Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

Nathaniel Hawthorne on accuracy

October 5, 2014


Source: Tragedy Series.

The dying are incapable of BS

September 15, 2013

Hospice worker Kathleen Taylor talks about people who really do live each day as if it might be their last, and wonders what it would be like for everyone to live at that level of self-awareness and honesty.

Click on Regrets of the Dying for more on this topic.

Hat tips to Beyond Meds and A Way in the Woods.

What ever happened to honesty?

August 2, 2012

Click on John Deering for more cartoons.

Hat tip to Balloon Juice.


The psychology of honesty

July 1, 2012

Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about studies he and some other professors did on the subject of honesty.

They found that most people are mostly honest most of the time, but can be tempted to be a little bit dishonest depending on the risks, the rewards and what everybody else is doing.  No surprises there.  What I did find surprising was the following.

We took a group of 450 participants, split them into two groups and set them loose on our usual matrix task.  We asked half of them to recall the Ten Commandments and the other half to recall 10 books that they had read in high school.  Among the group who recalled the 10 books, we saw the typical widespread but moderate cheating.  But in the group that was asked to recall the Ten Commandments, we observed no cheating whatsoever.  We reran the experiment, reminding students of their schools’ honor codes instead of the Ten Commandments, and we got the same result.

We even reran the experiment on a group of self-declared atheists, asking them to swear on a Bible, and got the same no-cheating results yet again.

This experiment has obvious implications for the real world. While ethics lectures and training seem to have little to no effect on people, reminders of morality—right at the point where people are making a decision—appear to have an outsize effect on behavior.

Click on Why People Lie for the whole article.