Traditionally, when we think about bad behavior, we think about character.
But psychologists who study bad behavior — who study, say, fraud in the business world — have found that that character doesn't explain everything. They've found that a lot of unethical behavior can be explained by cognitive errors — errors that affect almost everyone.
On today's show, we talk to a man who started out as a respectable businessman and went on to commit bank fraud involving millions of dollars. This fraud drove several companies out of business and resulted in the loss of around a hundred jobs.
We try to figure out why he did it, and what it means for the rest of us.
Note: Today's show originally aired in April 2012.
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.