Interview with Dr. Stephen Greenspan, author of Annals of Gullibility (#finance, #psychology)

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Stephen Greenspan, PhD has a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Rochester and a post-doctoral certificate from UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. He is Professor Emeritus in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut and currently lives in Colorado, where until recently he served as a visiting faculty in psychiatry at the U of Colorado medical school. He has long had an interest in social competence, especially in vulnerable populations.

In December 2008 his book “Annals of Gullibility” (the first comprehensive book on the topic) was published. A few days later, he learned he had lost a chunk of his retirement funds when a so-called “feeder” hedge fund was wiped out in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. A few weeks later he published a lengthy featured essay in the Wall Street in which he used his theoretical model of gullibility with himself as a case example, to explain why smart people–even an expert on gullibility–can be tricked by a skilled manipulator. That essay went somewhat viral and was (and continues to be) interviewed on TV, radio and news stories around the world. He also serves as an expert witness in both criminal and civil cases around the US where gullibility may be a factor.