The Science of Lie Detection: Background information when reading The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter

by Mark Seal

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 336 pages
    Apr 2012, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Science of Lie Detection

You can't read The Man in the Rockefeller Suit without wondering if Rockefeller would have conned you too. While Seal notes that a few people failed to believe Rockefeller's stories or personas, the majority of people Gerhartstreiter met were more than happy to call the eccentric aristocrat friend, neighbor, business partner, club member, or even "uncle" and were generous with their time and money as well.

People in the business of detecting lies have offered various theories about how liars give themselves away. Widely recognized signs that a person is lying, such as shifty eyes, unusual speech patterns or inflections in the voice, awkward body language, and sweating, are all useful tools in identifying possible liars, however these "tells" aren't always reliable; they are often present in people who are nervous but also telling the truth.

In his blog for the Association for Psychological Science, Full Frontal Psychology, writer Wray Herbert notes that, "detecting deceit... is ...

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