Episodes

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01Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110620

Ian Leslie traces the line from the great apes - who are no mean liars themselves - to humans and documents studies which suggest that becoming human wasn't a simple evolutionary process of the best forager and builder surviving, but the building blocks came from our social contacts and our understanding of deceit.

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Ian Leslie. Of all the species where do we find the best liars?

01Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110621

By Ian Leslie. Of all the species where do we find the best liars?

02Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110621

Children learn deceit very early in their lives, but they are not very good at it. Then, at roughly between the ages of three and a half and four and a half, something changes. Ian Leslie explains how children's deceit becomes more sophisticated and the social processes that change (or sometimes not) their behaviour for the better.

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Ian Leslie. When do children learn to lie?

02Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110622

By Ian Leslie. When do children learn to lie?

Children learn deceit very early in their lives, but they are not very good at it. Then, at roughly between the ages of three and a half and four and a half, something changes. Ian Leslie explains how children's deceit becomes more sophisticated and the social processes that change (or sometimes not) their behaviour for the better.

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

03Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110622

We think that people are lying when they mumble or they are embarrassed, but the liars amongst us are often those who are the most fluent speakers, the most charming people. Ian Leslie describes how two researchers discovered way to pick those who were being economical with the truth.

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Ian Leslie. How do we tell when someone's lying?

03Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110623

By Ian Leslie. How do we tell when someone's lying?

04Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110623

In principle, the lie detector solves the problems of society: it can pick the thief or the philanderer or the dodgy politician. But the polygraph, as it was christened, has had a chequered history, it's reputation being more effective than the machine itself.

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

The lie-detector was developed in California, but does its record hold up to scrutiny?

04Born Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110624

The lie-detector was developed in California, but does its record hold up to scrutiny?

05 LASTBorn Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110624

The 'murderer at the door' refers to the moral dilemma of whether you tell the truth if the honest answer will threaten someone's life. How did philosophers square with that conundrum?

Ian Leslie was born in 1972 and lives in London. He combines careers in advertising and writing. His first book, To be President (Politicos, 2008), an account of the 2008 US presidential election, was described by Adam Boulton as 'brilliantly capturing the drama and emotion of Obama's successful run for the White House' and was extracted by Granta. He regularly appears as an analyst of American politics on Sky and the BBC. He has written about politics, culture, marketing and psychology for Prospect, the Guardian, the Times and the BBC. He also blogs about all these things at Marbury, named one of the fifty 'Most Powerful' blogs in the world by the Observer.

'Consistently startling and fascinating. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there's some dodgy theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few anecdotes to back them up. Born Liars, however, is in quite a different league. It's erudite yet wears its learning lightly and is full of terrific stories. It will also make you see yourself, and the world around you, in a new light.' - 'Book of the Week', Daily Mail

Written by Ian Leslie

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Reader: Tim McInnerny

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Ian Leslie. How honest would you be if the truth endangered your friend?

05 LASTBorn Liars: Why We Can't Live Without Deceit20110625

By Ian Leslie. How honest would you be if the truth endangered your friend?