Looking for a honest man
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The opinions expressed are his own. It is said that the philosopher Diogenes the Cynic roamed ancient Athens with a lamp in daylight to search for an honest man. Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics, uses more modern research techniques for a similar quest.
Diogenes said he found nothing but scoundrels. Ariely is more nuanced: most people will cheat, given half a chance, but only to the point where they can still tell themselves they are honest. The limit is useful, but dishonesty is contagious, and can be fostered by anger, fatigue, self-regard and misguided altruism, among other sometimes unexpected factors the author lists. Even things people wear can encourage it. Yet oddly simple tricks can rein in the urge to lie.
Ariely focuses less on grand-scale cheating than on the small-time ways people fudge the numbers, or massage the truth, to their advantage. He and his academic colleagues conducted behavioral experiments on thousands of subjects that involved the chance to earn small amounts of money for taking a standardized reasoning test under carefully varied conditions.
Many of the set-ups gave participants the opportunity to cheat by inflating their self-reported scores. Even the idea of fakeness can have a corrosive effect on behavior. Ariely finds the most powerful forces affecting how much people cheat are their susceptibility to social influence — which is far greater than most people allow — and their capacity for self-delusion. But a little wishful blindness can go a long way. A person might cheat in one area of life to take revenge for events in another, to claim a reward for self-denial, to avoid a confrontation, to help out another person or to burnish a reputation think of corporate bosses or politicians exaggerating their academic credentials and military records.
In each case the liar has a story which justifies the act as deserved, necessary, too small to matter or even noble. What can hold temptation in check? Even atheists will cheat less after swearing on a Bible, and even a drawing of a watching eye will make people behave better in the area it surveys.
Ariely concludes that being regularly reminded of moral or ethical codes, feeling watched or supervised, signing or swearing undertakings to be honest and seeing others behave honorably are all conducive to greater honesty — though perhaps too much of all that could have the opposite effect.
People are not all that bad, he writes. Most are fairly honest most of the time. But people are not all that good either. We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links.
Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. Review: Looking for an honest man By Martin Langfield. No comments so far.
Honest Man Quotes
Some political cartoonists are really clever. I recently viewed one whose piece may have been a tad too erudite for some of his readers. The background building was a large white colonial structure surrounded by an iron fence with a gate manned by a man in uniform. The street sign read Pennsylvania Avenue.
To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Looking for an Honest Man. Bryan Garsten.
Searching For An Honest Man Greeting Card
Looking for an Honest Man
I f asked to identify important topics for a new journal on national affairs, few of us would think first — if at all — of the humanities and their condition in American life today. The sorry state of elementary and secondary education would surely make the list, as might the need to improve scientific literacy and technological competence, so that, as we are often told, America may remain "competitive" in the globalized economy and high-tech world of tomorrow. Attention might be invited also to political correctness in college classrooms or campus restrictions on free speech. But the larger and more important educational issue of what college students should be learning and why — and especially in the humanities — is a subject below the radar for nearly everyone. It was not always thus.
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Diogenes Seeking an Honest Man
Diogenes was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and Diogenes was banished from Sinope when he took to debasement of currency. He modelled himself on the example of Heracles , and believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory.
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione Italian, Diogenes the Cynic, a contemporary of Plato, is famous for having been an outspoken and contentious critic of convention. Believing that virtue was better revealed through action than theory, he maintained an ascetic lifestyle while deliberately acting out against what he found to be irrational societal customs. In this etching, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione showed Diogenes searching by lamplight, during the daytime, for a rational man. Instead of finding a man, the shoeless philosopher stumbles upon bones, vegetables, decaying bits of statues, and scavenging owls and monkeys. Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge.
Diogenes Looking for an Honest Man (Portrait Historié of the Steyn Family)
The opinions expressed are his own. It is said that the philosopher Diogenes the Cynic roamed ancient Athens with a lamp in daylight to search for an honest man. Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics, uses more modern research techniques for a similar quest. Diogenes said he found nothing but scoundrels. Ariely is more nuanced: most people will cheat, given half a chance, but only to the point where they can still tell themselves they are honest.
- Читается сверху. Танкадо прислал нам письмо. ГЛАВА 122 - Шесть минут! - крикнул техник. Сьюзан отдала приказ: - Перепечатайте сверху .
Это было впечатляющее зрелище. Длинные ниспадающие рыжие волосы, идеальная иберийская кожа, темно-карие глаза, высокий ровный лоб. На девушке был такой же, как на немце, белый махровый халат с поясом, свободно лежащим на ее широких бедрах, распахнутый ворот открывал загорелую ложбинку между грудями.
Росио уверенно, по-хозяйски вошла в спальню.
Когда десять лет назад Сьюзан поступила в агентство, Стратмор возглавлял Отдел развития криптографии, являвшийся тренировочной площадкой для новых криптографов, криптографов мужского пола. Хотя Стратмор терпеть не мог выделять кого-нибудь из подчиненных, он с особым вниманием относился к своей единственной сотруднице. Когда его обвиняли в фаворитизме, он в ответ говорил чистую правду: Сьюзан Флетчер - один из самых способных новых сотрудников, которых он принял на работу.
Пожалуйста, сядь, Сьюзан. У нее был совершенно растерянный вид.
Я его выгнал. На лице Сьюзан на мгновение мелькнуло недоумение. Она побледнела и прошептала: - О Боже… Стратмор утвердительно кивнул, зная, что она догадалась.
- Он целый год хвастался, что разрабатывает алгоритм, непробиваемый для грубой силы.
Но я скажу тебе, что собираюсь сделать… - Скажу тебе, что ты наглая лгунья, вот что я сделаю. - Пожалуй, я куплю тебе билет. Белокурая девушка смотрела на него недоверчиво. - Вы это сделаете? - выдавила она, и глаза ее засветились надеждой. - Вы купите мне билет домой. О Боже, я вам так благодарна.
В ключах никогда не бывает пробелов. Бринкерхофф громко сглотнул. - Так что вы хотите сказать? - спросил. - Джабба хотел сказать, что это, возможно, не шифр-убийца.