Is Anyone Really Good at Detecting Lies?

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More books by Bella DePaulo

About the author:
Charles Bond is a research psychologist (Duke PhD, 1980). He has held appointments at several Universities and published widely in psychology and statistics. To study international deception, he moved to India for a year. The resulting research has drawn interest from the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense, and National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, Bond gave a US Congressional briefing on cross-cultural deceit.

Bella DePaulo (PhD, Harvard) is one of the leading scholars of the psychology of deceiving and detecting deceit. She has authored more than 100 scholarly publications. Her expertise on topics such as the psychology of deception, single life, and friendship has been recognized in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and many other major national and international newspapers. Her work has also been reported in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Business Week, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her op-ed essays have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Forbes. Dr. DePaulo has discussed her work on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, PBS, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel. She has lectured nationally and internationally, addressing such diverse groups as medical professionals, forensic scientists, school teachers, criminal attorneys, physicists, judges, women's centers, and mental health practitioners.

Dr. DePaulo writes the "Living Single" blog for Psychology Today, and is also a contributor to the Huffington Post. She has been a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara since the summer of 2000. Much more information about her background, her books, and her contact information, together with her All Things Single (and More) blog, can be found at her website, Her previous books include:

The Hows and Whys of Lies

Behind the Door of Deceit:
Understanding the Biggest Liars in Our Lives

The Lies We Tell and the Clues We Miss:
Professional Papers

Singled Out:
How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

Single with Attitude:
Not Your Typical Take on Health and Happiness, Love and Money, Marriage and Friendship

What Friends Know that Others Don't

The Psychology of Dexter

Is Anyone Really Good at Detecting Lies?

Professional Papers

Authored by Charles F. Bond Jr. PhD, Bella DePaulo PhD

The savvy lie-detector has become a staple of popular culture. Human lie detectors, in the papers collected here, are those who skillfully separate truths from lies when observing or interacting with another person - and they do it using just what they can see or hear. It is not just in the media that the legend of the impressive human lie detector thrives - some scholars have endorsed the notion, too. But is it really so?

Ph.D. social psychologists Charles F. Bond Jr. and Bella DePaulo have been studying the psychology of deceiving and detecting deceit for decades. In this anthology, they toss some empirically-grounded skepticism at claims about humans' abilities to tell when other people are lying. The journal articles address questions such as the following:

1. Maybe ordinary people aren't so great at detecting lies, but don't they get more insightful over time as they get to know someone better?

2. What about people who try to detect lies as part of their jobs - and have done so for years: Are they especially successful at knowing when other people are lying?

3. Are there some people who are so talented at detecting lies that they deserve to be called lie-detection wizards?

4. Are there times when other people strike us as dishonest even when they are telling the truth? When might that happen?

5. Suppose we examine every study that has ever been reported on skill at distinguishing lies from truths: What would that lead us to conclude about the human ability to detect lies?

6. Now suppose we scrutinize every available study for evidence of individual differences in the ability to detect lies: Will we find that some people are great and others are awful? Or will we find that some people consistently just look more honest than others, regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth?

Publication Date:
1461026245 / 9781461026242
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Psychology / Social Psychology

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