Annals of Gullibility: Why We Get Duped and How to Avoid It by Stephen Greenspan

By Stephen Greenspan

The 1st ebook to supply a complete examine the matter of gullibility, this groundbreaking paintings covers how and why we're fooled in parts that diversity from faith, politics, technological know-how, and medication, to non-public finance and relationships. First laying the foundation through exhibiting gullibility at play within the writings of historical authors we know, developmental psychologist Stephen Greenspan follows with chapters that describe social duping around the gamut of human behavior. From those who pour greenbacks into funding scams, to those that stick with the religion of scientologists, think in fortunetellers, or champion unfounded drugs comparable to snake oil, we know anyone who has been duped. loads of us were duped ourselves, out of naive belief. it is not a question of low intelligence that strikes us to, with out proof, think the phrases of politicians, salesmen, lecturers, legal professionals, army figures, or cult leaders, between others. Greenspan indicates us the 4 wide purposes we turn into drawn into gullible habit, and he offers methods humans can develop into much less gullible.Greenspan takes us into the massive realm of gullibility from the fictitious Pied Piper to the old computer virus, then via modern day army maneuvers, political untruths, police and legal justice scams, and monetary and love lies. whereas there were previous books involved in liars and manipulators of every kind, this is often the 1st to target the gullible who're their sufferers, and the way the gullible can turn into much less more likely to be taken back.

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Annals of Gullibility: Why We Get Duped and How to Avoid It

The 1st ebook to supply a finished examine the matter of gullibility, this groundbreaking paintings covers how and why we're fooled in components that diversity from faith, politics, technology, and medication, to non-public finance and relationships. First laying the foundation by way of exhibiting gullibility at play within the writings of historical authors we know, developmental psychologist Stephen Greenspan follows with chapters that describe social duping around the gamut of human behavior.

Additional resources for Annals of Gullibility: Why We Get Duped and How to Avoid It

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Richard Brodie (1996) further explores these ideas in Virus of the Mind. A personality quality that Dawkins (2003) sees as important for the ability to resist toxic memes (and, thus, to be skeptical about religion) is “any impulse to solve mysteries” (p. 138). He used as example the Catholic notion of transubstantiation, which comes into play when one takes communion. Dawkins said that “it is easy and nonmysterious to believe that in some symbolic or metaphorical sense the Eucharistic wine turns into the blood of Christ” (p.

Shermer posited a “Belief Engine” to explain why most people (90% of Americans, the highest of any Western population) profess a belief in God, but also a belief in magic and various supernatural phenomena, such as an ability to talk to the dead. The best modern treatment of the connection between religion and belief in magic is contained in a book titled Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, by Stuart A. Vyse (1997). , shamanistic) powers. Vyse sees belief in magic as a variant of superstitious thinking, which is the notion that performing or not performing certain acts can affect certain outcomes that are not logically connected to the act in question.

Two particularly hilarious examples are the scamming by a snake oil salesman of a man resolutely skeptical about natural remedies and the cheating of a tough-nosed barber (who has a sign over his chair saying “No Trust”) out of the price of a shave. The second part of the book consists largely of a series of commentaries by the confidence man about how it is better to be too trusting and be gulled than to be so pinched off that one is incapable of ever giving one’s confidence. This is widely interpreted as a satirical portrayal of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the fatuously optimistic pronouncements of his Transcendental school.

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