Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters from the Archive: Maria Konnikova

On this episode Debbie talks to psychology writer Maria Konnikova about her career and her fascination with con-artists. She explains why so many people fall prey to confidence games. "A lot of what makes us human is the same as what makes us victims."

Maria was born in Moscow and came to the United States when she was four years old. Her first book was written in Russian, was five pages long, and had something to do with trolls. 

Today she is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, where she writes a regular column with a focus on psychology and culture, and is currently working on an assortment of non-fiction and fiction projects. Her first (published) book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013), was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into eighteen 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, The Confidence Game, was published last month by Viking/Penguin. Her writing has appeared online and in print in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, California Sunday, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, The Paris Review, among numerous other publications.

Maria is a recipient of the 2015 Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship, and is a Schachter Writing Fellow at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center. She 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.

Posted in: Design Matters

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