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Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception Hardcover – July 17, 2012
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“Wouldn't it be great if we could bottle the collective wisdom of CIA officers who have interrogated hundreds of people, and apply all that experience to situations where we need to know if someone is telling the truth? In Spy the Lie, three CIA veterans have done just that. If you read this book, which is packed with great anecdotes, you will feel closer to being able to flesh out a lie.” ―Forbes
“Lie detection isn't ingrained; it's learned… By following their advice, which is based off years of interrogating terrorists and double agents, anyone can improve their odds at getting to the truth.” ―New York Post
“Michael Floyd and two fellow former ex-agents, with more than 75 years of interrogation experience between them, honed their methods on terrorist and criminals. But their advice work equally well on cheating spouses, lollygagging employees, or schoolkids feigning illness.” ―StarTribune
“This book is both entertaining and highly informative--and it's the real deal. It gives readers genuine practical tools and tactics to use in all walks of life. I highly recommend it.” ―David J. Lieberman, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of Never Be Lied to Again
“For many years, Phil and his team have employed their skills to vet terrorist sources, catch spies, and protect the nation's secrets. With this book, they have done something perhaps even more remarkable: Equip anyone to reliably detect deception. Consciously or not, we all judge others' sincerity and truthfulness to protect ourselves. Most of us do it badly. This book will teach you to do it well.” ―Robert Grenier, chairman of ERG Partners, former director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center
“In this entertaining, instructive, and fascinating book, Phil, Michael, and Susan lay out an easy-to-follow process for detecting deception, with real-life stories that are the stuff of spy novels. I have used their model for years with phenomenal results.” ―Marisa R. Randazzo, Ph.D., managing partner at SIGMA Threat Management Associates, former chief research psychologist, U.S. Secret Service
“A terrific resource for anyone who would love to be able to tell when someone is lying. Having undergone their training, I've applied their methodology in some critical situations, and I've been blown away by its effectiveness. Spy the Lie is a captivating read with practical takeaway you'll use every day.” ―John Miller, senior correspondent at CBS News, former associate deputy director of National Intelligence, and former assistant director for public affairs at the FBI
“When my detectives on the LAPD's Counterterrorism Bureau and Robbery-Homicide Division took the course, we had veteran investigators tell us, ‘No one should ever be promoted to the rank of detective without taking this course,' and ‘I now want to go back and re-interview every suspect I ever questioned.' What this team has developed is truly unique, and anyone can learn to use it.” ―Bill Bratton, chairman of Kroll Associates, former LAPD chief, former NYPD and Boston Police Department police commissioner
About the Author
Philip Houston, a twenty-five-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency and a recipient of the Career Intelligence Medal, is a nationally recognized authority on deception detection, critical interviewing, and elicitation. He has conducted thousands of interviews and interrogations for the CIA and other federal agencies, and is credited with developing a detection of deception methodology currently employed throughout the U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement communities.
Michael Floyd is a leading authority on interviewing, detection of deception, and elicitation in cases involving criminal activity, personnel screening, and national security issues. In a career spanning more than thirty-five years, he has served in both the CIA and the National Security Agency, and founded Advanced Polygraph Services, where he conducted high-profile interviews and interrogations for law enforcement agencies, law firms, and private industry.
Susan Carnicero, a former security officer with the CIA specializing in national security, employment, and criminal issues, is an eminent authority on interviewing, detection of deception, and elicitation. Trained as a forensic psychologist, she is the developer of a behavioral screening program used extensively in both the public and private sectors, and is currently involved in conducting high-level screening interviews within the U.S. government.
Don Tennant is a former National Security Agency analyst and business/technology journalist. As editor in chief of Computerworld, he won a variety of national journalism awards, including the Timothy White Award for Editorial Integrity and the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award from American Business Media.
Top customer reviews
Detecting deception isn't magic and it isn't infallible. But it is possible to become better at it than most of us are now. The book identifies several barriers to accurately detecting deception. We expect most people to tell the truth, we ask the wrong questions, and we look for the wrong "tells" in other people's behavior. And we try to watch everything they do instead of focusing on a small number of reliable indicators.
Such reliable indicators of deception include certain kinds of verbal hesitations and evasions as well as specific body movements of which a deceiver is largely unaware. Readers learn to ask questions that require different mental processing from guilty versus innocent suspects. One technique is to ask questions a good guy will answer with an immediate--and perhaps angry--"No!" while the bad guy will need to give a longer, more carefully worded response. We watch for deception indicators that begin in the first five seconds after a question. And we look for clusters of indicators rather than for single actions. There is more to it, of course, but this is the core methodology the book presents. It's good stuff. And it's learnable.
I attended a training session conducted by the authors' company (QVerity, in partnership with hemsleyfraser) this week. I had listened to roughly three-quarters of the audiobook during a long car ride the day before. Based on what I learned from the book I was able to do well in the video pre-test, successfully distinguishing a lying suspect from the four who told the truth. Almost everyone was also able to do this after two hours of training. So it seems to me that the book is nearly as valuable as being taught these skills by the authors themselves. It is a well-written, fascinating book on a very useful topic. I highly recommend it.
A final comment. The book closes with a warning to use these skills only for good. And to not practice them on our significant others. Apparently catching your spouse in all of those little white lies can put unnecessary stress on the relationship. I may have made a variation of this error by giving my wife a copy of the book and inviting her along to the training. Not sure that was such a good idea. We'll see.