Timeshare fraud is hard. Those who are the victims of timeshare fraud may wonder what goes through the minds of those who perpetrate it. What are those timeshare scam artists thinking? Come to us for assistance at Wesley Financial Group. Lawsuit or otherwise, we won’t give up fighting timeshare fraud. We’ve seen deception from all sorts of tricksters, and we help those who have been duped in a timeshare scam. However, for the moment, let us examine the possible rationalization of timeshare fraudsters.
Let’s take a peek into the possibility of what they may be thinking. In an article from www.scientificamerican.com, author Matthew Hutson explains why some people may try to excuse their deceitful behavior. Although it’s no excuse, it may provide a little reason as to why they think it’s okay to commit fraud against innocent consumers. Join us as we question the minds of those who deceive.
Hutson begins, “People mislead themselves all day long. We tell ourselves we’re smarter and better looking than our friends, that our political party can do no wrong, that we’re too busy to help a colleague. In 1976, in the foreword to Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene, the biologist Robert Trivers floated a novel explanation for such self-serving biases: We dupe ourselves in order to deceive others, creating social advantage. Now after four decades, Trivers and his colleagues have published the first research supporting his idea.” (Hutson, 2017). Could timeshare fraudsters dupe themselves into thinking that their deceitful behavior is excusable? It is possible that they do. It doesn’t excuse their actions, but it may help us glean some insight into their inner workings. Why do they do what they do? At Wesley Financial Group, lawsuit threats or otherwise won’t stop us from helping those who have been duped in timeshare fraud. Let’s take a deeper look at the article.
The article continues, “Psychologists have identified several ways of fooling ourselves: biased information-gathering, biased reasoning, and biased recollections. The new work, forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Psychology, focuses on the first—the way we seek information that supports what we want to believe and avoid that which does not.”
“In one experiment, Trivers and his team asked 306 online participants to write a persuasive speech about a fictional man named Mark. They were told they would receive a bonus depending on how effective it was. Some were told to present Mark as likable, others were instructed to depict him as unlikable, the remaining subjects were directed to convey whatever impression they formed. To gather information about Mark, the participants watched a series of short videos, which they could stop observing at any intermission. For some viewers, most of the early videos presented Mark in a good light (recycling, returning a wallet), and they grew gradually darker (catcalling, punching a friend). For others, the videos went from dark to light.” (Hutson, 2017). The study presents a way to look into the way people trick themselves.
Short Study Leads to Bias
Hutson explains the study further: “When incentivized to present Mark as likable, people who watched the likable videos first stopped watching sooner than those who saw unlikable videos first. The former did not wait for a complete picture as long as they got the information they needed to convince themselves, and others, of Mark’s goodness. In turn, their own opinions about Mark were more positive, which led their essays about his good nature to be more convincing, as rated by other participants. (A complementary process occurred for those paid to present Mark as bad.) ‘What’s so interesting is that we seem to intuitively understand that if we can get ourselves to believe something first, we’ll be more effective at getting others to believe it,’ says William von Hippel, a psychologist at The University of Queensland, who co-authored the study. ‘So we process information in a biased fashion, we convince ourselves, and we convince others. The beauty is, those are the steps Trivers outlined—and they all lined up in one study.’ In real life, you are not being paid to talk about Mark but you may be selling a used car or debating a tax policy or arguing for a promotion—cases in which you benefit not from gaining and presenting an accurate picture of reality but from convincing someone of a particular point of view.” (Hutson, 2017).
Is it possible that those who commit timeshare fraud do such things to convince themselves that it is okay? What is it that makes timeshare fraudsters legitimize their behavior? Why do they perpetuate such unethical behavior?
At Wesley Financial Group, lawsuit threats won’t frighten us from sticking up for the right thing. If you or someone you know is the victim of timeshare fraud, you don’t have to find reasons to justify fraudsters’ actions.
The Study Shows
The article may provide some insight into their actions though. Hutson continues, “One of the most common types of self-deception is self-enhancement. Psychologists have traditionally argued we evolved to overestimate our good qualities because it makes us feel good. But feeling good on its own has no bearing on survival or reproduction. Another assertion is self-enhancement boosts motivation, leading to greater accomplishment. But if motivation were the goal, then we would have just evolved to be more motivated, without the costs of reality distortion. Trivers argues that a glowing self-view makes others see us in the same light, leading to mating and cooperative opportunities. Supporting this argument, Cameron Anderson, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, showed in 2012 that overconfident people are seen as more competent and have higher social status. “I believe there is a good possibility that self-deception evolved for the purpose of other-deception,” Anderson says.” (Hutson, 2017). Are timeshare fraudsters deceiving themselves as well? Is this the way they try to rationalize their deceitful ways? Perhaps it is.
Nevertheless, Hutson states, “In another study, forthcoming in Social Psychological and Personality Science, von Hippel and collaborators tested all three arguments together, in a longitudinal fashion. Does overconfidence in one’s self increase mental health? Motivation? Popularity? Tracking almost 1,000 Australian high school boys for two years, the researchers found that over time, overconfidence about one’s athleticism and intelligence predicted neither better mental health nor better athletic or academic performance. Yet athletic overconfidence did predict greater popularity over time, supporting the idea that self-deception begets social advantage. (Intellectual self-enhancement may not have boosted popularity, the authors suggest, because, among the teenage boys, smarts may have mattered less than sports.)”
“Why did it take so long for experimental evidence for Trivers’ idea to emerge? In part, he says, because he is a theorist and did not test it until he met von Hippel. Other experimental psychologists didn’t test it because the theory was not well known in psychology, von Hippel and Anderson say. Further, they suggest, most psychologists saw self-esteem or motivation as reason enough for self-enhancement to evolve.” (Hutson, 2017). No matter the reasons, you shouldn’t have to support fraudulent acts. At Wesley Financial Group, lawsuit threats or otherwise won’t deter us from helping you.
Hutson presents, “Hugo Mercier, a researcher at the Institute for Cognitive Sciences in France who was not involved in the new studies, is familiar with the theory but questions it. He believes that in the long run overconfidence may backfire. He and others also debate whether motivated biases can strictly be called self-deception. ‘The whole concept is misleading,’ he says. It’s not as though there is one part of us deliberately fooling another part of us that is the ‘self.’ Trivers, von Hippel and Anderson
Wesley Financial Group Lawsuit Experts: We Won’t Back Down From Doing What is Right
If you or someone you know is the victim of timeshare fraud, contact us at Wesley Financial Group. Lawsuit or otherwise, we won’t back down from doing what is right. We may wonder why people do what they do, but it doesn’t change what they did. If you have been duped in a timeshare, you don’t have to take the negative outcome. A Wesley Financial Group lawsuit veteran is available to help. We are determined to do what is right, and we won’t back down. Contact us today.
Hutson, Matthew. April 4, 2017). Living a Lie: We Deceive Ourselves to Better Deceive Others. www.scientificamerican.com, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/living-a-lie-we-deceive-ourselves-to-better-deceive-others/