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Maria Konnikova

Writer, The New Yorker

Maria Konnikova is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: The Confidence Game , winner of the 2016 Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking, and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes , an Anthony and Agatha Award finalist. Her new book, The Biggest Bluff , will be out from Penguin Press on June 23, 2020. While researching The Biggest Bluff , Konnikova became an international poker champion and the winner of over $300,000 in tournament earnings—and inadvertently turned into a professional poker player. She is a regular contributing writer for The New Yorker , and her writing has been featured in Best American Science and Nature Writing and has been translated into over twenty languages. Maria also hosts the podcast The Grift from Panoply Media, a show that explores con artists and the lives they ruin, and is currently a visiting fellow at NYU's School of Journalism. She graduated from Harvard University and received her PhD in psychology from Columbia University.

When It’s OK to Trust Common Sense

Experts should trust all of their instincts and their common sense in their areas of expertise. The problem comes when non-experts have "common sense opinion" that really is just coming out of nowhere. 

Voting for a Face, Not a Candidate

From an evolutionary perspective, our quickness to judge faces certainly makes sense. We need to know if someone is friend or foe, if he is strong or weak, if we can trust him or not. And we need to know quickly, before something bad happens. But is that quickness still as good when it determines national political outcomes?