Was at a gathering yesterday and spoke to a fellow who
was reading Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational. While
I have not read it I have ordered his book on Cheating,
after hearing a podcast where he described his thesis
on human nature and implications.
Starting, then, with human nature, all humans cheat, he
concluded, yet most in little ways. Some who are
discovered and punished have perhaps gone too far.
He points out humans cheat first to themselves by little
lies or even wishes, and become insensitive to actions
and thoughts, with small steps first, one at a time, then
at the other extreme is the “what the h_ll effect” with
long term consequences.
However, in human dynamics, it is not just cheating and
its verbal analog, lying, that factor in but others that
may in fact take precedence over a miss-deed or -statement.
An example is “peace with those at home.”
Emotions and the feelings of others plays a significant
Going along with this are two popular books out
and reviewed recently– Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and
Slow, and Partnoy’s Wait. Where Kahneman does an
elegant portrait of human biases, decision-making
and happiness, Partnoy reflects on investigations of
implications of doing things quickly (human nature)
and the positive effects of holding off before our choice
of speech or actions. To my twisted logic these two are
nice but benefit from the reality of Ariely’s Cheating.
It is as if Kahneman and Partnoy present the science
and Ariely offers the engineering and application
in human thinking processes.
While many have read Kahneman’s book and their
reviews, the comments contain some salient moments
in Partnoy’s Wait and Ariely’s Cheating.