"It's a startling and disconcerting read that should make you think twice every time a friend of a friend offers you the opportunity of a lifetime.”. Konnikova explores in The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It Every Time .. bestthing.info Read The Confidence Game PDF Why We Fall for It Every Time Ebook by Maria bestthing.infohed by Penguin Books, ePUB/PDF.
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The Confidence Game Summary
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Amy Poehler. Go Set a Watchman. Most of us enjoy observing others, but we also tend to avoid finding out too much about them, as this deep knowledge can have its downsides.
For example, in one experiment, psychologist Jeffrey Simpson asked married couples to watch video footage of each other discussing a difference of opinion. While doing so, they were told to write down their own feelings and what they believed their partner was feeling. At the end of the study, the couples were asked how they felt about their spouse and their relationship.
This is because we tend to like people less if we can sense that they might find us boring, or if they are being insincere. On the other hand, understanding someone well enough to spot a flaw or a weakness in them is exactly what a confidence trickster, or con artist, loves to do. In fact, it is what leads them to be successful in their pursuits. Take the case of Debra Saalfield: in July of , Debra went to see a clairvoyant after losing her job and her boyfriend.
If she had misread her client, the clairvoyant could have easily ended up in jail. Instead, she closely observed Debra and understood how to take advantage of her emotions. The Confidence Game Key Idea 2: Con artists cunningly establish a trusting relationship with the person they intend to deceive. Have you come across someone who can enter a room and instantly charm every person? Such charismatic people can often become great leaders or expert deceivers.
For example, the author interviewed a young woman named Joan who was the victim of a charming con artist. Joan had fallen in love with a man named Greg, an incredibly sweet man who even helped Joan by building her a new kitchen and tending to her ailing grandmother.
He could be a con artist trying to take advantage of you. You might now be wondering how a con artist can gain this kind of trust. Well, a good con artist will often pretend to share common traits with their victim. After all, it is natural for human beings to trust someone similar more than someone dissimilar. We can see this in a study by psychologist Lisa DeBruine, in which participants were asked to collaborate on a project with a virtual teammate.
The study found that teams were more successful when the photograph of the virtual teammate was altered to look more like the participant. Of course, con artists know that similarity can be faked. The Confidence Game Key Idea 3: Con artists use some classic tricks to rope people into their schemes. Many people will look the other way and quickly walk by because they know that it will be hard not to give a donation if they stop.
Con artists are aware of this as well. We can see this in a Stanford University study. Researchers found that stay-at-home mothers were 30 percent more likely to agree to spend two hours answering questions at their home if they had previously agreed to answer just a few questions over the phone.
This is called the foot-in-the-door technique — and for con artists, it is an essential strategy. But the ad shows that once a con artist gets an initial response, they can often take advantage in more substantial ways too.
Another effective technique for taking advantage of the kind-hearted is to start with an unreasonably big request and then scale down. She was approached by an ambitious con artist who claimed to be a nobleman and invited her to be a guest at his home in Monaco.
The Confidence Game
She explained that she would have felt guilty refusing him a second time and on a much less extravagant offer. As you may have guessed, the check never cleared.
People become easy prey for con artists when they become fixated on an idealized version of who they think they are. A great example of this can be seen in the case of an otherwise intelligent year-old professor who came across a gorgeous Czech model online.
Despite never meeting or speaking on the phone, the virtual beauty managed to convince the professor to meet her in Bolivia. When the enthusiastic professor arrived, he received notification that his date had to run off to Brussels for an emergency photo shoot. But, in her hurry, she had forgotten her bag, so the professor was asked to retrieve the bag and join her in Belgium.
You might see where this is headed: In Buenos Aires, the professor was arrested after it was discovered that the bag contained two kilograms of cocaine! The poor man was so filled with confidence that he never paused to question why a year-old model would fall for his charms. This kind of deception is not reserved for vain or fragile individuals; successful con artists have been known to deceive entire families.
A famous example of such a con artist is Thierry Tilly, who managed to fleece all 11 members of an aristocratic French family. So he suggested a solution: for safekeeping, the family must sign over all their assets and property to his name.
Obviously, con artists know a lot about human psychology and how to use it for their benefit. The Confidence Game Key Idea 5: In order to fully convince an overly optimistic victim, con artists create an illusion of success.
Do you ever see people at a casino and wonder why they continue to place more and more losing bets? Con artists are experts at creating an illusion of success and taking advantage of this false optimism.
He told them that he had insider knowledge that would guarantee a weekly return of 10 percent on their investment. Word spread of his magical scheme and soon people were lining up take part.Timothy Ferriss. Read An Excerpt. This book shook my confidence in my ability to detect fraud—and then showed me how to improve my skills. Beautifully written, and filled with stories and thought-provoking psychological research, The Confidence Game will teach you how confidence artists operate — and how to outwit them.
Clark Stanley, the 19th-century salesman who peddled actual snake oil — or what he claimed was snake oil, anyway — is part of a long tradition of scam artists who exploit our anxieties about our health and well-being.
Fire and Fury. Those who were given this story were also told that anyone who invested money to cover the legal fees would be generously rewarded once the treasure was retrieved.
I stayed up far too late reading it.