How the Stock Market Encourages Lies

| 3/19/2009 10:06:53 AM

Imposing a distance on wealth, by calling money “stocks” or “derivatives” or “mortgage-backed securities” makes it easier for people to cheat, behavioral economist Dan Ariely told the TED conference. Ariely’s research has also found a social factor in cheating, where people feel more comfortable lying when they know that others in their social group are lying, too. The distance factor and the social factor have converged in the stock market, and in places like Enron, where money doesn’t seem like real money and cheating runs rampant. You can watch the whole talk below: