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

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,596 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
In this revised edition, Paul Ekman, a renowned expert in emotions research and nonverbal communication, adds a new chapter to present his latest research on his groundbreaking inquiry into lying and the methods for uncovering lies. Ekman has figured out the most important behavioral clues to deceit; he has developed a one-hour self-instructional program that trains people ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 26th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Elaine
Jan 13, 2010 Elaine rated it liked it
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
...more
زينب
Sep 18, 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
Andrea
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.
Sarah
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.
Christopher
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
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
Kelley
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
Jacob
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
...more
Dale
Jan 23, 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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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.
Avel Deleon
Dec 11, 2015 Avel Deleon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
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
Blake
Oct 17, 2008 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in psychology
Recommended to Blake by: Amazon.com
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.
Cherene
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.
Dena
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.
Ianw19
Jun 29, 2012 Ianw19 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.
Lauren Fidler
fascinating but very dry. thorough and analytical in scope, but not...well...engaging?
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!
Finished!
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
...more
Jay
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
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
...more
Bridgett Gonzalez
The book reveals the after thoughts of actions taken place, which gives you clue to the deceit taking place. Whats most interesting in the book, is the question I kept having. "Could the deceiver have kept up the deception as a secret?" Most deceivers are found out the moment the truth is revealed to an outside source to release its stress and find redemption in the deception.
Stephen Simpson
Almost more of a debunking of theories about how to tell if people are lying, Ekman goes into quite a bit of discussion of the motivations for lying (and detecting lies) and how people on each side of the lie often trip themselves up. Often reads as a "you can't really try this at home", but it is thorough and sincere in its approach. More interesting than useful, it really will not empower a reader to become significantly better at detecting deceit in others (though it will make you more aware ...more
Bkis1969
Dec 22, 2014 Bkis1969 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Forensic Psychologist I found this book to be most useful and informative. I see many reviews panning the work, however I believe they were probably looking for entertainment rather than research and instruction. This book will prove to be very useful to those in the various fields of psychology. I recommend it.
Mahfoud
Aug 24, 2014 Mahfoud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trs interessant avec beaucoup de trucs et ides sur comment dectecter le mensonge chez les gens. Bien entendu, il faut s'entrainer et lire d'autres tudes. Ce livre n'est pas suffisant lui tout seul, mais donne une bonne base.
Le livre est bien crit et structur pour la lecture rapide.
...more
Frank P
Molto interessante x quanto riguarda gli aspetti psicologici e sociologici della menzogna. Del resto l'autore è un limonate della materia. Io libro é ben fatto, completo ed alla portata di tutti, purché ovviamente vi sia un minimo d'interesse nell'argomento.
Mara Santiago
Oct 11, 2015 Mara Santiago rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
This book is interesting and well researched. I found it highly entertaining and fascinating. I can't understand people who say it's boring. It's written in a scientific manner, establishing basic knowledge, explaining details and building on this knowledge. It's a non fiction science book and lived up to my expectations as such.
Jina
Aug 01, 2014 Jina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Slow going; didn't finish. Everything I got to in the book was also covered in a more engaging way in season 1 of "Lie To Me" and in Vanessa Van Edwards' body language course on CreativeLive.
Marie
Sep 15, 2011 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*yawn*
This book suffers from two flaws - the first is not its fault - it's out of date. Published in the 80s, it promises so much potential for breakthroughs in lie detection in the near future that, well, we know never panned out. We're still at the 'maybe kinda sorta if you really study this one person specifically you might be able to tell when they are lying, maybe' phase.

The second flaw is in the anecdotal material, which is painfully limited. He talks about the same one book and one movie
...more
Ekaterina
Jun 19, 2011 Ekaterina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Книга несомненно интересная и заслуживает внимания, но прежде всего адресована не тем людям, которые хотят просто научится определять ложь или наоборот научиться лучше лгать, а тем, кто хочет понять КАК и ПОЧЕМУ происходит ложь, какие эмоциональные и психологические признаки свойственны ей, и уже отталкиваясь от этих знаний можно попытаться лучше разобраться в происходящем. Пол Экман описывает эмоционально-психологическую составляющую основу лжи, и таким образом, на мой взляд, переведенное назва ...more
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American psychologist that pioneered the study of emotions' relationship to facial expressions.
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“No important relationship survives if trust is totally lost.” 8 likes
“A broken promise is not a lie.” 5 likes
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