Center Sponsors New Research Project

The Financial Fraud Research Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its first $50,000 seed grant. Stanford researchers, led by Ian Gotlib, David Starr Jordan Professor of Psychology, will investigate the role of emotion on responses to fraudulent advertising.


The Effects of Positive and Negative Arousal on the Susceptibility of Older Adults to False Advertising

Ian H. Gotlib, PhD – Professor, Department of Psychology
Katharina Kircanski, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology
Nanna Notthoff, MA – Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology

Perpetrators of fraud often report attempting to evoke strong emotions, such as excitement or anger, in potential victims as a way of impairing their decision-making ability. Although excitement and anger are distinct emotions, they share a state of high arousal, assessed with self report and psychophysiological measurement.  Ian Gotlib, Professor of Psychology, and his team are using their seed grant to conduct a laboratory study with older adults in which they are examining the immediate effects of positive and negative high-arousal states on responses to fraudulent advertisements, compared with a low-arousal control condition. Findings from this study will allow these investigators to examine the differential impact of positive and negative mood states and levels of arousal on susceptibility to fraudulent advertisements and will help in the design of fraud prevention programs.

This project was selected through a competitive process open to all Stanford faculty. The Financial Fraud Research Center seeks to further research that advances the understanding, prevention, and detection of financial fraud inflicted upon individuals. In order to expand the intellectual domain applied to financial fraud, the Center’s seed grant program encourages non-traditional avenues of inquiry.