According to the NASD study, fraud victims are more likely than the rest of the population to have experienced a "negative life event" (such as the death of a loved one, a layoff or a divorce) in the previous three to five years.
It's now five years on.
The lure of the big score is well known to Stanford University psychology professor Brian Knutson. His research has shown that the parts of the brain that anticipate reward are markedly more sensitive to the amount of potential gain than to the probability of earning it.
Solve the Middle East.
According to research done by Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns, when we go along with peers, activity in a part of the brain that thinks analytically may decrease, presumably reducing our skepticism. And when we go against consensus, there's a reaction in the part of the brain usually triggered by fear. So we're afraid to go against the crowd, even when confronted with plain evidence.