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Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage
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Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,906 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
In this new expanded edition of the author's pathfinding inquiry into the world of liars and lie catching, Paul Ekman, a world-renowned expert in emotions research and nonverbal communications, brings, in two new chapters, his much-publicized findings on how to detect lies to the real world.
Paperback, 366 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1985)
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Jan 13, 2010 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in detecting lies
Paul Ekman is without a doubt one of the top experts in the world on facial expressions in humans. His research is careful, painstaking, and intelligently done. He has honestly subtitled this book "Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace,Politics, and Marriage." It is not his fault that the book has been hyped and is advertised as being able to teach us unfailingly when someone is lying.

No book can teach anyone to be positive that someone else is telling the truth. No book can tell anyone proof-posi
Sep 01, 2014 زينب rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, psychology
I've heard about this guy and his research on microexpressions from a different book. I didn't get a chance to read his book until I found it by chance in the library. The book as the title suggests is about lies. Here he discussed his research findings and the different clues to deceit that a liar might leak. I liked that he was very neutral. If one of his research findings is still preliminary and not replicated he says so. The things I got from this book are: 1) a huge list of clues to deceit ...more
This one should have been really interesting. It's written by one of the scientists whose work serves as the inspiration for "Lie to Me", yet you haven't really experienced boring until you read upwards of 40 pages describing minute facial expressions. Also, I was disappointed that there was really nothing in here I hadn't already seen presented in a more interesting and engaging way. Were this a documentary, it would have been awesome. As a book, I just wanted it to end.
Aug 19, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book paired with "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful" was just what I needed after discovering my husband's affair. I proudly displayed this on my nightstand for him to see. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the book and would recommend to others.
Jul 25, 2009 Kelley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do love to go sit at the bookstore downtown during lunch, grabbing a bite at Lizard's. Whenever I step inside, I browse and then feel compelled to buy something. And every time I've made such an impulse purchase, I've been disappointed! Support your local indie, though, seems to be an affair with more misses than hits. And I'm wondering what's up with that. The last two books I bought at B&N on impulse were fine books. I think it is the indy bookstore's less than desirable stock. Not sure. ...more
Once again this book is a bit of a slog because the author's writing is pedantic and doesn't say a lot. I'm sure he means well and I'm glad he takes the time to think through the implications of his findings (and opinions), but I have a hard time reading what I've already easily inferred from the text, and many of the ideas are repeated.

Unlike Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life, this book is more philosophy than psychology. When Ekman wr
James Perkins
Because the TV show Lie to Me is based on the work of Paul Ekman, the casual reader may expect something a bit more fun and glamorous. There is nothing wrong this text per se, but there are very few diagrams to illustrate his points. Instead, you should be ready for a rather dry, academic discussion of the non-verbals, psychology, and language behind lying. Some background in at least one of these areas would be an advantage, or the reader may become quickly bored. For reasons I could not ascert ...more
A maelstrom of original and ground-breaking information never seen before it was published some 30 years ago; by the man who "Lie to Me" was based upon. The first three chapters can be dry and redundant but they lay the foundation for what a lie is and what types there are. Chapter 4 gets into the meat of identification and can leave you exhausted after just a few pages; the 3 pages that describe a chosen 18 types of smiles, for example. And the long chapter on polygraphs (which I thought I'd en ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, to start off with, this book is a psychology book on how lies are physiologically expressed. Reading this book will give you an understanding on how emotions leak through when people attempt to hide them. It will not suddenly allow you to read the emotions of all the people all around you, nor will it magically turn you into a lead character of the show Lie to Me.

That said, this book is one of the foundation books on the topic. If you're not looking for some snake oil, and are generally in
Benjamin Harvey
While the subject matter was interesting, the book itself was too repetitive, and the material didn't have enough study to back it up. The other does acknowledge that fact, though. Also, I expected the book to be more prescriptive: I thought literally be better able to tell when someone is lying or hiding information after reading this book, but I don't think that's the case. It was not a bad book, but it could have been much better.
Oct 15, 2008 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in psychology
Recommended to Blake by:
The title of this book is a little misleading, as it is really about the psychology of lying, the physiological reactions that occur when someone is being deceptive, and an analysis of the profession of lie catchers (polygraph examiners, investigators, interrogators, etc.) and their efficacy. Interesting read from an intellectual curiosity standpoint, but I wouldn't put it on a list must reads.
Jan 26, 2011 Dena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was brilliant!! I especially appreciated the way that Ekman points out howm many reasons that you can't use this information at face value. Everything must be taken in context. I felt that the information was very credible because of this. I learned so much from reading this book.
Jun 29, 2012 Ian19 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thinking most people will find a quick skim of this book just as edifying as a close read.
Jan 20, 2015 Cherene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book really interesting as it explored clues to deceit and the psychology involved in telling lies. I loved reading about the author's research experiments about lying.
Lauren Fidler
fascinating but very dry. thorough and analytical in scope, but not...well...engaging?
May 29, 2017 Iamsaud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book is informative and intriguing.
I was advised by my professor to read it and do a presentation on it, which is something interesting.
The book indeed is about nonverbal communication as Paul Ekman concerned with studying emotions and their relation to the micro expressions. It shows how and when people life, therefore, there are many clues that may leakage from ones. Such micro expressions are not noticeable due to the fact they only flash on and off in the face in a quick, which is some
Jun 16, 2017 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read his other book (though I watched Lie to Me and read pubs) so all the information was exciting and new.
Arturo Hernández
Hay buenas piezas de contenido escondidas entre interminables historias llenas de paja y círculos literarios. El libro es de +350 páginas, pero podría ser resumido en menos de 50.
May 20, 2017 Jinny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A respectable book but too technical to my taste
Renáta Gajdos
Feb 28, 2017 Renáta Gajdos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book. Sometimes It was boring. But the whole book was interesting. The conclusion I made: you can catch a liar, but you need to pay attention. But you hardly catch a liar if he a pscychopath or a natural liar.
Dana Bolink
Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage is hiding an informative and interesting book in there somewhere.

In his thirteenth (!) book, psychologist and researcher Paul Ekman sets out to explain how people lie, how they can be caught and why most people are so bad at catching liars. From the back cover: "Telling Lies describes how lies vary in form and how they can differ from other types of misinformation that can reveal untruths. It discusses how a person's body
Alexei G
First and foremost, the book would serve anyone right and teach that detecting lies from behaviour and facial expression is much more difficult than we imagine. The conventional truth, e.g. the person sweats, covers his or her mouth, don’t work unless taken as part of a set of behaviours, while we take it almost for granted they signify deceit. Furthermore, there are no such things as signs of honest behaviour, only tells that reveal lies.

Another surprise, and unpleasant one, came from the revel
Feb 19, 2017 Ariel_Carraro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mi criterio es un libro difícil de entender si uno no esta familiarizado con términos psicológicos y hasta criminológicos.
Amanda Grace
I first discovered Paul Ekman's work in micro expressions through the crime drama Lie to Me which was first introduced to me in a high-school psychology class. Now, his work has become of particular interest as I begin my psychology double-major and prepare to integrate my two majors in the first test run of a Theatre Studies-Psychology Honors thesis.

Retrospectively, I would divide Telling Lies into two halves: the first, interesting, useful, novel half—here, you'll find engaging information on
Federica Leva
I'm bored to read it. I hoped it was more intriguing. Moreover, all too often the teaching gets lost in a vague: "may be so, but also what". As a psychotherapist, I was hoping for a more instructive text.
I will continue ... and I will tell you!
I will continue ... and I will tell you! Finished! Maybe I was bored because I know most of what is said, but I remain of the view that the author could say everything in fewer pages. The part that I found most interesting was the last. The summar
William Fulton
The book is good. For something that is summarizing scientific research, it is readable. No one should feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

To sum up the entire book: if you want to know if someone is lying you need to know the person well, and, even if you have read the book and practiced on his website, you can never be sure.

The title is misleading - at least the subtitle is. In the end the purpose of the book is to enhance your ability to read people, understand them better, and, therefore, rel
In terms of data, this is a very good book. Ekman is clearly very researched in his area, and he is able to break down the information in a way that it is possible for a layperson (such as myself) who has little to no information on the psychology behind lying. He goes through the possible motivations behind lying (and really, lying isn't always negative), the facial and behavioural clues, and even points out areas that people may not even notice. I particularly liked the appendix, where tables ...more
Avel Deleon
Dec 11, 2015 Avel Deleon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Ekman is a renown expert in facial expressions. If you have seen "Lie to me" then reading this book is a must. Paul Ekman explains why guilt many be expressed facially, but this does not mean the person is guilty of the charge being laid on the person. The guilt may arise because the person feels guilty for covering up for some other lie in the past. There is a chapter in the book explaining why the polygraph is not a good we to conclusively decide that someone is guilty. The polygraph says ...more
"If falsehood, like truth, had only one face, we would be in better shape. For we would take as certain the opposite of what the liar said. But the reverse of truth has a hundred thousand shapes and a limitless field."—Montaigne, Essays
Debra Darschewski
interesting some ways leaves more questions than answers...long and short, lie detector tests are crap...they just show that someone is having an emotional response which could be for any variety of reasons and many true sociopaths show no emotion so can get through one with flying colors...the facial expressions would be most interesting to study as they would show something is off, but again you don't know the motivation why...end take there is now definitive way to tell if someone i ...more
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American psychologist that pioneered the study of emotions' relationship to facial expressions.
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