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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It...Every Time

by Maria Konnikova,
Psychology Today, January 5, 2016

Published on April 1, 1857, The Confidence Man, by Herman Melville, ends with “the cosmopolitan” telling his companion on the steamboat Fidèle that the lack of confidence “these days” is due in no small measure to the “Counterfeit detectors you see on every desk and counter. Puts people up to suspecting good bills. Throw it away, I beg, if only because of the trouble it breeds you.” As “the waning light expired,” the cosmopolitan led the old man away. “Something further,” Melville predicts, “may follow of this Masquerade.”


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