March 18, 2009

A personal fudge factor

In a recent TED talk, Dan Ariely, author of the recent book, Predictably Irrational (which I partly read in December 2008) explores the hidden reasons behind why humans think it's OK to cheat or steal only a "little" -- It's all about feeling good about oneself and our impressions about ourselves.

He also explains some of the decisions that went into the "cheating" in the stock market that has led us to the current mess. You can read more about his studies on how our intuitions are wrong in an interview with him at this Wired blog post and also this article at the Harvard business blog. Also this review of Dan's book.

P.S. Line from the talk that elicited the most laughs from the audience: "MITdoesn't have an honor code." :-)

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