When I first saw the headline, I thought the answer maybe elderly people, lonely people, people who are new to the country and perhaps someone who likes to take risks and gamble. Well all of those would be true to some extent but according to this study, the common trait among those who fell for scams more than others were optimists. Someone who sees the possible upside without full looking at the downside. Someone who outweighs the benefit and win over the potential loss.
The study surveyed 500 adults over two experiments and sought to find the underlying psychological factors that makes people decide to ignore red flags and instead take a risk to “win” a large payout from a scheme that turns out to be a hoax. The experiment was based off of 25 real scams that often “hooked in the victim” in Los Angeles by promising the chance to win large sums of money.
The researchers found that the single most important factor influencing people making these dubious decisions is the individual’s assessment of the risk versus the reward.
Image photo credit Flickr