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Never Be Lied to Again: How to Get the Truth In 5 Minutes Or Less In Any Conversation Or Situation Paperback – September 10, 1999
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Synopsis The author shows how a person's body language, word choice, sentence structure, and facial expression reveal whether they are lying or telling the truth. Size Length: 204 pages Height: 8.3 in. Width: 5.5 in. Thickness: 0.5 in. Weight: 8.8 oz. Publisher's Note From romance to finance, the author of "Instant Analysis" showshow to recognize signs of deception and uncover the truth, giving readers the tools to determine, with uncanny accuracy, if they are being lied to. How many times have you been manipulated or taken advantage of by someone's lies? Finally, in a simple, user-friendly format, Dr. David Lieberman gives you the tools to determine, with uncanny accuracy, if you are being lied to. The book includes: Two simple questions to determine anyone's true motivation in any situation; The one dead giveaway almost every liar makes when telling a story; The five biggest mistakes we make when trying to get a confession; Five simple ways to avoid self-deception; A 30-second test to tell if you're being lied to in a casual conversation; Tips for evaluating a person's body language, word choice, and facial expressions, and whether he reveals himself as a liar.
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After reading "Never Be Lied to Again" I was shocked to see people had rated it so high. I am a fifth year grad student studying psychology and law. While detecting deceit is not my primary area of research, I have read a decent amount of the literature. The information in this book seems to conflict with some of the most widely accepted findings in the research community. For example, Dr. Lieberman claims that when someone is lying they do not give details because "the event never happened." However, empirical research shows that people tend to give "too many" details, because they are trying to convince you. There are several discrepancies of this nature.
Dr. Lieberman says this book was a result of his own research. Out of curiosity, I entered his name in a PsycINFO word search. PsycINFO is a database of over 2000 psychological journals, most of them peer reviewed (and, therefore, accepted by others who study the topic). Dr. Lieberman's name did not produce any results. Books are troublesome in that regard. You can write anything you want and pass it off as fact. He also proudly displays those three all-important-letters behind his name, but he never says where he earned his Ph.D. I am not suggesting he got his degree on-line, but it would be nice if he added that information to the biography section.
To be fair, I am guess I'm not the target audience for this book. It's really more of a pop-culture book. The kind of thing advertised on the Today Show. But it troubles me that some of the information is wrong. Two good things about this book:
1. It is definitely a quick read that you could finish in a day or two. But that is because all the wasted space between chapters and sections. There are over 200 pages in the book but without the wasted space it would have been closer to about 125. Of course, nobody would buy it then.
2. I guess it would look good on your shelf, if you are into that kind of thing. As long as others haven't read it you could probably convince them that you learned a lot in the book and can tell when they are lying.
Ironically, one of the sections is entitled "A White Lab Coat Doesn't Make Anyone an Expert." Having a Ph.D. doesn't either. Bottom line, I am kicking myself for paying full price for this book. If you can get one for 5 or 6 bucks (or if money is no object), and you interested by the mixed reviews, why not give it a try? But don't get your hopes up. I personally won't be buying anymore of his books.
Never Be Lied To Again goes through all the different ways of lying, how to determine if someone is lying, how to get to them to tell the truth, and other strategies you could ever want to know. It helps determine body language, phrases used by liars, and methods they use to cover up their lies. It also tells you how to coax the truth out by different methods of interrogation or giving people the "easy way" out of a lie. It says that you can get to the truth in five minutes by using these methods.
Ok, well here's the problem. In order to begin to memorize these strategies and use them, it's going to take way more than five minutes. In fact, by the time you get the hang of it, you may not even need the skill anymore. And then there are the dubious ways that you would go about getting the answer you want. A lot of it involves lying yourself, which I've always heard two wrongs don't make a right. And then there's the promising good things will happen if the person tells the truth, without really saying if you should back it up. If you lie about not getting mad, etc. the person is only going to believe you once, and this method will become ineffectual after the second time. In fact, the whole process for ferreting out a lie seems sleazy and relationship damaging. Especially if the person you suspect is lying, is telling the truth.
Then there's the recognizing if someone is a liar or not. There are some well known truthful ways to determine that in here. For example, body language and no eye contact. But then there's the little test I ran. The book says that if someone is recalling a memory, they look up and to the opposite side of their dominant hand. If they are making it up, they look up and to the same side as their dominant hand. I walked up to my mother (who did not know the book I was reading) and asked her what the color of her first car was. She looked up and to the left (she's left handed) and said that it was copper. And she has the pictures to back up the fact she was telling the truth. Ok, that was one time, I did the same thing with my brother, asking him a memory question and he looked me straight in the eye when he answered. So to me, even though I know this wasn't a full experiment, it was a pretty big clue that not everything in this book is true or useful.
Another criticism I would have is that aside from a couple sentences, the book doesn't go into socio-paths, mental disease, and other types of people that this book would have no bearing on. If you don't care that you're lying, believe your lie is the truth, or are convinced that your lie is in the best interest of everyone, nothing is this book is going to work at ferreting out that lie. And having been in a relationship with two liars, one of which would probably have admitted to things using a couple of the applicable yet sleazy methods in this book and one who was a socio-path and lied because he had no care of its effect, I can say firsthand that it is the second person who scares me the most. Not the first. Lies, while they hurt, are easier to deal with than someone who can lie without impunity and not care about its effects.
To just comment on the overall writing style of the book. It's written in a clear precise way with bullet points outlining the helpful steps and tips. I can't find fault with the way the book is formatted. It also reads simplistic, and easy to understand for most anyone who would pick this book up.
I know I sound rough on this book, but I really didn't find it helpful at all. I would never practice the methods here for fear of becoming a worse person (and a liar) myself. If I suspect someone of lying and need to use the methods here, it's probably best I don't associate with that person at all instead of going through all the trouble this book suggests. Not a book I would recommend to anyone.
Never Be Lied To Again
Review by M. Reynard 2013