Spy the Lie: Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception

A good intro into recognizing when someone is deceptive, though I felt they were selling their course, though I have no idea how to access their course.

Regardless, I loved the appendices and the examples they gave throughout the book, including the do-it-yourself ones where they give you a chance to test your skills and then explain their reasoning.

I can imagine their course is even better.

However, I don’t think any of the skills they were teaching were CIA trade secrets (unsurprisingly). Or rather, I’m sure the CIA has used this information to train its interrogators, but the skills aren’t anything too in depth, which I was disappointed by.

Still, I felt like I learned a bit more on spotting deception, though I am no expert.

Here are some of the deception points in the book:

  • To hide their lies people try to show their good side and feeds and their truthfulness. So they will say things like, “I have a trunk full of Bibles that I give out to whoever wants a copy,” to make you think of them as being more religious, and therefore, more moral.
  •  If you ask someone a question and they don’t give you what you ask for, it could be because they’re trying to hide something.
  • Not directly denying of something in your question, e.g. “I wouldn’t do something like that!”
  • Repeating the question to buy time, because we think past enough that as we repeat, we can also think of ways to deceive.
  • Nonanswer statements like, “That’s a good question,” which also serves to buy time to figure out how to respond. 
  • Being overly polite to put you off guard and like them, because those we like, we tend to want to trust more.
  • Being overly concerned, for the same reasons as being overly polite.
  • Using qualifiers like “probably” or “likely”, which all serve to make a person sound credible.

Now the authors did stress that you need a clustering of deception behaviors to deem someone as lying. Because of differences in personality, speech, etc. we may use “deceptive language” but not be deceptive. So clustering is important. The book lists out a ton more examples and methods, which I suggest going through.

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