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Is Dan Ariely’s Latest Book Predictably Dishonest?

Dan Ariely, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, has released a new book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves.

If that title makes you go “hmmm” you might appreciate Eric Daniels’s review of Ariely’s last book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions.

In that review, Daniels obliterated Ariely’s main thesis by pointing out that it “commits the fallacy of self-exclusion and thus falls comically flat.”

 

[Ariely] tells us that our “predictable irrationality” is a consequence of unavoidable illusions that thwart our thinking, illusions that exist “because of the basic wiring of our brains.” Is this conclusion an illusion caused by the basic wiring of Ariely’s brain? He tells us that “stripping away our preconceptions” is impossible. Is that one of his preconceptions? He says “we are trapped within our [own biased] perspective, which partially blinds us to the truth.” Is that his biased perspective? And does it partially blind him to the truth?

Judging by the title of his latest book, Ariely seems to be making a career out of perpetuating that fallacy. In The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, is Ariely here reporting the honest truth about what he has discovered, despite his being a self-confessed liar? Or is he lying to everyone, including himself?

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