The 11 Minute Version of “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty”

Dan Ariely, one of my favorite authors and social scientists, just shared an 11-minute animated video of his talk on his book "The Honest Truth about Dishonesty." 

I love that the video gets into an especially salient point for consumers, marketers, and mobile commerce: 

If you think about it, we're becoming a cashless society. We're becoming a society with a higher distance between us and the consequences of our actions – credit cards, electronic wallets, mortgage backed securities, stock options… Could it be that s the distance increases, people can be dishonest but at the moment don't think of themselves as doing anything dishonest?

I really like the idea that if you pay with Square, for example, you can walk into a Starbucks and have it automatically deduct what you owe without you ever taking your phone out of your pocket (assuming you opted in beforehand). To me, that allows one to have a more personal relationship with the people working there, as it's no longer complicated by the financial transaction. But as Ariely notes, this distance from tangible forms of payment could have adverse consequences as well.

Watch the video below, and read Ariely's blog at