I’m a big Dan Ariely fan. I’m also running a bit short on time this morning.
So in lieu of a longwinded post, I’d like to direct your attention to this youtube clip of Dan talking about one of his more recent books (and here is the link for the subscribers: RSA Animate – The Truth About Dishonesty).
And really, the summary is this:
- We want to feel like we’re good people.
- But we also want all the benefits that come from being dishonest.
- And you can’t really have both.
- Except that we manage to do both.
How do we do that?
We cheat just a little bit (so instead of stealing money from petty cash, we just take extra stationary out of the cupboard). And then rationalise it (“it’s only a pencil – and I’m going to use it for work a bit anyway”).
And that doesn’t sound that serious.
Only, when Dan conducted his “cheating” experiment with 30,000 people (spoiler alert):
- He found 12 big cheaters, who in total stole about $150 from him.
- But there were 18,000 little cheater who stole, in aggregate, $36,000.
A little bit of cheating goes a long way?
Check the clip out. Totally worth it.
Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha.