I love reading about these practical insights into human nature:
In this report from the University of Cambridge, the authors review a series of short cons run by pros on the UK series The Real Hustle, then they summarize what they believe are seven principles of human behavior that work against us when we’re being targeted in a scam.
- Distraction – When we’re distracted, we miss important cues.
- Social Compliance – We’re trained to obey authority, especially in tense situations.
- Herd Mentality – We look to others to see whether we should consider something risky, but that’s not always the best way to gauge risk.
- Dishonesty – If we’re willing to engage in dishonest behavior, we’re more likely to take on risk–and less likely to report a scam to authorities.
- Deception – Once we believe something to be true when it isn’t, we’re easy marks.
- Need and Greed – What we want makes us vulnerable, especially once the scammer figures out what it is.
- Time Compression – The less time we have to make a decision, the more likely we are to use a simpler, less accurate reasoning process–one that makes us more vulnerable to scams.