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How to Spot a Liar

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How to Spot a Liar

Why People Don't Tell the Truth...and How You Can Catch Them

Career Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Got something to hide? Don't even try. Anyone with a well-trained eye can reveal your secrets.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Former U.S. Army interrogator Gregory Hartley and writer Maryann Karinch collaborated on this intriguing book about the use of military interrogation techniques in personal, business and even combat situations. While this is an unusual topic, Hartley shares the details of his first-hand military experience, so his stories and examples carry extra weight. His presentation about why people lie or conceal information addresses an unusual aspect of the human psyche and human motivations. He discusses the physiological and psychological aspects of lying and then discloses some methods that military experts use to conduct serious questioning. Sometimes, readers may find it difficult to detect the business or social applicability of some of the military interrogation techniques (although you may be tempted to question your teenager in a temperature-controlled environment), but the book is quite useful when it goes beyond military or criminal justice situations and gets down to business. Hartley and Karinch explain how to observe and interpret body language, conduct more productive arguments, and improve your personal and business relationships. Even though the text is sometimes repetitive, getAbstract recommends this book to managers, interviewers, job seekers, couples and anyone interested in self-help or psychology. The best advice the authors provide is straightforward: just tell the truth. It makes life so much simpler.


The Art of Interrogation

Interrogation is the art of questioning, interpreting body language and using psychological techniques to elicit information from another person. Interrogators use different skills during peacetime than during war, but their overall goal is to find a person’s weak spot and then exploit it in the interest of eliciting truthful information.

Military forces have used interrogation since Roman times, but the modern military did not develop a systematic approach until World War II. When WWII began, the U.S. military did not have a formalized interrogation school or trained personnel. However, American commanders fully realized the benefits of being able to obtain information about enemy troop movements and weapon locations.

The military faced a second problem: the growing distinction between interrogation, which relies on information from enemy soldiers, versus intelligence, which depends upon surveillance or eavesdropping on a primary source. In the Cold War, America obtained most of its information about the Soviet block through electronic surveillance. In the first Gulf War, some 85% of the American coalition’s information came from directly...

About the Authors

Gregory Hartley is a decorated former-U.S. Army interrogator. He graduated from the U.S. Army Interrogation School, and the Anti-Terrorism-Instructor Qualification Course, the Principle Protection Instructor Qualification Course, and several Behavioral Symptom Analysis Seminars. He served as an interrogator with the Fifth Special Forces Group during Operation Desert Storm. Maryann Karinch is the author of seven books, including Rangers Lead the Way; Dr. David Scherer’s Hospital Survival Guide; Diets Designed for Athletes and Empowering Underachievers: How to Guide Failing Kids.

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    J. S. 1 decade ago
    An eye catching title good for promoting getabstract in your organisation! The content is most relevant for our fraud teams rather than normal chats with customers or staff where you may take this nugget of knowledge and draw too many inferences. a great quote in the margin about bad decisions being the outcome of charged meetings where the noisiest person won the day.