True con artists - the Bernie Madoffs, the Clark Rockefellers, the Lance Armstrongs - are elegant, outsized personalities, artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust. They hold a deep, enigmatic fascination for us. But how do they do it? Why are they successful? And what keeps us falling for it, over and over again?
Whether it's a suspicious-looking email or a multimillion-dollar global swindle, Maria Konnikova investigates the psychological principles that underlie each stage of the confidence game - from the initial put-up, where the artist identifies the victim, to the eventual fix, where the artist persuades the victim to stay quiet. Exploring the psychological profile of both the con artist and his mark, we learn how grifters can be so persuasive, even to those of us who consider ourselves immune, and how we can train ourselves to discern the signs of a story that isn't quite what it seems. Insightful and entertaining, telling fascinating stories about some of the most seductive imposters in history, The Confidence Game takes us into the world of the con to examine not only why we believe in confidence artists but how our sense of truth can be manipulated by those around us.
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