In fact, a lot of people do do it. In 2003, the Insurance Services Office reported that 10% of total payments for property and casualty insurance, roughly $24 billion annually, are for fraudulent claims. Tax cheating is even more prevalent. Each year, there’s more than a $300 billion gap between what people should pay according to the law and what is actually paid.
For many, minor dishonesty is a daily occurrence, yet they are able to shirk off their sins and live knowing that they are generally good and honest.
Duke University psychologist and behavioral economist Dan Ariely has spent a lot of time studying dishonesty. He and his colleagues have tested thousands of subjects from various countries under controlled condition, and have arrived at an intriguing conclusion.
“We find that almost everyone cheats but only by a limited amount.”