Success isn't about finding one great way to achieve something and sticking with it. It's about looking at all the possible options and computing success through analysis.
Success isn't about finding one great way to achieve something and sticking with it. It's about looking at all the possible options and computing success through analysis. It works brilliantly in poker, and it works well in life, too.
Psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova on how to out-smart a con artist.
Psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova looks at the mechanisms of human nature that have allowed con artists, religious authorities, and cult leaders to prevail for thousands of years.
What is the difference between a cult and a religion? Perhaps not much. There are a lot of questions in this world, and people start asking at a young age. When a baby with a rattle bangs it on the table, it learns that the rattle makes noise. The baby is fascinated by cause and effect. That’s why they like to pull your hair and feel the tension in the strands. It’s why they are always throwing things from their high chairs.
We tend to think con artists are smooth talkers and persuasive sellers, but listening is their most important quality, says Maria Konnikova, who has written a new book on con artistry.
We tend to think con artists are smooth talkers and persuasive sellers, but listening is their most essential quality, says Maria Konnikova, who has written a new book on con artistry. Here she discusses the case of Victor Lustig, a Frenchman who sold the Eiffel Tower twice for scrap metal to two different buyers. Too embarrassed at being taken in, the buyers never reported Lustig.
Maria Konnikova is the New York Times bestselling author of The Confidence Game (Viking/Penguin 2016) and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013). She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, where she writes a regular column with a focus on psychology and culture, and her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, California Sunday, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, WIRED, and The Smithsonian, among numerous other publications. Maria is a recipient of the 2015 Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship, and is a Schachter Writing Fellow at Columbia University's Motivation Science Center. She formerly wrote the “Literally Psyched" column for Scientific American and the popular psychology blog “Artful Choice" for Big Think. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied psychology, creative writing, and government, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University.