The Confidence Game

The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time

Maria Konnikova

At some point, everyone will be deceived. Everyone will fall victim to a confidence artist of one stripe or another. Everyone will fall for it. The real question is why
The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova (Paperback ISBN 9781782113911) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

An investigation into the minds, motives and methods of con artists by a New York Times bestselling psychologist

The con artist: from Bernie Madoff to Clark Rockefeller to Lance Armstrong. How do they get away with it? And what keeps us falling for them, over and over again? In The Confidence Game, Maria Konnikova investigates the psychological principles that underlie each stage of the swindle, from the put-up all the way to the fix, and how we can train ourselves to spot a story that isn’t all it seems.

“A fascinating look at the psychology behind every hustle”

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“The story of the con artist may be unmatched for combining human interest with insight into human nature, and star psychology writer Maria Konnikova explains their wiles to us with her characteristic clarity, flair and depth”
Steven Pinker

“Remarkable … The Confidence Game will widen your eyes and sharpen your mind”
Daniel H. Pink

“In a world of pseudoscience, Maria Konnikova’s calm rationality is comforting and smart”
Jon Ronson

“As an invaluable resource for understanding the conditions that create the scammer, the mechanics of the scam and the inherent vulnerability of the mark, The Confidence Game should be required reading … Given the current state of democracies around the globe, it should also be a prerequisite for voting”
times Literary Supplement

Maria Konnikova

Maria Konnikova was born in Moscow and grew up in the United States. Her first book, Mastermind, was a New York Times bestseller. 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, Scientific American MIND and The Smithsonian, among numerous other publications.