The internationally acclaimed journal Scientific American recently devoted a special issue to “Truth, Lies and Uncertainty”. What caught my attention was a contribution by Dan Ariely and Ximena Garcia-Rada, specialists in behavioural economics, titled “Contagious Dishonesty”.

One must start with the premise that people worldwide have an innate tendency to act honestly. According to the folklore in my culture, children are taught ethics at the age of three, sitting at their mother’s knee. However, the world has since moved on and has become contaminated and stigmatised by a narrow band of politicians and government officials and elements from the private sector...

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