May 18th, 2009

Liar, liar – who’s the liar?

The New York Times reports, “Liars do not avert their eyes in an interview on average any more than people telling the truth do, researchers report; they do not fidget, sweat or slump in a chair any more often. They may produce distinct, fleeting changes in expression, experts say, but it is not clear yet how useful it is to analyze those. … No brain-imaging machine can reliably distinguish a doctored story from the truthful one … ditto for polygraphs…. One broad, straightforward principle has changed police work in Britain: seek information, not a confession. … “These interviews sound much more like a chat in a bar,” said Dr. Bull, who, with colleagues like Aldert Vrij at the University of Portsmouth, has pioneered much of the research in this area. “It’s a lot like the old ‘Columbo’ show, you know, where he pretends to be an idiot but he’s gathered a lot of evidence.”

Read more about how listening to people tell stories – including asking them to tell the story in reverse – helps police ferret out liars here.



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Good news in Publishers Lunch

[Full disclosure: we have emailed occasionally!] Alan Gratz's FANTASY BASEBALL, the story of a boy who finds himself playing first base for the Oz Cyclones, a ragtag travelling baseball team made up of Dorothy, Mr. Toad and other storybook characters, in the Fantasyland World Series, to Liz Waniewski at Dial, for publication in Spring 2011, by Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary.

[Full disclosure: she is on LiveJournal, and I am her "friend"!] HEAD CASE author Sarah Aronson's BEYOND LUCKY, a humorous, touching story of a boy whose luck turns around when he discovers a rare soccer trading card - only to have it disappear, taking his good luck with it, to Liz Waniewski at Dial, for publication in Summer 2011, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (NA).

[Full disclosure: not only is on LiveJournal, but we have many friends in common. Some are even RL friends. And is Barry Goldblatt on a roll or what?] Jo Knowles's PEARL, about a girl whose grandfather's sudden death unleashes a family secret that forces her to see the people she loves in new and unexpected ways, to Kate Farrell at Holt Children's, for publication in Spring 2011, by Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary.



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