The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves - Dan Ariely When I was in college I learned a bit about the Simple Model of Rational Crime which basically states that people lie/cheat by rationally looking at the pros and cons and make a decision based on that. Needless to say, this never sat right with me. People don't make rational decisions, they just don't.

In this book Ariely puts forth another theory, one that he calls the Fudge Factor. The theory goes that there are basically two opposing forces when we decide whether to lie or cheat. One of the forces is that we want to think of ourselves as good and righteous people. The other force is that we want to get more out of situations. So the question is: how much are we willing to "fudge" the truth and still think of ourselves as honest and good people?

Through quite a few experiments, Ariely explores this, along with what may influence it in one way or another. Personally, these theories and experiments sat a lot better with me than the SMORC ever did. The author makes lying and cheating an incredibly interesting topic, and the experiments are novel and informative. The author is clearly an entertaining person and knows how to tell a good story. This book basically felt as though he wanted to show off his super-awesome experiments and findings, excitedly. It made it a fun read.

My biggest complaint is that in all the experiments the reward far outweighed the consequences of being caught. What about in situations, like cheating on a spouse, where the consequences could possibly destroy lives? What about when the consequences outweigh the reward, and yet we lie/cheat anyway?

Ariely, what would you make of this?: A few years back, my boyfriend at the time had a soft-top Jeep. One morning we came outside to find that someone had cut out the back window, and gotten into the car. The thief left all the expensive electronics (stereo, ipod, etc), but took all the change off the floor. It seemed like the guy had gone through quite a lot of effort for a fairly minuscule reward.

(Book Received Through Giveaways)