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.
Gossip: you can’t avoid it. And maybe, you shouldn’t want to. Scientists have argued that gossip is an important tool for social cohesion and information transmission, allowing us to function […]
Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day. Today, let’s celebrate the wisdom of the female investor – or more specifically, what it is that generally makes her more financially successful over the […]
The perennial question: how does media affect action? Or, to put it in more specific terms, does watching violent things on TV, reading about risk-taking on the internet, or playing […]
A change in scale forces us to take note. Objects that we would never notice acquire significance, become worthy of examination and attention. In other words, they force mindfulness.
Whenever making claims about the brain and political attitudes, tread with care. It’s easy to open yourself up to intense criticism from the scientific community, on anything from methodology to […]
I can’t count the number of times I heard, “It’s not if you win or lose. It’s how you play the game” when I was growing up. And how often […]
While groups may have been wise at the start of the experiment, as soon as individuals within the group became aware of others’ estimates and choices, the diversity of opinions plummeted.
Choice is good. It’s always nice to have options. It makes us feel more in control; it supports our vision of ourselves as “deciders” in our own lives. But choice can also come with negative consequences.
I think it’s time to add the behavioral immune system to the long list of subconscious influences on our choices.
Actively pursuing happiness may not lead to an actual increase in happiness. In fact, it can do the opposite and make you less happy at the end of the day.
Is free will real, or is just one of our happy illusions? As it turns out, the answer might not matter as much as our belief in the answer does. […]
Power changes how we make decisions. That’s what I thought when I first read about Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s debacle – and the escapades that have apparently preceded it. Actually, the first […]
Motivation matters. It matters a lot. It matters more than we thought, and might make more of a difference on both performance and life outcomes that we thought possible.
Question: How do you remain mindful when juggling two, three, four, however many things at once? Answer: You probably don’t. For a long time, cognitive scientists have observed that processing […]
What is it about power that changes people – or if not changes, brings out those aspects of them that had heretofore lain dormant? As the old adage goes, power […]
Debate on personality disorders, classifications, diagnoses, and treatments is well worthwhile, and a colorful spokesperson never hurts.
Both too much and too little testosterone increase risk-taking and ambiguity tolerance.
In Guantánamo Files, the New York Times coverage of Guantánamo from WikiLeaks documents, one piece in particular caught my attention: a discussion of the difficulty of judging detainees’ risk of […]
Yesterday, we passed the birthday of Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889). So let’s take a moment to reflect, something that becomes increasingly important as the memory of his infamous reign […]
Today, I was planning to write about memory in decision making, but when I came across this new review in Current Directions in Psychological Science, I felt like I had […]
Teamwork. Support. Group (there’s that word) synergy. These are all hallmarks of positive business-speak and, one would assume, business practice. They’ve become the modern calling cards of businessmen who want […]
Our decisions matter. You don’t need me to tell you that. Of course they matter. It almost seems a tautology, a restatement of the obvious, of the very definition of “decision.” And yet, even though we make decisions at every point in our lives . . .