My  interest in cheating was first ignited in 2002, just a few months after the collapse of Enron. I was spending the week at some technology-related conference, and one night over drinks I got to meet John Perry Barlow. I knew John as the erstwhile lyricist for the Grateful Dead, but during our chat I discovered that he had also been working as a consultant for a few companies including Enron. In case you weren’t paying attention in 2001, the basic story of the fall of the Wall Street darling went something like this: Through a series of creative accounting tricks helped along by the blind eye of consultants, rating agencies, the company’s board, and the now-defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Enron rose to great financial heights only to come crashing down when its actions could no longer be concealed. Stockholders lost their investments, retirement plans evaporated, thousands of employees lost their jobs, and the company went bankrupt. While I was talking to John, I was especially interested in his description of his own wishful blindness. Even though he consulted for Enron while the company was rapidly spinning out of control, he said he hadn’t seen anything sinister going on. In fact, he had fully bought into the worldview that Enron was an innovative leader of the new economy right up until the moment the story was all over the headlines. Even more surprising, he also told me that once the information was out, he could not believe that he failed to see the signs all along. That gave me pause. Before talking to John, I assumed that the Enron disaster had basically been caused by its three sinister C-level architects (Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay, and Andrew Fastow), who together had planned and executed a large-scale accounting scheme. But here I was sitting with this guy, whom I liked and admired, who had his own story of involvement with Enron, which was one of wishful blindness not one of deliberate dishonesty. It was, of course, possible that John and everyone else involved with Enron were deeply corrupt, but I began to think that there may have been a different type of dishonesty at work one that relates more to wishful blindness and is practiced by people like John, you, and me. I started wondering if the problem of dishonesty goes deeper than just a few bad apples and if this kind of wishful blindness
takes place in other companies as well.* I also wondered whether my friends and I would have behaved similarly if we had been the ones consulting for Enron. I became fascinated by the subject of cheating and dishonesty. Where does it come from? What is the human capacity for both honesty and dishonesty? And, perhaps most important, is dishonesty largely restricted to a few bad apples, or is it a more widespread problem? I realized that the answer to this last question might dramatically change how we should try to deal with dishonesty: that is, if only a few bad apples are responsible for most of the cheating in the world, we might easily be able to remedy the problem. Human resources departments could screen for cheaters during the hiring process or they could streamline the procedure for getting rid of people who prove to be dishonest over time. But if the problem is not confined to a few outliers, that would mean that anyone could behave dishonestly at work and at home you and I included. And if we all have the potential to be somewhat criminal, it is crucially important that we first understand how dishonesty operates and then figure out ways to contain and control this aspect of our nature.

Ilımlı hilenin ne kadar yaygın olduğunu ve bariz hileyle karşılaştırıldığında ne kadar zararlı olabileceğini öğrenince şok oldum. Bu Dan’in en ilginç ve en yararlı kitabı.  -Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Siyah Kuğunun yazarı

Dan Ariely, insanın gözü yarı kapalı bir gerçeklik yaratmak için doğruluk ve hile arasında nasıl bir denge kurduğunu dahiyane ve hoş bir şekilde açıklığa kavuşturuyor. Kendinizin ve tanıdığınız herkesin ahlakı hakkında daha derin bir anlayış geliştireceksiniz. -DR. Mehmet Öz, Columbia Üniversitesi’nde Başkan Yardımcısı ve Cerrahi Profesörü, DR.OZ SHOW’un sunucusu

Konu davranışlarımızın ardındaki gizemi açıklamak olduğunda hiçbir yazar Dan Ariely’den daha eğlenceli değildir. Enfes anekdotları, açıklayıcı deneyleriyle karanlık tarafımızı keşfetmeyi inanılmaz eğlenceli kılıyor. -Chris Anderson, Wired dergisi yayın yönetmeni, Uzun Kuyruk’un yazarı

Yalan söyleyen herkes bu kitabı okumalı. Yalan söylemediğini iddia edenler yalancıdır. O yüzden onlar da bu kitabı okumalı. Sizi daha iyi bir insan yapacak, büyüleyici, bilge ve eğlenceli bir kitap bu. -A.J.Jacobs, İncile Uygun Yaşama Senesi ve Sağlıklı Ölmek yazarı

Son derece sürükleyici bu kitapta Dan Ariely, sahtekârlığın her yerde karşımıza çıktığını, hepimizin kötü elma olduğunu kanıtlıyor. Bu rahatsız edici bir mesaj fakat sonuçları çok büyük ve hiç kimse bunu Ariely’den daha iyi kavrayamaz. Eğer gerçeği umursuyorsanız, bu kitabı okuyun. -Jonah Lehrer, Nasıl Karar Veririz ve Hayal Gücünün yazarı

Ariely’nin benlik bilgisiyle ilgili araştırma bulgularına hayretle (ve onaylayarak) güleceksiniz. Plato’nun bilginin özü kendini bilmektir.  Düşüncesine inanıyorsanız, bu kitap da bilginin özüdür.  -Scott Cook, INTUIT.INC.’in kurucusu