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141 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
I bought the book on the basis of the author's TED talk, which I loved. However, the book is a disappointment. The actual "liespotting" information is good, and very readable, but there's not enough of it. Then there is the filler that goes on and on. The filler material takes two forms: 1) topics that are only marginally related (for example, "Doing a deception audit at your corporation"...really? This is not of much interest in a book that presents itself as a how-to on discovering lies in personal interactions), and 2) stretching out the actual liespotting material with tiresome justifications telling you why it's a good thing to be able to spot lies. Telling me once is fine; telling me over and over is filler.

The photos were a good idea. I would have liked to see more of them, though, and more subtle ones, as well.

Whoever was editing this book must have been forcing the author to make it longer, rather than doing the better job of tightening it up and keeping the focus where it belongs. Good idea, good kernel of information, but poor execution.
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104 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2010
A complete revelation. Meyer presents the most comprehensive guide to the science of deception I have ever encountered. Untruths are an unfortunate reality of my career, whether harmless social posturing, or truly insidious acts of deceit, and this book breaks open the subject - not to mention the human psyche - at a truly remarkable level. In addition, the author distills lie-spotting techniques to their most practical, their least intrusive. I felt as though I had been given social and professional x-ray specs, but no one will know I am wearing them.

Overall, a totally fantastic read - I can't say enough about the accomplishment.
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104 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
Most of the books I have bought share an annoying characteristic ... the authors have only a handful of ideas to present. In order to fill a book to make it look like we are buying something worthwhile, they create pages and pages of useless filler diatribe.

This book was a refreshing surprise. Every page has at least one interesting fact which most of us will find useful in our lives sometime in the future.

The book is well edited and presents its information in an easy to read format. Because of this well-laid arrangement, we are also able to easily assimilate the many facts into a bigger whole, making this a true gem.
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127 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2010
I bought the book this week after hearing the writer speak at Barnes and Noble. Her talk was fascinating. She outlined research that she undertook with a team of researchers over four years, reviewing each study and making sure that only the data in the book which was confirmed by more than one study was included. The footnotes in the book are longer than some of the chapters!..some people might not like that, which is why Im saying its a little serious.... I like this book because it takes complicated findings and makes them entertaining. I was also fascinated to find out that the writer had mastered the facial expression reading coding system as well as emotion reading, through study with the folks that work with Paul Elman, the guy Lie to Me is based on. She described looking at 1/15th of a second of video and having to fill out a two page data sheet on every single muscle that contracted and every single combination of muscles that were engaged in the exact sequence and the exact intensity they were pulled up. Later, she showed me one of those coding sheets and I couldn't believe how complex the system is. Her book makes it so much simpler. She also took Ekman's work farther by training in interrogation and talked a lot about the difference between the findings on the ground, tha law enforcement officials rely on, vs the findings that social science rsearchers like Ekman and someone else, a woman called de Paulo have found. I didn't realize until I eardher speak, just how much more developed this field is, than one would think, watching Lie to Me, which she really likes and says you can learn from.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2010
This excellent book covers some of the same material that Paul Ekman's "Telling Lies" does, but LieSpotting is more accessable. Ekman's work is scholarly. Meyer's is more to the point. Written in a sort of field-guide fashion, this book adds the BASIC interviewing technique that is so useful. There are many ways of detecting where the lie is. This book shows you how to draw out the truth. The author walks you through several "what if" scenarios and gives you a real feel of how to use both the lie detection and interview techniques in the real world. Meyer then goes further and gives you a workable plan for shaking out deception within your organization or group and surrounding yourself with people you know you can trust.This book delivers. It is well worth the price.
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65 of 80 people found the following review helpful
You too can write a book about microexpressions by reading enough webpages! It seems like her references were tons of: 1) Interviews; 2) Websites/Internet Articles; 3) Multiply cited (sparse) primary sources (I lost count of how many times I saw the word "ibid" among the references).

Several things immediately popped out at me in the course of reading this book (I made it to page 130 and someone expressed interest in buying the and so I *immediately* stopped and sold it to them for something like $5).

1. There is no index.
2. These are things that the author figured out herself. Not things that she was trained to know (and if she was a self-trained Ph.D., it would have been fine if she was opening up a new field). I think it's said that a person who teaches himself has a fool for a student
3. Book has a babbly, padded feel. Around p. 12: Are you talking about the evolution of lying in humans? Or about increased lying in American society? Or spotting an online liar? Pick one topic and stick with it.
4. For about the first 21 pages, she tells us what she is *going* to tell us (keep in mind that this is only about a 205 page book).

There are also some weird lines of reasoning that were not flushed all the way out:

1. How to distinguish lying for a reason from pathological lying? 2. Should highly evolved people be more likely to lie? The highest IQ ethnic group (Ashkenazi Jews) built up their legal system (Halakah) based on honesty and consistency, so that doesn't seem quite true.
3. p.23. You can't be lied to without your consent? Um, hello? The reason that you are being lied to is because YOU DON'T KNOW. Can I suppose that all the people who go to university and get ripped off with worthless degrees really consented to that?
4. If lying categorically has a selective advantage, shouldn't we all have evolved to be pathological liars?
5. She gets into the well-trodden area of microexpressions. You'd almost think that there was no debate about that topic (there is). A chapter on that would have really helped a lot, because the concept really strains credulity.

Then, there was lots of *really obvious* stuff.

1. Liars can't keep their story straight when they talk to you?
2. Liars tend to stutter and use phrases to buy time?
3. The reasons that people lie to you? Anyone over 12 needs to be told these things?

Then, there was REALLY weird stuff:

1. We get lied to 200 times per day? So, we have 16 waking hours a day. That's 12.5 times per hour. Or one time every 4.8 minutes. Does anyone even hear that many (200) assertive statements per day?
2. People who cover their eyes "see no evil"?
3. Plants have developed camaflouge, so they too are liars??
4. p. 125. "Liars want to tell you the truth"? Um, OK.

Save your money. I think I bought this second hand, and so I recouped nearly all of what I spent. But I can't get back the time that I spent on this book. Based on the number of reviews, I think What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading Peopleappears to be a better choice.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2010
I am so impressed Meyer collected all of the science behind deception and presented the techniques to bring it to light in a practical way. I own a small business and my relationship with my staff - as well as with reps I do business with - is absolutely essential to me, and I now have a new guide to negotiations and to creating a healthier work environment.

Unfortunately, I have often worried about the possibility of deception within my company, but I never really knew what to do about it without outright accusing people I see everyday. I have already begun to apply some of the techniques outlined by Meyer, and I have to say - they work! Not in out-ing people as liars in a humiliating way, but in clarifying where everyone stands on important issues.

And if anyone is a business owner like me, Meyer's negotiation tips are top-notch. A fantastic book. It will stay by my side.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2010
One of the buylines of this book is that it will teach you techniques that will virtually make you a lie detecting machine. Unfortunately many of the techniques are difficult if not impossible to implement in a casual setting. For example, the author suggests asking very specific questions to analyze the suspect's answers. In an interrogation this might work, but in day-to-day personal and business dealings this will not fo over very well! Also the author gives examples of minute facial indicators (like a fake smile) that unless you tape the exchange will be impossible to detect. I would say about 30-40 percent of the methods she proposes can be put into practice. The remaining 60-70 percent are impossible to implement in a casual environment. Therefore I'm giving this book 3 stars for while the theory is fascinating and related in a entertaining and well written way, the techniques prove much less useful in practice and will not make you a better "lie detector".
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2010
The genius of Liespotting is that it synthesizes a complicated and - til now - arcane field and makes it relevant and even compelling. Meyer writes with clarity and style, giving readers the tools to detect, understand and handle lying... making this an extremely valuable and useful book
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
Is it our prerogative as humans to lie? Each day we are bombarded, not just with social white lies, but with overblown ads, ridiculous sales pitches, misleading work emails--so do we have the right to wear an armor of deception as well? Liespotting offers a kind of crystal ball into the art of lying, revealing that whatever expectations we have our lies will go undetected, the armor can be undone; our face is an "imperfect mask."

Reading the book was regularly eye-opening, occasionally quite humbling. We fancy ourselves such advanced creatures, and yet our major emotions can be boiled down to nine categories. And simple acts, such as picking lint of one's shoulder, are active indicators you are not receptive to a conversation; a lack of gesturing reveals suppression and probable deception, as mannerisms are rarely rehearsed.

I was completely oblivious to these signs; and the adage applies: knowledge is power.

Liespotting covers "tells" within body language and the feast of red flags within the human face; later it moves onto extensive negotiation techniques, for the business owners, as well as methods of "deception auditing" a company. For example, say you suspect an employee is lying: Never ask this employee "why" he/she did something, as it's an invitation for a subject to shut down.

This kind of advice was among several compelling elements to this novel. Deception may be everywhere, but it's not an overpowering evil--it can be attributed to aspects of human psychology, it can be torn down, making it manageable for someone in the know.
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