The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time

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Maria Konnikova’s latest and greatest is the best non-fiction I’ve read in awhile. She delves into the psychology of why we are so easily duped, why we continue to believe in those who are duping us, and why we sometimes don’t even recognize that we’ve been duped. Here I learned about the “dark triad of traits: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. Fascinating that James Fallon discovered he was a psychopath by accident, running an imaging study of Alzheimer patients and also of psychopath’s brains, his own scan placed in the normal control group but seeing that it was clearly that of a psychopath. The grifter test: Take your index finger, raise it to your forehead, and draw the letter Q.

Have you drawn your Q? Which way was the Q facing– tail to right or let? If left, you’re a high self monitor, making it so others can read it; you are more likely to manipulate reality…

Packed full of scientific studies made enjoyable and digestible, tales of cons from across the ages, legal battles, global wanderings of the overconfident scammer and scam-ee, all told in a delightful and readable manner.