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Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  1,249 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews

People--friends, family members, work colleagues, salespeople--lie to us all the time. Daily, hourly, constantly. None of us is immune, and all of us are victims. According to studies by several different researchers, most of us encounter nearly 200 lies a day.

Now there's something we can do about it. Pamela Meyer's Liespotting links three disciplines--faci
ebook, 256 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2010)
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Sep 03, 2012 Schmacko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is another that I’m reading in my extended study. It’s a pretty straightforward book about what people do and why the do it when they lie. It gives a clear indication on how to practice lie spotting, but it also brings up a good point:

The average human being lies 60 to 200 times a day. Almost all of these lies are harmless – lying by omission, lying to protect someone’s feeling, lying to aid social interaction. Sometimes we lie by talking; sometimes we lie by keeping our mouths shut. S
Rob Freund
Rating: 3 stars for good content, good references, good ideas. Minus 2 stars for hocking her own services in the book, being "for business only" in many respects.

Pamela Meyer first intrigued me when I saw her TED talk on deception. There were two key concepts that I’d latched on to and that are echoed in her book. Firstly, that deception is a cooperative act; we buy into deception because of a core desire to have filled (greed, vanity, blissful ignorance, absolution, etc. etc.) The second concep
Kathryn Anthony
Nov 06, 2011 Kathryn Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book. I use some of the "tells" when I'm being honest (I say things like 'to be honest with you' because I'm a polite Canadian, and so I feel like I need to qualify anything remotely approaching bluntness. Similarly, I often use qualifiers like 'to my knowledge' about things that might potentially have changed since--maybe that's the law student in me). But the book emphasizes establishing a baseline set of behaviors for individuals, to account for such things, as well as for peop ...more
''The price of facing reality is ''ordinary misery''.

After Paul Ekman came back from Papua New Guinea, where he discovered that all people universally have 6 basic emotions: joy, sadness, surprise, fear, disgust and anger, he made presentations to therapists working in mental hospitals. They asked him something he had not previously considered: could the nonverbal behaviours Ekman was analyzing reveal whether a person was lying.

The therapists were concerned that mentally ill patients might succ
Aaron Michaux
Mar 19, 2016 Aaron Michaux rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I wondered how many times Pamela Meyer distorted the truth, or made outright fabrications (e.g.: in the mini-biographies). There is a lot of reliance on the experiences of trained interrogators; however, interrogators do no better then amatures at lie-spotting. They just /think/ they are good at it. Also, there is no discussion on the role of delusions in lying. For example, trained interrogators illicit a surprising number of false-confessions (at least 15-25%), probably by i ...more
Nov 24, 2013 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book thinking it would help me with some Biblical counselling cases (I'm a pastor, and sometimes have folks lie to me). It turns out the book is helpful only in some cases. As a theologian, I make a distinction between deception and violating the 9th commandment, and Meyer doesn't make that distinction. Ultimately, as a Christian the Bible calls me to believe my brother's word, and if I don't and am suspicious of him, that won't be helpful.

There are lots of interesting things in this
Rawa Muhsin
Nov 07, 2015 Rawa Muhsin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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The first part of this book is a really nice 100-ish summary of the subject of liespotting and serves well as an introduction to it. The second half concerns more with negotiation and honesty-seeking in a corporate environment. While the book should be pretty good for people who have to handle big stakes deals in those situations I still find myself a bit disappointed since it's not what I wanted from the book. I guess I'll keep on looking for a book that digs deeper (going to try Ekman and Darw ...more
Alex Kenjeev
Don't read this book unless you have a lot of time to devote to prioritize learning and practicing what it teaches, both while you're reading the book and afterwards. I didn't, and for that reason I didn't get as much out of this book as I had hoped I would.

I read this book after seeing Ms. Meyer's TED talk on the subject of detecting lies. I was hoping it would help me improve at assessing the underlying realities of business conversations. I read it carefully but quickly - I didn't take the t
First half of the book is about lie detection, pure and simple. I found this portion to be extremely fascinating and will definitely continue doing research on my own.

The second half goes on to talk about ways to sure up your business/association with tips and tricks on building trusting relationships between employees and employers. It also outlines some good negotiation practices and other things probably more important to those with a more business-oriented mind. I was more interested in the
May 31, 2012 Jesse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
blech, what seems like a great idea for a book, becomes a poorly sourced coporate rant on negotiation. i read this after watching meyer's talk, which was kinda one long plug for her book. anyway i got the book from the library, and was subsequently dissappointed. anyone know of a good body language/ face reading book that's out there. you know one written with rigor, and focused upon the science of reading body language instead of ways you can use it to make money for your business. i me ...more
Pamela Huxtable
There's nothing here here you haven't heard of or read of before. Verbal tells, physical cues, facial indicators and body language - it's all here, documented, and with an exemplary tale to go with it.

I have to say, I felt like I needed to take a shower after reading this. And I've decided that I'm okay with the little lies that I'm told - really, I mean it. Go ahead and lie to me. It feels better than analyzing every facial tic or verbal mark.
Brian Williams
3 or 4 of the chapters are worthwhile. Those are the chapters that deal with actual lie spotting. The rest of the book is full of how to deal with people in big horrible corporations with deep hierarchy. The moralizing is also a but much to take.
Oct 24, 2016 Erick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really this is more of a cheesy book geared towards how to use these techniques and get ahead by reading people in the corporate world. The last third of the book reads like a corporate manual on how to tell if people are lying at work or other variations on that theme.
Sahanawaj Khan
Oct 22, 2016 Sahanawaj Khan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In depth way to strive through this deceptive world...:)
Feb 07, 2016 Ap rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book is aimed at the business world. They offered tips for identifying lies that your employees or possible business partners may tell. But the most important thing is to go with your gut instinct.

Look for clusters of behaviors such as a person that avoids answering questions or answers a question other than the one you asked. tvLiars tend to stick with the chronology of their story, not with the emotion. In other words, it's more important to tell a lie in chronological order because they
Aman Mittal
Apr 02, 2015 Aman Mittal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."

-J. D. Salinger, The Cather in the Rye

Being human and being able to communicate and understand each other with our spoken or written words, might make us feel superior in front of other species. We can be on the top of the food chain, the IQ chain and all other chains as much as we
Jun 03, 2016 Therese rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was an odd book - for a book that was supposed to be about how to tell when people are lying, ironically it came across often as disingenuous because of the extravagant claims it made about how it could give the reader an edge in being able to tell true from lies. Some of the "tips" seemed vague, unhelpful, and even contradictory. If someone puts a lot of detail in a story, in one part of the book that's a sign they're lying, while in another part of the book it's a sign of telling the trut ...more
Liespotting is a clear and eloquent discussion of how to detect personal and professional deception.

The first half of the book focuses on individual deceptive "tells;" physical and behavioral cues that indicate the presence of deception. I was interested by the discussion of how word choice and emotional reactions can change based on whether or not the speaker is lying. I was familiar with most of the body language cues she listed, but entirely new to me were the subconscious processes that go
Lynnea Taylor
The techniques given were interesting and explained well. My only complaint about the book came in at the end. It seemed to deteriorate into corporate paranoia. I'm sure that the examples she gives are real, but the idea that making giant policy handbooks explaining everything employees can and cannot do does not seem like something that would truly work. Try getting your employees to read something like that. On top of which, people who want to cheat and steal will always try. Fostering an atmo ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this book was a good introduction to basic deception detection techniques; enough to get you started. These techniques take time to master and require a lot of practice. So you must understand that you aren't suddenly going to be a skilled interrogator just from reading this book.

The introduction of the book had a lot of redundant information. After that, the author provides a nice overview. In the last part of the book, it jumps to some related topics that really could have been used f
Sandy Dee
Nov 12, 2014 Sandy Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the techniques presented in this book although some of the so called proven techniques can be difficult to apply in real life. To be able to spot deception someone needs to be very attentive, carefully watching and listening on subtle clues.

When you know that your on a mission to find the truth or interrogate someone, you will be attentive and no doubt you will find yourself applying the techniques you've learnt from this book. However, to apply such level of vigilance in our daily inter
Jan 28, 2014 Mathew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this book after listening to Pamela Meyer's TEDs talk. Pamela tackles the topic from the point of view of a business. How can a business learn to create a culture where lying is not rewarded? How can a business avoid making bad decisions in negotiations?

However, all of the principles can be applied to your personal life as well. More than 70% of the book is technique and history of liespotting. The reminder covers practical what now of business. So even if you're not in business you
Jul 05, 2015 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I was not really sure what to expect from this book. There probably existed an ounce or two of reluctance to bother reading it since I know how unreliable lie detectors are, I figure any human techniques would be infinitely more fallible. But I did find use out of it. If nothing more than to be reminded about why poeple lie.

This book got me viewing situations through other people's eyes, it will help me to be on the lookout for when a lie is likely to happen. The author covers body language and
Literary Strawberry
Caught my eye while I was shelving at the library, and I thought I'd check it out. If nothing else, I figured it might help with writing accurate body language.

As other reviewers have said, the first half was pretty interesting, but the second half ends up being nothing but stuff on office work, such as deal negotiation and corporate boardroom whatnots, which... Isn't really relevant to me. I was kind of hoping for more stuff on personal relationships and everyday life situations, but hey, I wa
Nov 24, 2014 Christopher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be an interesting primer in how lying works and how to begin spotting it. It's not. Meyer starts with a vague and unreflective definition of lying or deception. For example, she includes the idea that a child might cry for attention as an instance of deception (the child doesn't really "need" anything). Anyone who is a parent knows that the child genuinely wants your attention and has noticed that if she cries, you come more consistently and quicker. Is that deception or jus ...more
Intimidating; for a book like this that many everyday people might read, it seems that my suspicions were always correct: I cannot lie. What was weirder is this: even when I am telling the truth, it seems I regularly display what this book says are evidences of lying. Oh boy, I'm screwed. I kind of want to read it again as a more thorough review of these lying behaviors, really analyze my behavior.

Otherwise, it seems to be a book well geared for managers in a business environment. The rest of u
Aug 24, 2014 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of the book provides useful information on spotting lies -- identifying baseline behavior and noting "tells" and cluster of behaviors when a person is lying. It is followed with chapters diverge somewhat from lie spotting, such as negotiation techniques and conducting a deception audit at work. The information's still useful in that the reader can apply the techniques to build trusting relationships and avoid dishonest people. I think the reason why the book hasn't received higher ...more
Belal Khan
May 02, 2013 Belal Khan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liespotting by Pamela Meyer - excellent book.

Meyer was a consultant on the show "Lie to Me" and also learned from Paul Ekman's face reading system. However, only part of this book is an intro to what some might call "deception detection" and "face reading"

A lot of this book focuses on the idea of fostering an environment at work and home that would minimize deceptive behavior and encourage actions and behaviors that build trust. There are great tips on implementing this organizationally and in o
Dec 08, 2013 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skills
An Interesting read concerning how social interactions, especially in business environments are fraught with lies, omissions, exaggerations, and all sorts of other dirty dealing. I think this is a good starting place and thankfully the author has provided notes so the interested reader can track down primary sources especially concerning the projects analyzing micro-expressions. I wonder about the "Brain Trust" chapter near the end--it was usual business book filler and not on topic and I found ...more
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“In 1905, Freud wrote: “No mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips. Betrayal oozes out of him from every pore.” 2 likes
“Resist the urge to fill in missing information when listening to a person’s story. Pay attention to exactly what is said and not said.” 1 likes
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