Spy the Lie Book Summary - Spy the Lie Book explained in key points
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Spy the Lie summary

Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, Susan Carnicero and Don Tennant

Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception

4.1 (103 ratings)
20 mins
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    Spy the Lie
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    Communication is hard to interpret because it is complex and non-universal.

    When was the last time you told a lie? It probably wasn’t too long ago. In fact, we all lie about ten to twenty times a day! Despite that, we’re incredibly bad at recognizing other people’s lies. How can that be?

    One reason we often fail to detect lies has to do with the fact that it’s difficult for us to precisely interpret what others are communicating to us – for a number of reasons.

    First, we find it hard to concentrate on verbal and nonverbal communication simultaneously.

    When we communicate with one another, we employ two kinds of communication: verbal, i.e., with our speech, as well as non-verbal, i.e., using body language.

    However, we find it hard to discern the communicative styles of others, since our perception of the world constantly teeters between being dominated by the visual or by the auditory.

    Thus, when we are communicating with someone, we focus our energy either on listening closely to what they say or watching for clues in their body language that might give us insight into their intentions or motivations.

    Unfortunately, however, we aren’t very good at doing both simultaneously, and we therefore often miss crucial elements of people’s communication.

    Secondly, communication is difficult to interpret because single behaviors can actually have many causes and be interpreted in more than one way.

    What does it mean, for example, when your conversation partner breaks eye contact with you? You might suspect that they’re unable to look you in the eye because they’re deceiving you. Yet again, it could also simply be that they have bad manners, or lack the self-esteem, confidence or social sophistication required to hold eye contact.

    So how do you know which it is? Well, you can’t.

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    What is Spy the Lie about?

    Spy the Lie reveals the typical strategies that liars use to try to deceive you, as well as the tools to help you detect them. This book draws on field-tested methods for lie detection developed by former CIA officers, which helps to spot the signs of a lie and ask the right questions to uncover the truth.

    Best quote from Spy the Lie

    People believe lies not because they have to, but because they want to. – Malcolm Muggeridge

    —Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, Susan Carnicero and Don Tennant
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    Who should read Spy the Lie?

    • Anyone who conducts interviews
    • Anyone who works in sales, marketing or law enforcement
    • Anyone interested in communication

    About the Author

    All the book’s authors have worked for the US government in organizations such the NSA, the CIA and the US Army Military Police. All are recognized for their competence and experience in the field of conducting of interviews, interrogations and polygraph examinations and have worked all over the globe. They are also the founding partners of QVerity, a company offering deception detection training and consulting.

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