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Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 4.1.1996 edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684831074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684831077
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Goleman is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in the Berkshires.

More About the Author

DANIEL GOLEMAN is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in the Berkshires.

Customer Reviews

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R. Bruce Moore, Ph.
R. B. Moore
If you want to understand what motivates people to deny the truth to themselves and others, this book is essential.
nanoStamford
In fact, one of the best books on psychology I have ever read.
orozmar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Mark Valentine on March 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Goleman states his thesis using three premises in the early pages of his book: (1) The mind can protect itself against anxiety by dimming awareness. (2) This mechanism creates a blind spot: a zone of blocked attention and self-deception. (3) Such blind spots occur at each major level of behavior from the psychological to the social. (p. 22)
With these principles as his map, Goleman writes an excellent study of human psychological behavior that, whether the reader approaches it as a journal of self-discovery (like me) or as a explanation for social "groupthink" (like me, again), it proved to be very helpful. I enjoyed how Goleman supported his ideas with recent research and how he used quotes and references to support his ideas. Mapping out why we cover our anxieties with delusional behaviors, well, I think it is fascinating and the applications are immense.
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80 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Have you ever been burnt in a business deal by someone you thought you knew well? How many times have you taken action only later to find out you ignored key facts that were right in front of you?
An early book by the author of the best-seller Emotional Intelligence, this work focuses on the many ways in which our minds play tricks on us. Goleman uses a series of short vignettes, from business, political and family scenarios, to illustrate his arguments. For example, he shows us how Nixon aide John Dean seemed to drive from his awareness the fact that he was not as important to the President as he asserted in his Watergate testimony.
The chapter, "The Intelligent Filter", gives us a clear concept on how we so often screen out ideas and information that do not fit our assumptions. Reading this section can help us understand why innovative ideas get rejected without consideration, as we filter out new pieces of information even before they reach our awareness.
From the perspective of Executive Community, applying what Goleman sees can help us untie the knots that develop in our business communications and block understanding and collaboration. Even more importantly, careful study of these concepts can help you be a better critical business thinker and a more effective leader.
For those who want to delve deeper than the latest management fad book, Vital Lies, Simple Truths will give you several hours of intellectual challenge. This is a good tool for "sharpening the saw", as Stephen Covey might say.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By DJ Hancock on June 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reviewing some of the research and modern theory around narcissism, I was drawn to finding something of substance that explained more about grandiose thinking, or delusion. Luckily, the only decent looking book I found - Goleman's - turned out to be just as useful on the inside. Combining his information on the effects of pain, and how it dims awareness, was magical for me because of my experience with narcissists who also have alcohol and drug addictions.

I like the way Goleman touches on perception (see also Dr. Bruce Lipton's The Biology of Belief), self-esteem, projection, rationalisation, sublimation etc. On a collective level it becomes quite challenging when viewing the mirage realism or deception that some multi-national corporate and government leaders create. Perhaps a book who's subject matter is more applicable to world affairs than most of us realise.

Personally I would have liked more information about the links between the psychic numbing of awareness and the addiction to materialism as an opiate, but other than that I highly recommend it. It dovetails nicely into the findings from quantum science which shows its our consciousness which creates the filters through which we transform our reality.

At times I did find the reading tough going and would not recommend this for those people who might be embarking on a first tour of duty of psychological modelling.

Regards,
Daniel John Hancock
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Daniel Goleman is one of the most insightful experts on the mind in recent times. This book provides us with an excellent account of the nature of consciousness, attention, and arousal and how they all interact with one another. Like many great writers, he presents this material in a storylike manner to retain our interest and attention. I have learned more things about how the mind works from this book than I have in any Psychology textbook I have read. The only exception to this would be the book called "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. This book by Sato is perhaps the most insightful and accessible book on consciousness ever written. In any case, Goleman's book is still top notch.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BruceK on December 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, this is one of my favorite books and I would universally recommend it to anyone. I almost did not find this book or read it because I was not so impressed with Goleman's books on emotional intelligence. I picked this up and started reading, and I could understand right away that this book was different from any other psychology book I had read.

VLST was written for the professional, yet is understandable by the layman as well because it is so well and clearly written. The intuitive way it is written with clear examples of behavior allows any reader to follow on several levels the complex line of logic through the entire book and learn quite a bit about how the mind works and how delicate and out of reach our minds sometimes are.

I cannot say or stress how wonderful and important I think this book is, it must have been dearly inspired for the care and inclusiveness it possesses.

It is so clear that humans have incredible capabilities, and yet we cannot seem to use them in many cases, especially on the social or cultural level ... and part of the reason has to be out ability to lie to ourselves or be manipulated by our tendencies to keep us stunted. This book dissects and explains the mechanism here, and is one of the most important books I can recommend to people.

I am going to buy a Kindle, and I would love it if this book was on the Kindle offering list so I could carry it around and reread it.
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