Just what we need – justification for fraud

Researchers say that many people commit fraud unintentionally. And, they commit fraud not because they’re greedy, but because they’re nice! Great now sociopaths will say they’re only being nice!

Read Psychology of fraud: Why good people do bad things, on

So how will the researchers explain this?

Three Shoreline women charged with defrauding victims of more than $1 million in exclusive ‘Gifting Club’ pyramid scheme, on

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Posted in: Scientific research

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15 Comments on "Just what we need – justification for fraud"

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Breckgirl, thanks for sharing David’s comment. It says a lot.

I think that rationalizing is a common reason why people make the wrong choices. It is certainly a defense that spaths use.

Rationalizing confuses what is right, with what is fair.

Since many people do the wrong thing, one can rationalize that it “evens the playing field” to also do the wrong thing. Otherwise only the cheaters will win.

I think the key is to not play the game, where cheaters prevail. But that takes wisdom.

A few thoughts about “research”:

1) The author of the first article cites the ethics research of business school professors for an article that is supposedly about the “psychology” of behavior. That’s like quoting a punk rock guitarist’s tastes in music in an article about last night’s oboe recital. Just because someone did legitimate research doesn’t mean that the research is relevant to supporting another issue, no matter how related two topics might be. The *context* of ethics research is different from the context of psychopathy research; generalizations from research on a general population are different from generalizations on a special one percent of the population.

2) Not all “researchers” or “experts” are equally qualified to talk about anything. A “domestic engineer” who once changed a light bulb is not the same as an electrical engineer. A researcher who studies a topic such as psychopathy can talk about things like distributions in the population or signature brain scans of people classified as psychopaths, but that is very different from someone who can talk from the hard road of experience about what it feels like to be the victim of a psychopath. Each is qualified to write a different book.

3) Whenever I see a writer write or a speaker say, “the research shows that” or “the literature proves that,” I suspect that the person is clueless. It’s what you say when you’re clueless but want to bully your reader or listener into submission. A knowledgeable person is specific with regard to exactly who said exactly what. E.g., conclusions from a business school ethics researcher who studies behaviors in general populations are not the same as conclusions drawn in a study conducted by, say, Paul Babiak, who is known for his work on *special* populations in association with corporate psychopathy.

I think it was Benjamin Franklin (Maybe Thomas Jefferson) said that “things are labeled sin BECAUSE they are bad for you, not bad for you because they are labeled.”

If you look at Christian ethics and most religions for that matter, things that are BAD FOR US are labeled as undesirable…drunkeness, laziness, adultery, murder, theft, and so on.

There are reasons for this, because not only are they bad for the community but they are also bad for the individual. The Bible frequently talks about people WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE, or that their conscience is seared (not functioning) and calls them people with a “reprobate mind”

King David was called a “man after God’s own heart” yet we know that David was a sinful man, he took another man’s wife, arranged for the man to be killed in battle…so why was he called a man after god’s own heart? Not because he didn’t sin, but because he was WILLING TO REPENT.

None of us are perfect, we all “sin” and do things that are bad for the community and bad for ourselves, but the thing is we have to have a conscience and be willing to change our ways. The psychopath has no conscience, therefore no feelings of guilt or shame and WILL NOT/ CANNOT repent. The psychopath cares not for damaging others, for damaging the community and frequently for damaging himself.

sheepinsuits, you make some valid points. “Not all “researchers” or “experts” are equally qualified to talk about anything. ” Second “Whenever I see a writer write or a speaker say, “the research shows that” or “the literature proves that,” I suspect that the person is clueless. “

Yeah Ox, and Dostoyevski wrote that we aren’t punished FOR our sins but BY them.

Okay, good night LF. See ya in the morning.

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