM so I missed the context. I get the point but IMO lying to yourself is creepy. I’d call it “willful ignorance” or “shallow reasoning” or “lack of curiosity”. It still seems to me the same principal would apply and it needs to be intentional and known to  be a lie.

  • Bigleyjoshua

    I never lie.  And can’t tolerate it.  All a man has is his word.  I don’t see the point in lying.  When people lie–most people know and you look a fool.  When we don’t know it, you hurt people. Moat of the worlds problems can be reduced to lying.

    I don’t even give white lies–if I am asked do I look fat in this dress, i say it doesn’t suit you, you look overweight, its not good for your figure…yes, a little, this dress suits you better…  some people don’t like to hear the truth but at least they know what they get with me.  You are lying to yourself if you don’t you know you are fat.  Go on a diet–exercise–but don’t ask me am I fat–yes you are!  I’m not perfect either–i could use some exercise–would you like to go swimming with me, or cycling?

    ‘Was that a stupid thing to say’–yes, it was, I say.   

  • Roy Mac

    I once had a boss who preferred telling a plausible lie, rather than telling the truth; naturally, he became incensed when his underlings even omitted a grain of truth.  Besides, we mostly lie about our weight and waist sizes.

  • Hidan

    People tend to lie for,

    Personal Gains(political,social,financial), Sparing another feelings, or in an malicious way intended to do harm to another.

  • pajpaj

    As a teacher, I am lied to all the time. Sometimes I can coax a student into telling the truth by appealing to their sense of integrity and showing some empathy… “I can understand why telling the truth was hard for you”… but many kids today feel if they can get away with lying, it isn’t really bad. By the way, some of the parents have no problem backing up their kid’s lies too.
    It’s sad what mom and dad are teaching their children.Thank goodness for those kids who are truthful even though they are in the minority.

    • Bigleyjoshua

       My students also lie, and cheat–it is easy for them, like drinking water.  Only they lie and cheat more than they drink water.

  • Jay

    I remember reading of a study where people were asked a list of “yes or no” questions. Within these were a number of questions which psychologists had determined were universal “yeses” but were socially unacceptable therefore often answered as “no”. The only one I can remember is “Have you ever enjoyed a bowel movement?” 

    In general terms, those who “lied” were found to be people who could paint a happier picture of their lives and suffered less with the issue of depression. Those who told the truth tended to paint a darker, more accurate picture of their life and also suffered from higher rates of depression. 

    Unfortunately, I’ve enjoyed a number of bowel movements.

    • Ellen Dibble

      According to Sigmund Freud, there is oral, anal, and genital desire/need, and for most people (those who defecate, I suppose), the anal satisfaction is achieved through bowel movements, so I suppose that is universal.

    • at

       If you look at the post just above yours you will find a link to the study you are talking about. Fancy that. . . .

  • at

    Nice to be with all of you during the show for a change.

    Here is a link to the most important factors about self-deception I have ever come across.

    I was first made aware of this study by a fellow poster right here, about two years ago — JacFlasche — who has since disappeared. If your are out there Jac — thank you.

    I didn’t believe you when you claimed that the most successful and happiest people are the most self-deluded.
    Now I do.
    And it explains a whole lot of the stuff that we as a society don’t seem to be able to fix.
    If this program could comment on this factor I would appreciate it.


    • ClemTones

      EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT I have been trying to find this but didn’t know the source.

  • MarkVII88

    It is my belief that people have an incentive to lie or cheat when they see others getting away with it.  For example, I obtained a building permit to put up my new deck ($56), but my neighbor across the street simply didn’t bother.  Instead he just claimed he was already permitted to build his deck because it was part of the permit he obtained for building his house…in 2007.  What a crock of poo!  I am constantly amazed at what people think they can and likely will get away with.  The most unfortunate part is that people seem to hate those who blow the whistle on these liars and cheater as much as those who are cheating.  Nobody likes a snitch! 

    • Bigleyjoshua

      Most permits are ridiculous.  I don’t see why it’s any of your business what your neighbor is doing, nor do I think the town really does–a deck, a dock, a roof–leave me alone.  But hay, its your fault if you live in a development of cookie cut homes on entirely wasted yards better served as gardens.  

      • MarkVII88

         I completely agree with you about most permits being ridiculous.  In fact, I believe they are mostly designed as a way for towns to collect additional income since you can download all the specs and code information for such items off the internet anyway.  I don’t particularly care that my neighbor is building a deck…good for them, especially since I’m sure they’ll get lots of good use out of it and it will look great.  My only issue is that I feel like it’s not something I could have gotten away with with my own project.  Every aspect of our home building project (2009-2010), which was not part of a cookie-cutter development, was highly scrutinized by neighbors who had no trouble complaining to the town about various aspects of our permitted construction.  The question I have asked myself is why did we/do we deserve this scrutiny while everyone else in the area can seemingly do what they want whenever it suits them.  I’m balking at this double standard as a matter of principle.

        • Bigleyjoshua

           i see.  i don’t know what you were doing–perhaps it was a huge project that effected their view…?  People just love to moan.

      • GMG

        I think, as a rule, the higher the population density, the more people appreciate rules and permits. It saves a lot of grief when you can point to a neutral rule instead of having to engage in personal battles over every little thing.   If you live where population is less dense, rules tend to seem more capricious. I think this general phenomenon partially explains why people in urban areas tend to be less persuaded by political positions that tout “small government”. I really don’t want my neighbors who surround me within 20 feet on all five sides to be able to do whatever the heck they feel like.

        • Bigleyjoshua

           I agree to some extent–and you make a good point about density and rules and ‘small gov or big gov’–but I have to say, i am not one of those people–Accusations of big government are ridiculous, especially when we have no government–only corporations, a corporate aristocracy and corporate bureaucracy motivated by greed, profit, power, and selfish narcissism–we speak of democracy but actually we devote ourselves to a feudal system of fascist authority and celebrity. 

          However, permits are an extensive bureaucracy that is often senseless and extreme–courts are good places to settle neighborly disputes–or go and talk to your neighbor.  But if I build a deck on my house–I don’t see why that is any of your business.  If I Build a sun room on my kitchen–why is that anyone’s business?  It is my house?  I am not building a skyscraper. 

          But isn’t it ironic that my bank account  determines what i can do with my property–a corporation, a developer can come in and do anything he wants with purchased property but we need permits to put a pool in.  A rich man tears down the house and builds a four-story mansion on a tiny lot–no one will deny that permit. 

          There is something wrong with the system.  I have lived in rural, suburban, and urban environments.  And I believe in mutually benefiting rules, but some are just needlessly wrapped up in red tape. 

        • Bigleyjoshua

           The battles are needless as well–why do people feel they need to say so much–people love to complain.  In my view rules are necessary but i appreciate organic design.  I travel a lot–and the places I love most–aesthetically, spiritually, are those places that are not rigidly planned–on grids and neat little boxes like most American places–having seen many places, when i go back to America–it has an extremely fascist culture and presence–a few too many rules, too orderly, soooooo many police.  As Americans we are not always aware of our self-inflicted and imposed fascism.  American cities are like military bases. 

          What kind of places do we like to travel to?  What kind of places are we enthralled by in literature–even fantasy and sci-fi–not ordered grids of perfectly shaped appearances of superficiality.  I despise a bare yard of grass and people who mow down all their trees and trim their property high and tight–its hideous!  And unnatural. 

          We need a shift in social paradigm–we need to start valuing community, flourishing gardens rather than yards and pavement.

  • Casey

    It’s pretty funny. I use to steal CD’s from music stores when I was a teenager. There was an overlap in time when music was available online and still sold in stores – the same people who thought it was outrageous that I would walk into a store and leave with a couple of CD’s would download 50 albums without a blink of the eye. 

    • Bigleyjoshua

       You were stealing from shop-owners, maybe some were corporate chains–but some I bet were small businessmen trying to make an honest living.  You are a thief. 

      Downloading movies and music is not stealing-its sharing.  If I had a cassette tape i wanted to share I could share it with anyone I wanted to.   it was mine.  Nobody can tell me I was violating copyright–well, you know what they can go do–

      Now, technology enables us to share online–it is absolutely no different.  I can share my stuff with anyone I want.  Shutting down bit-torrents is no different than storming into my home and stealing my cds, tazing me, and arresting me and all my friends for a few grateful dead bootlegs.   Fascist police state!

      Thousands of people produce movies for millions of dollars.  The writers make almost nothing and are never remembered.  Thousands of small folf that make ovies possible get paid very little, even tho the movie is not possible without them.

      A person writes a book–he does it himself, maybe for many years–he is entitled to the profits–if any ever.   i sympathize with writers, not so much  film-makers in Hollywood, and somewhat with musicians, but not record labels.  but a song or two online could market an album and make me go out and buy it.

      Downloading movies and music is not stealing.  Shoplifting is–unless you do at Walmart–to hell with them!

      • Naomi in VT

        This is a ridiculous rationalization–downloading music w/o paying is stealing from the artist. Period.

  • jim

    I cheated twice in school. and I considered a saint compare with other students i encountered in college and high school. but where does it get me compare with professionals in Wall Street, Washington DC, and sports? not far. 

    Today… we have tons of cheaters especially in wall street and DC with regards insider’s trading. I see many cheaters selling tips and getting to enjoy it in the process.

    in sports… i see cheaters such as Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong. we do not need to prove it. For Clemens case, how do you explain that his career was obviously winding down in boston and his fastball was losing significantly speed. when he went to toronto and NY, his fastball started to rejuvenate? i don’t believe it.

    Winning one tour is extremely difficult.. how do you explain a person who can win 7,…. 7!!!! straight tours?

    at the end… what is the morale of the story? Cheaters will always make out as winners in the US regardless of the consequences. it is all about $$$.

    Raaj Rajaratnam after serving his terms will still get to keep his millions or perhaps billions.

  • Phollanda

    An old hindu advice: Tell the truth, tell the pleasant! But don’t tell the truth if unpleasant, and don’t tell the pleasant if it is not true

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerryhecker Kerry Hecker

    I am a rising junior at the University of Virginia, having transferred from Connecticut College after my freshman year. Both schools abide by the honor code, a code of conduct all students must pledge as a student of the school. We must write out and sign the pledge not to cheat or lie on assignments and tests, and in doing so the University trusts the actions of its students. However, I have witnessed cheating on both campuses in a variety of forms. For example at Conn College, final exams are taken without a professor in the room, and I have seen a student looking on their phone during the exam. How does this influence the credibility of honor systems throughout our college campuses and our educational system as a whole? How does the bystander effect play into lying and cheating? Am I as guilty in not reporting the incident as the person who is violating the code? Does the fear of being a tattletale, or the fear of confronting a friend inhibit those who see it to do anything about it? Even the whole fiasco over President Sullivan tested the UVA honor system.

    • Bigleyjoshua

       Good questions–I hate those phones!  My advice is to tell the prof. what is going on  without naming names in any way.  tell him thats what you want to do.  I feel the prof. should be aware–if not all ready–and perhaps they can adjust the system, or exam culture. 

      I can’t believe there is no one in the room.  It makes me think the prof. is very aware of the cheating, and is a bit cowardly–doesn’t want to confront it, doesn’t care enough, or is so disgusted by it–he/she has given up–because it is hard to change and be strict and controlling when you don’t want to be. 

      If I had to stop every student who was cheating–nearly everyone would fail.  These days it is common practice for students to cheat and without remorse. 

      How do I fail every student when education is a business motivated by profit and prestige.  Poor students reflect badly on a university. 

      Teachers get a bad rap–but how can teach non-students, many who do not belong in higher-education, and don’t want to be. 

      Looking for Superman!?  Where are the students?
      If you can’t ask a Republican to appreciate democracy or show compassion and empathy, how can you ask a ‘student’ to care?

      Go to your teacher and ask if he is aware?  It should be confidential.  And then maybe go to the administration and tell him your intentions–not to criminalize the prof. but ask–shouldn’t there be a system in place–exam proctors?   Cell phones at the door with a security guard or something.   All cell phones in a sealed manilla envelope with student’s name–to be retrieved after the exam. 

  • ToyYoda

    Ariely is talking about rationalizing as the conduit for which we cheat; But that’s describing the mechanism for facilitating cheating, but it doesn’t describe *why*.

    I’d like to know if we cheat out of fairness.  Companies routinely expect, coerce, demand their full time employees to work 50 or more hours a week, even though they only pay them for 40 hours.  If an employee decides to call in ‘sick’ when he is not, how can you say he is cheating, when the company is cheating them?

    It’s like a twisted game of prisoner’s dilemma.  Athletes cheat because they need to stay competitive with their cheating peers.  The same reason applies for students who take brain enhancing drugs.  Everyone may be cheating and it may be socially acceptable, but what if the stakes is your job or your future?

    • Bigleyjoshua

       I like your points about work.  i want to rationalize it for you–you are not lying–because you are sick–sick of the system and the double standard of corporatism–of fascism.  You need to start a union. 

      if it is a large company they probably wont respond to any complaints or efforts of reconciliation–or compensation, so I say to hell with them–lie and cheat–the executives all do.  But you could quit as well and stop supporting corporatism. 

      If you work for a small company, they might appreciate feedback and assertiveness.  people who speak up reasonably often get positive attention.  if not, they are not the right people to work for. 

      Companies often forget employees provide a service–you are not servants in a feudal empire–though they like to think of you like that.  They should treat you as partners and associates who contribute to a community.  In fact, you should just quit and join a form a cooperative. 

      You might work just as much or more–but its for you, not them.

  • Monica Roland

    My Marine Corps father did not tolerate lies of any kind.  Or theft.  Or cheating.  I can remember that he would never let us use any US government pencils or pens.  As an engineer and test pilot, he would take home a lot of work.  He would make a big deal out of putting down his US gov’t. pen, then picking up one of his own, when he would help us with our homework.  He would never allow us kids to apply for jobs on military bases, either.  He said we, as officer’s kids, might get preference.  He made us find jobs off-base.  Those lessons stayed with me for a lifetime.  

    • SomeGuyNamedMark

       That sounds a bit extreme.

    • Bigleyjoshua

      I like the job on base thing and preferences–good for him–but the pencil thing is insane.  Why did he have them at home then, anyway?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    My late grandmother often quoted this maxim: “Cheaters never prosper.” It was a lie. Cheaters, liars & con-artists have never prospered so lavishly as they do today.

    • GMG

      Reminds me of Crimes and Misdemeanors, that Woody Allen film on just this point.  The truth is, liars, cheats, and criminals often do just fine, and even manage to forgive themselves over time even if they are not sociopaths.

  • Mark Silverstone

    How can the guest justify lying on a massive scale about the shredder (math problems experiment).  In the name of science? Give me a break!

  • BHA in Vermont

    Why would an atheist swear on a bible? There is no fear of retribution from a nonexistent “higher power”. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      I would swear on a Bible, without fear of retribution from a Higher Power, though I’m not an atheist.  I somehow think my own conscience would take a heavier toll on my physiological state, a heavy enough toll.  

      • Ellen Dibble

        Actually, so here I am transcribing 15 hours of testimony in a court that seems to be Wall To Wall  dishonest.  I can sort of tell from the tone of voice, the volume, what degree of forthrightness is being used.  Some lies the person really avoids telling; the attorney is glad to get those on the record and repeats them aloud to elicit confirmation if possible.  But over and over the what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive — as the head of the inquiry committee Sam Ervin (as I recall) quoted the Bible during the Watergate proceedings — this person has been lying for a decade, and it’s STILL very tangled.  

    • Atheistist

      I think you have missed the point!

    • Ray in VT

      As an atheist, I wouldn’t swear on a Bible for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it’s rather blasphemous as someone who doesn’t believe, and I try to avoid blasphemy out of respect for religion.  Secondly, I view it as an meaningless act, given my beliefs, and I feel that it presumes that everyone believes, which I don’t.  I’d gladly swear on something more meaningful to me.

  • pkyzivat

    I wonder if people get desensitized to the value of money, and thus feel what they are taking is insignificant?

    For instance, if you are a stock trader, trading billions of dollars at a time, a few million dollars is “nothing”.

  • AC

    this is all very interesting, & while i know I lie to myself regularly, as well as the white lies ‘i can’t make it i don’t feel well’ etc.., i’ve tried to be brutally honest with myself and recently heard a study that said people who are very honest, or realistic, with themselves are often more depressed and cynical?….i do fall a bit into this category as sometimes I despair the state of the world….

  • Asb

    Great program today, Tom. Health for brain and body.
    I’m sending in $ to PBS today, not lying ;-)

    • Bigleyjoshua

       I’m sending in money too!  No, I’m not–I’m lying.

  • Tsol

    Do honor codes and professional codes restrain self-interest and encourage honesty? My experience in a school with an honor code was that it all but eliminated cheating.  My experience in the medical profession is that the professional code limits self-interest in clinical decision making and that the usurpation of the the profession by hospital and insurance corporations has the opposite effect.

  • Strytllr

    Do men lie more than women? Or are the lies equal but about different things?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      That is a really good question. I thought about opening this particular can of worms but then realized how incindiary this forum might become if I did. Is self-censorship a form of dishonesty? Hmmmm.

    • Bigleyjoshua

       my guess is women lie more, but I’m possibly just a big jerk.

  • NPR Listener

    Q for PROF. ARIELY:
    Does the brain anatomy or chemistry of liars/cheaters show anything unusual — e.g., “excess” dopamine or variations in their prefrontal cortex?

  • Bigleyjoshua

    I do not lie, said the liar.–liar!

  • Lloydjcarr

    Dan describes the cases/experiments, but what explains it? Does he think that Kahneman’s proposal of “2-selves” as an explanation of deception is supported or refuted by his experiments?  

  • Adarondax

    Is there “threshold” dishonesty?  That is, something simple and dishonest that leads to grander cheating.  An example:  speed limits.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Say all the cars are driving 7 miles an hour over the speed limit, so the cops really can’t stop all cars.  However, everybody is unlikely to start going 90.  

  • Greg

    So if Wall Street actually saw up close and personal the lives they are ruining they would stop?

    One, they don’t. Because they are cocooned in their world.

    Two, they don’t. Because they are sociopaths.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Garrison Keillor once said he’d given up lying because he could never remember what he had said.  The truth tends to stick.  On my Facebook page, I have a made-up birthday, which was because I don’t want a cyber track that way.  However, once someone tried to grab my Fb page, and Fb asked me to tell them my birthday.  Of course I had no clue.  Eventually, in a month, they let me back on regardless.

  • E.L.

    What about the Iraq war? Prohibition? American society seems to have a history of big, systemic programs based on these kinds of lies… they maybe start off with good intentions but morph into much larger social dillemmas. How can we use these new insights from behavioral economics to reframe the debate about some of these controversies?

  • MarkVII88

    Why do people who are behaving honestly feel like they are the only people who aren’t lying or cheating?  Why are the honest among us often vilified for being “snitches” when they expose a cheat or a lie, even small ones, of other people?  Everyone seems to be trying to beat the system and get something for nothing.  Why should those who follow the rules often feel stupid for doing so when they could have taken a shortcut? 

    • Bigleyjoshua

       the world is made of liars and cheats–and so made for them–I’m afraid the honest among us will always lose out.  In the words of Rick Moranis in Space Balls–”Evil will always win–because good is stupid.”  Evil has a bigger Schwartz!

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me many families, besides the ones Charles Dickens, for instance, delineated, are founded on certain “stories,” which serve to highlight certain things and totally bury others.  How this affects the way children find their place in the world?  Interesting to me.  

    • Tsol

      An interesting question. When do family myths become lies? When the defensive distortions exceed the kernels of truth? what about illusions? Are they lies? Are we mixing epistemological, moral, and adaptive categories?

  • Samantha

    Im curious as to how the sight PostSecret.com contribute to the cheating and lying.

  • Dadanny

    How honest is it to sell multiple books with different titles aluding to new topics; from the same set do data collected from the same experiments. Not run again, just restated! I have listened to many interviews and read Dan’s first book and I have yet to hear any “new” information.

  • autismtherapist

    Am I the only one picking up on how your guest’s language is quite forgiving to the banks? Every time you made a come back about outright criminal behavior of bank CEO’s, Mr. Ariel changed the topic to more mundane dishonesty. His comment about bankers “misbehaving”  was the only time he was critical to that group. It seems to me we need an updated Psych study on The Bystander Effect focusing on language. Having said that, I enjoyed the topic and love the show.

    • Roy Mac

      Very good observation.  He says “misbehaving” while describing lying and cheating.  To me, those are different behaviors, deserving different punishments.

  • kamalu

    Your guest is speaking about lying and cheating and stealing in terms of rules and laws rather than ethics and morality (i.e. in the case of “illegal” downloading). I could argue that this tendancy for individuals to “rationalize” behavior is an imperative for an ethical being, especially within systems where laws and rules are unethical, unjust or favor some individuals over others.

    • Bigleyjoshua

       agreed wholeheartedly–nothing more to say.  Oh, except–in addition to ethical one is complicated, not so black and white.  In the words of Walt–’Do I contradict myself, then I contradict myself.’  A rational being is complicated and often ethical.  A simple conformist mind is suitable to fascism and dictatorships–not democracy. 

  • Lp3344

    Humans are subconsciously influenced by thoughts,( 90% ) of which originate outside of our minds. The human psyche, as well as our DNA have been manipulated for aeons by a solar hierarchy of fallen mind energies that have no higher moral code to which they adhere. Most humans don’t realize that it’s thought that creates and that we are biotransducers of energy and frequency.Not all is as it seems on this planet, in fact the main reason for the Cosmic Christ’s coming here was/ is to re- align this “system of things” to YHWH’s greater Mind of the Spirit of Truth.If one were to examine the Word Of God in the New Testament book of Ephesians 6:12, one discovers the Truth about why things happen as they do on this planet.The pathway out is given in the ancient text of The Pistis Sophia which provides us with a strategy for releasing ourselves from these ” powers and principalities ” that control the game of life on planet earth.

  • Vic Volpe

    When a college professor attempts to explain something your grandmother could give you in a simple aphorism you have a problem.

    • Simonson

       And, your grandmother’s simple aphorism is what please?

  • Dave

    An old story I have heard is that if you feel that your boss is not paying you enough you will take it out in stolen goods. sounds like this would fit into this study!

  • HomeGirl

    This was fantastic!

  • JGC

    Dan Ariely has an amazing life story.  Just the sort of person to consider around Independence Day.

  • Pingback: Why We Lie

  • Bigleyjoshua

    Not everything should not be a commodity.  Society doesn’t have to be structured this way–and one should not impose morality on me–you could argue that capitalism or copyright is deceitful. 

    Your rules are not necessarily my rules.  If there were no copyright rules or they were made differently, I am not “cheating or stealing”–it is perfectly normal and encouraged, accepted.  So now suddenly I’m not a thief, I’m an active citizen. 

    You could argue that art, culture, information, knowledge is not for sale–it is our right, especially as citizens.  if we lived in a tribal community–we would not be excluded from the community fire of songs and storytelling if we didn’t have enough wampum.  A nation is nothing more than an overpopulated tribe.  capitalism is unnatural–and a lie!

  • J B

     Ariely makes a major mistake in his assertion that Alcoholics Anonymous has a rule against taking even one drink. AA actually has no rule, no step, and no written tradition which insists upon total abstinence from drinking, a fact which is very easy to find. Quite the opposite, AA overtly encourages people who won’t (or can’t) stop drinking to remain a part of the organization. In fact, the vast majority of AA members (whose only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking, NOT actual abstinence) do drink again, so often that such “slips” are quite an expected behavior. Furthermore, therapists and alcohol-addiction counselors (many of whom imitate the AA method) are trained to assume that most individuals who were once addicted to alcohol will eventually drink again, such that the few former alcohol-addicts who manage to remain sober are often accused of lying about their sobriety by their therapist/counselor.

    I’m not sure why Ariely would make such an obvious mistake, but I’m afraid it casts more than a little doubt on his other assertions. If he’s trying to put his ideas forth as science, he must back up his claims with facts, and this misrepresentation was obviously a failure in Ariely’s fact-checking.

  • Slipstream

    Another excellent show that got me thinking.  Here are a couple of things Ariely didn’t talk about at length.  Having dealt with some hardcore liars in my life (probably a lot of us have), I feel qualified to comment.  In some social situations, there seem to be two sets of rules.  One is the stated rules.  The other are the unwritten rules.  Often they are not the same, and people will follow what they perceive to be the unwritten rules, which can carry as much or more weight than the written/stated rules. An example: a professor once told her class that she wanted us all to be totally honest in our course of evaluations.  I followed her advice and wrote up a stinging critique of her methods and choices.  Up until then we had enjoyed a good relationship, but this came to a complete end after she read my evaluation.  Clearly I had made a mistake by following the stated rather than the unstated rules, which were completely opposed to each other.

    Another thought: often people will break the rules of organizations whom they dislike or perceive to be unjust.  Ariely dismisses this as being rationalization, but I think it is more complicated.  Sometimes these are more like rearguard actions or secret protests/assaults on systems.  

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Jul 24, 2014
Youths seen playing basketball through bars on a window at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wis. (AP file)

The cold hard facts about juvenile prisons. And the case for shutting them all down.

Jul 24, 2014
Nickel Creek

After a 7-year hiatus, progressive folk trio Nickel Creek is back together. We’ll hear from them and their latest album, “A Dotted Line.”

Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

On Point Blog
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