Summary of How to Spot a Liar

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

Career Press,
First Edition: 2005 more...

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


7 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people lie
  • What physiological and psychological changes occur when people lie
  • How interrogation techniques uncover the truth
  • How to conduct an intelligent argument and a useful interview


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...
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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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    Julie Smith 3 years 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.

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