Synopses & Reviews
In The Liar in Your Life,
psychology professor Robert Feldman, one of the world's leading authorities on deception, draws on his immense body of knowledge to give fresh insights into how and why we lie, how our culture has become increasingly tolerant of deception, the cost it exacts on us, and what to do about it. His work is at once surprising and sobering, full of corrections for common myths and explanations of pervasive oversimplifications.
Feldman examines marital infidelity, little white lies, career-driven resumé lies, and how we teach children to lie. Along the way, he reveals-despite our beliefs to the contrary- how it is nearly impossible to spot a liar (studies have shown no relationship between nervousness, lack of eye contact, or a trembling voice, and acts of deception). He also provides startling evidence of just how integral lying is to our culture; indeed, his research shows that two people, meeting for the first time, will lie to each other an average of three times in the first ten minutes of a conversation.
Feldman uses this discussion of deception to explore ways we can cope with infidelity, betrayal, and mistrust, in our friends and family. He also describes the lies we tell ourselves: Sometimes, the liar in your life is the person you see in the mirror. With incisive clarity and wry wit, Feldman has written a truthful book for anyone who whose life has been touched by deception.
One of the nation's leading authorities on lying reveals the prevalence of deception, and examines how it has come to dominate the modern culture.
Deception is a central feature of everyday life. We hear it not only from Presidents ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman"), the dean of admissions of M.I.T. ("I have three college degrees"), or the sleazy sales associate at the local car dealership ("This SUV gets terrific mileage!"); we also hear lies from the people we meet and interact with on a daily basis, including our family, friends, colleagues-and yes, the woman ahead of us in line at Starbucks.
The issue confronting us is not whether people lie to us-they do-but how much and why. Just as importantly, we need to consider why we're so prone to believe the deception we hear from others, as well as the lies we tell ourselves. Finally, we need to explore why we view certain lies as harmless, while rejecting others as manipulative and shameful. Robert Feldman has unique knowledge of how deeply dishonesty is engrained in our everyday lives and broader culture.
About the Author
Robert S. Feldman, Ph.D., is uniquely qualified to write You're a Liar, But So Am I. A Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science, his research has examined lying and everyday deception for over 25 years. His studies have been supported by grants from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research. An Associate Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he is the recipient of the College Outstanding Teacher Award and was a Hewlett Teaching Fellow and Senior Online Education Fellow. He is also on the Boards of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences and the Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences