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Spy the Lie: Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception
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Spy the Lie: Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  5,448 ratings  ·  555 reviews
Three former CIA officers - among the world’s foremost authorities on recognizing deceptive behavior - share their proven techniques for uncovering a lie.

Imagine how different your life would be if you could tell whether someone was lying or telling you the truth. Be it hiring a new employee, investing in a financial interest, speaking with your child about drugs, confront
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by MPSMPS
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Start your review of Spy the Lie: Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
A very pale, very sanitized account of a bunch of anecdotal 'cases'. Very dumbass ones, if I might add.

In one 'case', an FBI agent suddenly realizes that the guy praying to Mecca must be a Muslim. A very deep observation it's not....

In another one, they manage to observe that a guy who takes off his shoes and curls into an embryo-pose during an interview, is lying. Who would have guessed? One definitely needs to become a spy to learn it, right?

We've even got agents who would use their so-called
Aug 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Despite the title, the authors are not revealing any CIA secrets. All the information on the techniques is freely available in the public domain. So I guess I managed to spy the lie.
Secondly, the authors are keen to try and sex up the book with lines like "we can't reveal the location of this interview as it could compromise our field officers".
Thirdly the scenarios that are used to illustrate the effectiveness simply aren't are credible. For example, one of the CIA's finest prepares for the ne
Sajid khan
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1. To hide their lies people try to show their good side and feeds and their truthfulness. We need to ignore their truthful behaviour do that it is not processed. Ignoring it will help us manage bias, make decisions about persons veracity and filter extra information making deception spotting easy.

2. FAILURE TO ANSWER. If you ask someone a question and he doesn’t give you what you ask for, there’s a reason for that. One possible reason is that the facts aren’t on his side, and he’s trying to fig
Gareth Otton
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
I have read a number of books on being better at lie detection and for the most part I have been severely underwhelmed. Normally these books are full of subjective lessons that are about as useful as flipping a coin to decide whether or not someone is lying... that might even be a generous analogy.

However, this book was surprisingly interesting in that I feel that a lot of what I just read could actually be very useful in a real world application. I think that a lot of this is because at no poi
Laura Leaney
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Dylan McCarthy
A layman's manual for detecting a liar, this book was interesting from a psychological perspective. Still, I think you'd have to be using the authors' system on a continual basis in order to keep all the things you're supposed to look for (in the person you're interviewing) in mind. I haven't been interrogated since I was pressed by my parents to "give up the truth," and I'm left wondering if I'd so easily exhibit the tells of the liar if I were trying to hide something. It's thought provoking. ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is nonfiction and it is exactly what the title says it is....a book about determining if someone is lying to you. This book was just okay for me. It didn't rock my world. I had to laugh a few times though because I've raised 5 children....and some of my 'mom techniques' were also used by the CIA....who knew. Lie detection is something we all try to do, so I guess I was expecting some secret insight here but there wasn't anything new regarding lie detection. I also think this was entirely to ...more
Carrie Poppy
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
James Rye
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
It may be nerdy to admit it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writer, Don Tennant, manages to take the experience of three authoritative CIA operators and turn it into a very readable account of how to get better at detecting deceit.

This doesn't re-hash popular, generalized, untrue myths that already exist about certain types of body language. It exposes their weakness. But what it does do is provide a detailed and extensive template of both verbal and non-verbal behaviour linked to possi
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a useful and interesting book. I listened to it on tape, then immediately bought two copies. The premise is that lying is something that makes people uncomfortable; while this is a known fact, this book explores some of the behaviors that this discomfort causes. Then, it proceeds to demonstrate these behaviors with excerpts from famous interviews. If this sounds a lot like the show Lie To Me from a few years ago (at least the first season), this is some similiarity. However, the show foc ...more
Kathryn Bain
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I was given this book by a friend for research purposes for a manuscript I'm working on. Some of the information was very informative. However, the examples were a bit cumbersome and lengthy. I also hate any book that says this is an example of ... (but we'll discuss that later in chapter 10). This was done quite a few times in the first couple of chapters. It makes me feel like you stuck a commercial in your book to try to keep me interested. ...more
Steve Cran
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
When someone is lying to you it is rather difficult to spot the deception. Humans are not natural lie detectors. Unless you know the truth for certain will never be able to know if someone is lying. Some things that make it difficult are that we assume people tell the truth. Our biases also help blind us. In addition we try to absorb information but that still does not help.

The model for detecting deception is simple. The first point is ignore truthful statements that do not deal with the issue
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BetseaK by: nobody
This audiobook was a light, informative and entertaining listen, with some good tips and illustrative life examples. After a bit slow start, a very good narration kept me interested and entertained. I was a little surprised to learn that the good-natured, nice guy type is better at detecting deception than the cold, dispassionate one. I particularly liked the descriptions of the three categories of lies (the lies of commission,the lies of omission and the lies of influence) and the part on popul ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I realized for the first time that the literary habit of starting each book chapter with a quote can stick out like a sore thumb if not done in an absolutely seamless way. It seems to me that after this book was written, the authors did a cursory google search for “quotes about truth and lying” which they could add as headers for each chapter.

But I’m willing to forgive this minor transgression and the oft-clumsy writing, after all it was the content of this book that intereste
Carolyn Page
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like this book. It's not overblown promises on how to become a human lie detector; it's actual techniques for better question-asking. The format is pretty simple--some CIA officials take you through "the model", which is their simple system for interviewing. It involves asking open-ended questions, repressing your biases, and looking for clusters of deceptive behavior. Moms will get the drill! A really neat feature I liked of the book was an appendix filled with lists of sample questions for i ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors have developed a deception detection system which has worked for them in law enforcement, intelligence operations, and domestic settings. The system is presented in a concise and organized manner, with helpful appendices. The book also works surprisingly well as an audiobook both due to the organization of the material and the well-chosen reader. However some of the examples are belabored, especially the extensively annotated transcripts of interviews of Anthony Weiner and Jerry Sand ...more
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. The authors are not polished, and the book is a bit rambling and wanders off into anecdotes and explanations in the middle of a list, but the information I sifted out were very useful. It busts a few myths about how to detect lies, and reminds people not to take one behavior by itself as significant. It also points out that the questions used in an interview (or interrogation) can make or break the quest for the truth.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Doesn't work very well as an audiobook, which sounds more like an extended infomercial for the authors' classes on detecting deception, for which they no doubt charge exorbitant fees. I may try to read the actual book someday to see if it's easier to absorb the lessons therein. ...more
Kent Winward
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice primer on how to tell if someone is lying. Honest.
Feb 06, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How do you "spy" that a book is full of poppycock? Instead of providing evidence from some kind of testing (which would be easy to do for lie detection: hire actors, use videos of known criminals, etc.), you argue from authority and anecdotes. And as other have described here on Goodreads, the authority is suspect and the anecdotes pathetic. ...more
Aug 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Nathan Lawrence
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are sort of two aspects to this book: One aspect is this very classic business or self-help book that teaches you silly catch-phrases for things you might already know and hypes up how important what it's teaching is, and the other is a very calm, collected and logical approach to understanding how people communicate with each other. The first part is, of course, all fluff, but the second part is so substantial that it's worth picking up.

The book, which is told at least in large part thro
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sienna by: Hoopla
A quick listen on the topic of communication. Definitely some good tricks for understanding more of what somebody is saying, within & around the words. I'm noticing some of the deceptive behaviors they describe -- in myself as well! I'm especially enjoying reading my detective books now, not only spotting the lies but also the good & bad interviewers. I wished they had gone a little deeper into how to ask good questions because I liked the suggestions they made. I guess that's the next book & I' ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first story on Omar really made me question the book.
Due to their method Omar a double crossing agent for 20 years suddenly breaks. There are only a couple of ways to rationalize this sensational story.
1. It is a bomb of clusters and they are lying to convince us of their methodology.
2. No one thought to ask Omar for 20 years if he might just happen to work for someone else (until Phil finally thought to ask) and thus our CIA is incompetent, and lastly
3. This story was heavily redacted.
I hop
Emilie Haney
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good, solid book about lying and the ability to use the model put forth in the book as a means to detecting untruths. I found it particularly helpful for creating characters in the novels that I'm working on in order to accurately describe characters reactions, forming false dialogue, and giving my main characters (who are looking for the truth) something to spot.

This is an audiobook read for me
Natalie Walters
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book, which I primarily picked up for research as a writer. It offers a practical method the CIA and others use to spot the lie (or lies) and examples that help demonstrate how and why the method works along with lists of questions useful when trying to discern whether someone is lying or not.

Overall, very interesting!
Jeremy Cox
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting. I think I would have to go through it a few times to get it all. There might be a tendency for readers to latch on to one identification and then assume the person is always lying when they see that one thing, instead of trying to develop a sensitivity to all possible indicators.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a good introduction to finding deception in interviews. It discusses what lies sound like, and what they look like in terms of body language. The information was simple to understand, and they have good practical examples.
This was interesting. It uses a lot of examples of people that we've seen on the news, and breaks down exactly how "the method" works to determine that the speaker is most probably lying. If it's good enough for the CIA, it's good enough for this mother of a teenager. ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this book I think the book presents solid ideas on how to see deception flags. I wish there was more breakdown on what questions to ask as the book emphasis the importance of questions but there is only limited scenarios presented in this book.
Catherine Gentry
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Unknown

What is one to do in such a time? Here is a valuable tool for identifying when someone is lying either by omission or commission.
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