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Editorial Reviews

Who hasn't told a tall tale? Pulled a leg or even the wool? Yanked a chain? Blown smoke? "Natural Born Liars," the cover article of this special edition of Scientific American, examines why we lie and why we are so good at it. Other articles in this issue look at innocent people who confess to crimes, dreams, hypnosis, and the correlation between stress and heart attacks. The narrator employs an intellectual, but comfortable, tone. His enunciation is impeccable. You don't need to be a scientist to love this series of audio magazines; the articles are fascinating and digestible enough for any curious listener. And that's no lie!
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Publisher's Summary

This edition of Scientific American Mind contains six articles. The cover story, "Natural Born Liars", examines why we lie and why we're so good at it. Also in this issue: why innocent people confess to crimes they didn't commit; an in-depth examination of what dreams are and why we have them; the very real therapeutic uses for hypnosis; how to improve your powers of recall; and is mental stress increasing your chances of a heart attack?
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kenneth on 07-30-09

Disturbing Feature Article

Scientific America Mind is always a good magazine.

The feature article, argues that humans lie all the time, at all different levels, that we're wired to lie, and that it's advantageous to lie. The core argument would seem to be that lying bridges the gap between societies needs and individual needs, which are assumed to be fundamentally in conflict. There would seem to be some scientific support for this idea among other primates.

The whole thing feels very Maoist.

I suspect that there are environments and cultures where this is truer than in others. I suspect that the more oppressive an environment, be it a bad employer or a totalitarian government, the more lying is necessary, adaptive, and even a sign of political intelligence. But I also suspect that the less oppressive an environment the more being able to tell the truth is necessary, adaptive, and a sign of emotional intelligence. Current scientific thought, perhaps as a reflection of current American culture, seems to have swung in the direction of "Lying is good".

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Michele on 06-20-10

Excellent!

Fascinating!

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