Nature vs. Nurture: The Genetic Basis of Fraud Victimization

Tingting (Rachel) Chung

Chatham University

Dennis Galletta

University of Pittsburgh - Management Information Systems

June 20, 2013

Behavioral genetics offers numerous opportunities to bridge gaps in biological research of organizational science and to shed light on the nature versus nurture debate. This study seeks to explain persistent vulnerability to fraud victimization from a genetic perspective. A synthesis of current literatures on cognitive neuroscience, decision making, and fraud victimization suggests that there may potentially be a genetic basis for user susceptibility to fraudulent scams. Using the classic twin design, this study reports estimated heritability of fraud victimzation to be up to 38% by comparing concordance between 144 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins and that between 52 pairs of same-sex dyzygotic (DZ) twins on a fraud victimization test. On the other hand, individual differences in responses to a simulated fraudulent "mimicking" scam has a much smaller genetic explanation at 6%, showing that the behavioral response is explained largely by both shared and non-shared environmental influences. Zygosity of the twin pairs serves as the primary independent variable in these behavioral genetics analyses. Implications of the study results are discussed with respect to anti-fraud research as well as managerial practices.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: behavioral security, behavioral genetics, twin study, fraud prevention, fraud victimization, phishing

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Date posted: July 12, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Chung, Tingting (Rachel), Nature vs. Nurture: The Genetic Basis of Fraud Victimization (June 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2282597 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2282597

Contact Information

Tingting (Rachel) Chung (Contact Author)
Chatham University ( email )
106 Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
United States
Dennis Galletta
University of Pittsburgh - Management Information Systems ( email )
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