Nobody's Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do about It (Hardcover)
From two New York Times-bestselling psychologists, “an engaging master class in how to foil purveyors of false promises” (Philip E. Tetlock, author of Superforecasting)
From phishing scams to Ponzi schemes, fraudulent science to fake art, chess cheaters to crypto hucksters, and marketers to magicians, our world brims with deception. In Nobody’s Fool, psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris show us how to avoid being taken in. They describe the key habits of thinking and reasoning that serve us well most of the time but make us vulnerable—like our tendency to accept what we see, stick to our commitments, and overvalue precision and consistency. Each chapter illustrates their new take on the science of deception, describing scams you’ve never heard of and shedding new light on some you have. Simons and Chabris provide memorable maxims and practical tools you can use to spot deception before it’s too late.
Informative, illuminating, and entertaining, Nobody’s Fool will protect us from charlatans in all their forms—and delight us along the way.
About the Author
Daniel Simons is a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Illinois, where he directs the Visual Cognition Laboratory. He lives in Champaign, Illinois.
Christopher Chabris is a cognitive scientist who has taught at Union College and Harvard University. He lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Affable and fleet-footed … fascinating examples … even if we can’t be nobody’s fool, we may become a bit less foolish.”—Wall Street Journal
“In their fascinating new book, they weave outrageous examples of art frauds and scholarly work with meticulously researched insight into why we fall for these deceivers, how we can avoid becoming patsies and why we shouldn’t take it personally when someone tried to dupe us.”—Salon
"An outstanding guide to nonsense for critical readers."—Kirkus (Starred)
"This entry provides smart, succinct analyses based in solid cognitive science principles. The gullible and skeptical alike will find plenty to chew on."—Publishers Weekly
“To know if you have been deceived, you must question what you believe—but we can’t always question everything. In Nobody’s Fool, Simons and Chabris address the more difficult and intriguing question: When should you question what you believe?”—Apollo Robbins, theatrical thief and deception expert
“Through captivating storytelling and insightful analysis, Nobody’s Fool provides a fascinating exploration of the human mind’s vulnerability to deception and offers practical tools to help us become more rational decision-makers."—Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets and Quit
“Nobody’s Fool is a fascinating and fun read that explores the limits of the human mind and teaches you how to avoid being hoodwinked. Simons and Chabris are outstanding storytellers and scientists who’ve written just the book we all need in a world where misinformation, scams, and everyday duplicity put us at increasing risk.”—Katy Milkman, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller How to Change
“Rarely do you find such practical advice combined with such delicious entertainment. In an age of con artists, charlatans, and conspiracy peddlers, Nobody’s Fool is an essential survival guide for investors, consumers, and citizens. I wondered if the authors could possibly top The Invisible Gorilla, a classic in its field. They have—and we’re all better armed against fraud as a result.”—Diana B. Henriques, author of the New York Times bestseller The Wizard of Lies
“Nobody's Fool is science writing at its best. A must-read for anybody who loves reading about fascinating social-science studies and compelling stories—or just wants to get tricked less.”—Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, New York Times–bestselling author of Everybody Lies and Don’t Trust Your Gut
“The vast menagerie of scams detailed in Nobody's Fool makes for entertaining — albeit frightening—reading. Thankfully, Simons and Chabris excavate the inner workings of con-artistry and explain in great detail why we fall for it, again and again, and how we can stop. This book is an inoculation for your brain.”—David Epstein, author of the New York Times bestseller Range
“This book is worth vastly more than its purchase price. It shows, in rich detail, that con artists around the world use strikingly similar tactics to ensnare their victims. Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris offer an engaging master class in how to foil purveyors of false promises.”—Philip E. Tetlock, author of Superforecasting
“Whether you are wondering how frauds like Enron, Theranos, and FTX managed to fool so many people for so much of the time or just want to know how to protect yourself from the Next Big Fleece, Simons and Chabris have got you covered in this tour of how con artists, hoaxers, and troll farms prey on human cognitive weaknesses.”—Gary Marcus, author of Guitar Zero, Kluge, and Rebooting AI
“In an era when more information is available to us than ever before, when claims of ‘fake news’ might themselves be fake news, Simons and Chabris offer a vital tool to not only inoculate ourselves against getting infected by misinformation, but also prevent us from spreading it to others.”—David McRaney, author of How Minds Change
"Nobody's Fool is a must-buy for all investors who want to improve their decision-making."—Guy Spier, Managing Partner of Aquamarine Capital and author of The Education of a Value Investor
"It's hard enough to think well in everyday life, much less when someone is trying to swindle you. Nobody's Fool is well written, has lots of great stories, and guides you to think twice appropriately."—Michael J. Mauboussin, author of Think Twice and The Success Equation