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Summary

The virtue of honesty is almost universally valued, and exemplars like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are revered in our society. There is little controversy that honesty is a virtue (at least in most situations) and that it is important to a good society.

Yet surprisingly, many fields have only recently begun devoting significant attention to honesty. This is especially true of philosophy, which is one of the central areas of this project.

We hope to inspire much further work on this relatively neglected virtue by focusing on five Big Questions:

  • What is the definition and value of honesty? What are the behavioral and motivational requirements for being honest or exceptionally so?
  • To what extent are people honest? How does this vary by culture?
  • What contextual and internal factors encourage honesty and shape its development in individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions?
  • What are the consequences of honesty and dishonesty for relationships, groups, organizations, and institutions?
  • Under what conditions is dishonesty justified, if any? What factors lead people to be receptive to or offended by honesty?
Dr. Christian B. Miller

Dr. Christian B. Miller

Project Director

A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. 

Dr. William Fleeson

Dr. William Fleeson

Science of Honesty Project Leader

Hultquist Family Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Taya R. Cohen

Dr. Taya R. Cohen

Science of Honesty Project Leader

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. R. Michael Furr

Dr. R. Michael Furr

Science of Honesty Project Leader

Professor of Psychology and Wright Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University. 

Dr. Eranda Jayawickreme

Dr. Eranda Jayawickreme

Science of Honesty Project Leader

Associate Professor of Psychology and Senior Research Fellow, Program for Leadership and Character, at Wake Forest University