Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

Source: NPR, 1st May 2012

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Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.

In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.

Which brings us to the story of Toby Groves…