In America, We Trust the Wrong People

Hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Produced by Sophia Alvarez Boyd and Derek Arthur

Edited by Stephanie Joyce and Kaari Pitkin

Engineered by Pat McCusker

Original music by Isaac Jones, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud

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When it comes to day-to-day decisions about whether strangers are telling the truth, most of us rely on shortcuts: a person’s educational background, a job at a trusted institution, a recommendation from a mutual friend. But those shortcuts are far from foolproof, and they can be exploited by those who intend to mislead. They can also make us less inclined to believe the most vulnerable, the people who have the most to lose, as Dina Nayeri argues in her new book, “Who Gets Believed: When the Truth Isn’t Enough.” Nayeri is a refugee from Iran whose own journey in America illuminates the flaws in our system and how our ability to tell truth from lies is broken by bias.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…DNY59/Getty Images

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]. Follow Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Twitter: @lourdesgnavarro

“First Person” was produced this week by Sophia Alvarez Boyd, with help from Derek Arthur. It was edited by Stephanie Joyce and Kaari Pitkin. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Original music by Isaac Jones, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker. The rest of the “First Person” team includes Anabel Bacon, Olivia Natt, Rhiannon Corby, Wyatt Orme and Jillian Weinberger. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski, Shannon Busta, Allison Benedikt, Annie-Rose Strasser and Kathleen Kingsbury.

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