Behavioural Economist, Dan Ariely studies human behaviour and he’s particularly interested in how people are motivated to lie or cheat. He runs a lot of cool experiments and interviews some people who have told terrible lies, from the guy who defrauded his company of tens of millions of dollars to the woman who cheated on her husband on dating sites.
The first level of this is that we love other people’s misery. It’s nice to watch it and judge these people and wow they messed up so badly. However, by the end of the movie, you get the slightly uncomfortable realisation, that cheating is a slippery slope from tiny white lies. The cheaters in the movie started with little things which everyone does to some extent and end up in a totally unacceptable place in society. I mean everyone tells a few white lies or exaggerates what it is that they do for work but no thinks they’d get done for fraud. But until these cheaters got caught, they didn’t see themselves as particularly dishonest. They thought they were just doing what everyone does, telling white lies.
The biggest take home message from this show is that fraudsters started off as totally normal people just like you and me.