Uncovering Scams and Deceptions

with Christopher Chabris

About the Episode

Christopher Chabris is a cognitive scientist who has taught at Union University and Harvard University. His research focuses on decision-making, attention, intelligence and behavior genetics. Christopher received his Ph.D. in Psychology and A.B. in computer science from Harvard University. He joined us today to talk about the book he co-authored, Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It.

Christopher shares his insights on the concept of “willing suspension of disbelief,” exploring how our minds readily accept premises in works of fiction and the implications this has on our perception of reality. He challenges our notion of being critical thinkers, pointing out how we tend to initially believe information that comes our way. He explains that the mind instinctively tags incoming information as true, requiring conscious effort to question its validity.

We also explore the ethical and psychological objections to starting with “bullshit” and trying to correct it later, highlighting the importance of responsible information dissemination.

Join us as we dissect the complexities of belief, deception, and human psychology.

Topics Discussed

Willing suspension of disbelief [10.08]
Christopher defines willing suspension of disbelief and how the position of belief can get us into trouble.
The illusory truth [14.12]
We dive into how we mistakenly attribute qualities such as credibility, truth, and trustworthiness to things like familiarity and recognition.
Using AI [24.12]
Artificial intelligence and its current usage.
Survivorship bias [32.27]
Christopher explains what survivorship bias is with some examples.
Opinions [38.18]
Opinions come a lot easier than justifications. We talk about the famous saying, ‘The work required to have an opinion.’
Predictions [48.10]
We dive into predictions, outcomes, and the effect predictions have on people.
Consistency [51.27]
Consistency and what happens when it’s impossible.
Dealing with scams [01.07.25]
Christopher shares how to identify if you are working with a scam and how to stay safe from them.

Connect with Christopher Chabris

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