Cheating, corruption, and concealment: The roots of dishonesty

Jan Willem van Prooijen*, Paul A.M. van Lange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review


Dishonesty is ubiquitous in our world. The news is frequently filled with high-profile cases of corporate fraud, large-scale corruption, lying politicians, and the hypocrisy of public figures. On a smaller scale, ordinary people often cheat, lie, misreport their taxes, and mislead others in their daily life. Despite such prevalence of cheating, corruption, and concealment, people typically consider themselves to be honest, and often believe themselves to be more moral than most others. This book aims to resolve this paradox by addressing the question of why people are dishonest all too often. What motivates dishonesty, and how are people able to perceive themselves as moral despite their dishonest behaviour? What personality and interpersonal factors make dishonesty more likely? And what can be done to recognise and reduce dishonesty? This is a fascinating overview of state-of-the-art research on dishonesty, with prominent scholars offering their views to clarify the roots of dishonesty. Expanding and complementing previous macro-level approaches of corruption in the world, this volume focuses on the micro-level process of how people commit, and justify, their own dishonest behaviour. Addresses a broad range of individual and social factors that influence the likelihood of dishonest behaviour. Provides tools for practitioners on how to reduce the likelihood of dishonesty, and how to detect if people are lying.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press 2010
Number of pages315
ISBN (Electronic)9781316225608
ISBN (Print)9781107105393
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016


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