The Confidence Game #373

June 10, 2016

This week we're looking at the science -- and art -- of the con, from huge Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds. We speak to Maria Konnikova about her new book The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It... Every Time" on the psychology of the con and why we keep falling for the same old tricks.

This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.


  • Maria Konnikova

Guest Bios

Maria Konnikova

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. She is a regularly contributing writer for The New Yorker whose writing has won numerous awards, including the 2019 Excellence in Science Journalism Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. While researching "The Biggest Bluff", Maria became an international poker champion and the winner of over $300,000 in tournament earnings—and inadvertently turned into a professional poker player. Maria's 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. Her podcasting work earned her a National Magazine Award nomination in 2019. She graduated from Harvard University and received her PhD in psychology from Columbia University.

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