psychology | February 21, 2016

#AskASpeaker #9: Twitter Q&A with Maria Konnikova

The past Friday morning we had the pleasure of chatting with Maria Konnikova—the special guest of our ninth #AskASpeaker Q&A on Twitter. She’s the author of those oh-so-sharable New Yorker articles on human behavior, science, and psychology (her latest, for example, is on how people can learn to become resilient). But you’ve also probably heard of her fascinating books: Mastermind, an exploration of Sherlock Holmes’s signature methods of observation and logical deduction, and this year’s The Confidence Game: How We Fall for It ... Every Time, a book that examines the minds, hopes, and secret wishes of tricksters, deceivers, and other fakes—and one that can help us get wise to the con.

In her entertaining and insightful talks—packed with vivid anecdotes and stories of some of the most seductive imposters in history—Konnikova takes us into the world of the con to analyze not only why we believe in confidence artists, but how our sense of truth can be manipulated by those around us. Her other keynotes draw on neuroscience and psychology to explore how we can use mindfulness to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers.

No matter her focus, Konnikova makes cutting-edge psychology and curious history both meaningful and relevant (having a PhD in Psychology from Columbia University certainly helps with the credibility—but it’s Konnikova’s sense of what matters, and unique talents, that make her work so widely appealing). Beyond The New Yorker, you can find her writing in Scientific American (she wrote the Literally Psyched column), and publications like The AtlanticThe New York TimesThe Paris ReviewWiredThe Wall Street Journal, and more.

You can read a transcript of our live chat below. For now, be sure to follow us (@TheLavinAgency) and Maria Konnikova (@mkonnikova) on Twitter—and stay tuned for our next #AskASpeaker Q&A!

To hire Maria Konnikova as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers agency.