I thought this was an interesting video from illusionist Derren Brown about gullibility, via Brain Pickings:
"Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s the more trusting people that actually emerge as less gullible. They obviously get fooled, as we all do… but they tend to be very good at learning from those experiences where they have been duped, they tend not to generalize it over everybody and then to start being cynical about everything, which then makes them more effective socially."
"You create a false logic. You create what appears to be an A, B, C. . . . That's not about gullibility, that's about a certain grammar that people will follow. . . . We can't function unless we form those patterns . . . . It's better to have that false positive than a false negative. . . . We are hardwired to fall for that . . . . it's pretty much inescapable and ultimately probably positive."
I found this relevant for two main reasons:
1. A lot of people either write me or come on here and feel like an idiot for having bought into the "lie" that their sociopath spun for them. I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of, I don't know that it is necessarily a lie, and also I don't believe these sociopath slayer types who say that they are so skeptical that say they always spot sociopaths and beat them at their own game (whatever that means).
2. I actually think sociopaths tend to be gullible in surprising ways. That's why I think that feeding them false information, particularly about areas that are their natural blind spots like the emotional worlds of others, is effective. I know others have disputed this point with me before, but it at least works on me.