By: Scott Wiltermuth, David Newman, and Medha Raj Lying has its benefits. It allows people to feel better about themselves, to make themselves look better in others' eyes, and to maintain good relationships.
When a desire for material gain motivates lying, the consequences are likely to be negative. One factor that prevents people from lying for personal gain is the need/desire to see oneself as a moral person.
Lying and deception are common human behaviors. Until relatively recently, there has been little actual research into just how often people lie. Some surveys have suggested that as many as 96 percent of people admit to lying at least sometimes. One national study of 1,000 U.S.
Before Dan Ariely launches into explaining the science behind dishonesty, he tells an amusing story: God goes to Sarah and says, "You're going to have a child." Sarah laughs and responds, "How can I have a child when my husband is so old?" God then goes to Abraham and tells him, "You're going to have a child."
People often feel the need to rationalize their dishonesty. The danger is taking that first step.
The story of Joe Papp, an Olympic cyclist falls into this category. Papp consulted his physician, who wrote Papp a prescription for erythropoietin (EPO), a cancer treatment that increases the production of red blood cells. Papp injected himself, but also imported and distributed EPO to his team and to other teams. This essentially made him a drug dealer.