According to researcher Seth Setphens-Davidowitz , there are words or phrases that are commonly used when applying for a loan. To do this, in his book Everybody Lies, he cites a study carried out on the matter by three economists from the Universities of Delaware and the Columbia Business School in 2016.
The study authors used data mining tools and machine learning algorithms to automatically process and analyze the text of more than 120,000 loan applications from Prosper.com , an online crowdfunding platform.
God and I promise to pay
These were the keywords:
- Higher probability of repaying it: "debt free", "after tax", "graduated", "lower interest rates", "minimum payment".
- Less likely to return it: "God," "I promise to pay," "hospital," "promise," "thank you."
As Setphens-Davidowitz abounds:
The more you emphasize a promise, the more likely you are to break it. If someone writes "I promise to return the money and I make God my witness," the chances that they will return it will be slim. Appealing to the mercy of others (explaining that the money is needed for a relative admitted to the "hospital") also indicates a low probability that someone will repay the loan. In fact, mentioning any family member (a husband, a son, a father) is a sign that the money will not be returned.
In reality, this bias in words is perhaps only a reflection of the self-deception of those who do not keep their promises. In the same way, we believe we are more moral, upright and just than most, as we also feel that we are above average, as you can see in the following video: