How can we stop people from lying? In fact, that’s exactly what Ariely is working on now. He’s found that reinforcing moral codes—like the ten commandments—while people undertake tasks reduces the amount of lying that goes on.
While that sounds unfeasible in the real world, consider this: one of his recent projects involves moving the signature box on official forms to the top. That means that, when completing paperwork, the first thing people do is read the declaration “I promise that the information I am providing is true.” So far, his experiments show that even this minor tweak can make people lie less. Honest!