Dan Ariely is a people hacker. A professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and MIT as well as director of MIT’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, Ariely deconstructs human behavior to find the hidden ways we deceive ourselves about the things we do and to construct better ways of resolving some of life’s issues.
Ariely, who was born in the U.S. and raised in Israel, wrote a book called Predictably Irrational, which showed how people are irrational in calculable and dependable ways. He’s also conducted tests on cheating that produced some interesting results.
In his research, Ariely gave test subjects 20 math problems to solve and told them they’d be paid cash for each correct answer. The subjects were given only five minutes to do the exam, ensuring that no one would complete it. When the time was up, the control subjects were told to count their correct answers and collect their pay.