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Home » Dan Ariely on Why We Think It’s OK to Cheat and Steal (Transcript)

Dan Ariely on Why We Think It’s OK to Cheat and Steal (Transcript)

Dan Ariely

Full text of behavioral economist Dan Ariely’s talk: Why We Think It’s OK to Cheat and Steal (Sometimes)…

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Dan Ariely on Why we think it’s OK to cheat and steal (sometimes)

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to talk to you today a little bit about predictable irrationality. And my interest in irrational behavior started many years ago in a hospital. I was burned very badly. And if you spend a lot of time in hospital, you’ll see a lot of types of irrationalities. And the one that particularly bothered me in the burn department was the process by which the nurses took the bandage off me.

Now, you must have all taken a Band-Aid off at some point, and you must have wondered what’s the right approach. Do you rip it off quickly — short duration but high intensity — or do you take your Band-Aid off slowly — you take a long time, but each second is not as painful — which one of those is the right approach?

The nurses in my department thought that the right approach was the ripping one, so they would grab hold and they would rip, and they would grab hold and they would rip. And because I had 70% of my body burned, it would take about an hour.

And as you can imagine, I hated that moment of ripping with incredible intensity. And I would try to reason with them and say, “Why don’t we try something else? Why don’t we take it a little longer — maybe two hours instead of an hour — and have less of this intensity?”

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