Best-selling author Maria Konnikova AB '05 (The New Yorker, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes) is the featured speaker at SXSW Featured Session The Confidence Game - The Power (and Price) of Stories.
Join New York Times bestselling author Maria Konnikova as she explores and explains the psychological principles that make stories so incredibly powerful—and such strong tools of persuasion and deception. From riveting sob stories of trauma and loss, to exciting tales of intrigue on the high seas, tricksters and grifters are consummate storytellers, and the stories they weave prove impossible to resist. In a world in which the internet makes it easier than ever to access information and adopt new identities, material is never hard to come by—and the means of storytelling grow infinitely greater. Could you be taken in?
In this talk, Konnikova will tell the fascinating stories about some of the most seductive imposters in history, taking 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.
Maria Konnikova AB '05 is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column with a focus on psychology and science, and is currently working on an assortment of non-fiction and fiction projects. Her first book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013), was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into seventeen languages. It was nominated for the Agatha Award and the Anthony Award for Best Non-fiction and was a Goodreads People’s Choice Semifinalist for 2013. Her second book, on the psychology of the con, is scheduled for publication by Viking/Penguin next winter. Her writing has appeared online and in print in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, The Boston Globe, The Observer, Scientific American MIND, WIRED, and Scientific American, among numerous other publications.
Maria formerly wrote the “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American and the popular psychology blog “Artful Choice” for Big Think. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied psychology, creative writing, and government, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University. She previously worked as a producer for the Charlie Rose show on PBS.