"This is a valuable book that can be read with benefit by anyone. It is recommended unreservedly." -- Issues in Child Abuse Accusations
"This well-written and thought-provoking book presents something for everyone." -- Readings
"This book contains perhaps everything you want to know about lying and cheating, their origins and perpetuation, and even the pro-social and adaptive uses of deception. The authors, highly reputed professors (honestly), use the literature of pediatrics, psychiatry, and child development, as well as case illustrations, to illuminate deceptive behavior and help the reader move away from the position that all distortions of the truth are necessarily evil." -- The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter
"Thou shalt not lie, we are all taught. Yet we all do. Lying is necessary to daily life. Saarni and Lewis' book examines why I lie to you, why you deceive me, why advertisers encourage illusion, and why we all manage daily survival only with big chunks of self-deception. After reading this book, you will know, from philosophers and social scientists, how from early childhood we learn to accomplish and rationalize deception and lying. You will know how to distinguish between ungrateful children telling grandma they love the ugly sweater she has knitted and an unfaithful spouse who insists there is no other in his or her life. You will know why we scream the accusation, 'You lied to me, ' without apparently caring that the lie covered an affair. This is a book we all need." --Annette Lawson, Ph.D.
"I immediately began perusing this volume the evening I brought it home from the office. Although I am not yet finished reading it, I can state unequivocally that it is a joy to read. The writing style of the chapters by DePaulo, Epstein, and Wyer, Lewis, Solomon, and Saarni is truly delightful, and their scholarship is not compromised by their accessible prose. These pages are chock full of insights by some of the most respected researchers in the social psychology of deception. The reader is taken on a journey across continents, decades, and disciplines, examining deceptive practices of all sorts, by all sorts of individuals (including children, spouses, non-Westerners, non-human primates, and philosophers!). Engagingly written and insightful, I plan to use this book in my advanced undergraduate course." --Stephen J. Ceci, Ph.D., Cornell University
The book articulates the boundaries between unethical and adaptive deception demonstrating how some lies serve socially approved goals, while others provoke distrust and condemnation.