Simply thinking about money can trigger people to lie, steal and make unethical decisions, according to new research findings, CNNMoney reported.


People who have just seen images of money or phrases about money are more likely to do something unethical, such as steal paper from their office because they ran out of paper at home. They're more apt to hire a candidate who says he will share confidential insider information about his former company. And if it means winning money, they're more likely to lie to get it.


Why? Because the exposure to money puts participants in a business mindset -- leading them to make business decisions based on monetary benefits and big payoffs instead of morals, the study found.


These results come from four studies conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Utah. There were 324 participants overall, and to get a group of the participants to subconsciously think about money, researchers showed them images of currency or asked them to unscramble words to form money-related phrases. Read more.