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The Confidence Game

The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time
Narrated by: Maria Konnikova
Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
3.6 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Con men are artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust. They hold a deep, enigmatic fascination for us. But how do they do it? 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 and the 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.

©2016 Maria Konnikova (P)2015 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Confidence Game

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Thouthand

Very well written book, with great examples of cons and the psychology behind it. Maria Konnikova has definitely put a lot of effort into the research of this book. I enjoyed reading it immensely. However... The author narrator mispronounces the word 'thousand". It sounds really petty to call it out, and I get that everybody has their own idioms but this is a book about cons, and as a result the word thousand comes up frequently. When the rest of the narration is so well done it's jarring to hear this one word out of place. Every time I hear it I imagine Ms Konnikova in the audio booth narrating the book saying "and as a result he made off with thouthands upon thouthands of" and the producer saying "Wait, what did you say? Ah, nevermind. Just keep going.". I don't mean to make fun of anybody's speech impediment or anything like that but the whole job description for narration is reading fluently and pronouncing words properly. It's such a weird thing to get all hung up on. Hopefully it's just me and nobody else thinks it's a big deal because all other aspects of the book are great.

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  • Tumwine
  • 27-01-2017

A helpful guide for unlocking mental blindspots

I recommend this book to everyone.
I loved the book. In particular, the various tales of cons that have been carried out through the ages. It's enlightening to see that many scams have been running for centuries. The exploration of the human shortcomings that support cons and scams is eye-opening and presents something to think about.

The narrator was good. The tone and flow of the narration is consistent with whatever concept is being presented.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-03-2016

Great book for anyone who wants to understand con

Great story for self realisation! A bit on a scary side. grear examples mixed with science behind the confidense game.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Marco Schletz
  • 17-08-2020

Primal instincts

Mark Manson recently wrote : we're just monkeys in front of colourful screens. Confirmed. Very interesting book on the limitations and vulnerabilities of human psyche.

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  • Debs
  • 28-06-2020

Good basis, too long.

Really struggled to finish this book, love the subject. Equally watching the hustle would do.

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  • Mr. R. D. Cox
  • 15-04-2020

great book

will read again, could have been improved with a professional reader. But the content is excellent, good information, well presented.

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  • brent
  • 18-09-2019

good but tough read

it was a good book but took a long time to complete. very interesting but you need to be in the right head space for it

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  • John
  • 29-04-2019

Great book

I’m interested in how people make decisions, particularly under pressure. This book tells the story and the structure of the con in a massively interesting way. It is one of the most enjoyable audible books I have ever listened to. It didn’t deal directly with my core interest but added so much more to how I now try to think about it.

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  • Liz
  • 08-05-2018

Enjoyed the book and loved the audio version

I wanted to re-read this book and it was every bit as good in this version read by the author. So much fascinating information and much to think on. I know I'll listen to it another time. I rarely do this, but this really is so full of great information. Thoroughly recommend

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  • winnie
  • 02-05-2018

Everyone should read this book

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Should be required reading for everyone and particularly young people, domestic violence victims, abuse victims, anyone in any religious organisation, anyone working for a company with a strong corporate culture, anyone who has a particularly charismatic boss or colleague, people studying sociopathy, psychopathy, narcissistic personality disorder.

1 person found this helpful

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  • phil chadwick
  • 02-10-2017

Book of anecdotes about con-artists

This is nothing more and nothing less than a book with anecdotes about con-artists. There is some discussion of the psychological mechanisms underlying the tricks, but the discussion and critical analysis is light.