People hate losing more than they love winning.
It is knowledge that might seem common to competitive types, but it now has a name — prospect theory — and a Nobel Prize to back it. The theory, which describes behavioral economics and found that people dislike losing more than they like winning explains why people lie, cheat, cover up and act irrationally when they are in trouble. See the Monica Lewinsky or Penn State scandals, said Thompson Hine LLP partner James Robenalt, who has studied prospect theory in legal ethics and who now works closely with John Dean — former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon who was called “master manipulator of the cover-up” by the FBI and later became a key prosecution witness.
Robenalt and Dean will discuss the Watergate scandal and ethical obligations of lawyers at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Hall of Philosophy. Their conversation is titled “The Ethics of Clarity: Waking Up From Wrongdoing” and is based on their national tour of lectures on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.Read more