IPT Book Reviews

Title: Lying and Deception in Everyday Life  Positive Review Positive Review Positive Review
Editors: Michael Lewis and Carolyn Saarni
Publisher: The Guilford Press, 1993

The Guilford Press
72 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
(800) 365-7006
$30.00 (c)

This 221-page book cannot be read without becoming rather distinctly uncomfortable. There is far too much accurate description of deception that every reader will immediately know he or she has done and does every day. The only place where the contents of this book may not resonate with the behavior each reader performs is in the material on self-deception. There may be some of us whose self-deception is impermeable enough that we may not know what we are actually doing. Even the chapter on malingering and deception brings to mind the times illness was feigned to avoid school or some other expected activity.

The book discusses different types of deception and looks at the boundaries between ethical and adaptive deception. The 10 chapters explore ways to perceive deception as an adaptive mechanism, a socially required disposition, or a socially condemned behavior. Throughout the book, relevant research data are cited to support the understanding of deception presented.

This is a valuable book that can be read with benefit by anyone. It is recommended unreservedly. However, the only way to improve understanding of deception observed in others is first to find the mote in one's own eye.

Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies.

Order this book: Hardcover

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