Dan Ariely on Our Buggy Moral Code

Another great TED talk: Dan Ariely on our buggy moral code

In a nutshell: What makes people cheat more/less? Key points:

  • Everyone cheats a little bit but there is a limit that they can’t overstep
  • More if other people around us or from the peer (same) group also cheat
  • Less if you had to think about moral code or a code of honor a short time ago (reciting the Ten Commandments or agreeing to a “MIT code of honor”)
  • More if you’re removed from the reward (think stock exchange, options, derivatives)
  • Some of these are counter-intuitive and we don’t like to test our intuition



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