8 Jun 2018

The Lying Machine

Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Marianna Bar. The Lying Machine: Mysticism and Pseudo-Science in Personality Assessment and Prediction. Routledge. (8 Jun. 2018)
We are exposed on a daily basis to bogus promises of comfort, security, healing, truth, and even predictions of the future. The Lying Machine shines an unforgiving light on two extremely popular and lucrative examples of this phenomenon: 'cold reading' techniques, and the pseudosciences of graphology and polygraph interrogation. Is there any scientific basis at all for the claims of their practitioners?

The authors review the history and the relevant research and, aided by a wealth of anecdote and illustration, expose the pretensions and fallacies of these practices in clear and logical fashion. They also examine the psychological factors that lead both purveyors and consumers to place their faith in them. Written by two leading experts and aimed at interested professionals and the wider public, The Lying Machine seeks to encourage critical thinking not only towards graphology and polygraphy and their associated arts, but to the claims of pseudoscience more generally.