What’s behind secrets and lies


The hunt for Edward Snowden, the American who leaked details about national security surveillance programs plays out as a story about secrets and lies.

Secrets and lies can be empowering, but they can also erode trust in any relationship—at home, at work, and certainly with the powers that be.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb asks his guests Charles V. Ford and David Livingstone Smith what’s behind the secrets and lies we tell? When are they helpful, and when are they hurtful?

Charles Ford is a professor of psychiatry at UAB School of Medicine. He’s written Lies, Lies, Lies: The Psychology of Deceit (1996). His book is going to be published in Russian next month–its fourth foreign language translation.

David Livingstone Smith is a professor of philosophy at the University of New England. He’s the author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind and most recently: Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others (winner of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for non-fiction).

Recommended reading:

  • Lies, Lies, Lies: The Psychology of Deceit by Charles Ford
  • Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind by David Livingstone Smith
  • Conquering Deception by Jef Nance
  • The Truth About Lying: How to Spot a Lie and Protect Yourself from Deception by Stan Walters
  • The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life by Robert Trivers
  • The Truth About Lying: Why and How We All Do It & What to Do About It by Gini Graham Scott, PhD
  • Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok
  • Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception by Daniel Goleman

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