The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are (Hardcover)

The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are

By Matthew Hertenstein

Basic Books (AZ), 9780465031658, 268pp.

Publication Date: November 12, 2013



Every day we make predictions based on limited information, in business and at home. Will this company's stock performance continue? Will the job candidate I just interviewed be a good employee? What kind of adult will my child grow up to be? We tend to dismiss our predictive minds as prone to bias and mistakes, but in The Tell, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein reveals that our intuition is surprisingly good at using small clues to make big predictions, and shows how we can make better decisions by homing in on the right details.

Just as expert poker players use their opponents' tells to see through their bluffs, Hertenstein shows that we can likewise train ourselves to read physical cues to significantly increase our predictive acumen. By looking for certain clues, we can accurately call everything from election results to the likelihood of marital success, IQ scores to sexual orientation--even from flimsy evidence, such as an old yearbook photo or a silent one-minute video. Moreover, by understanding how people read our body language, we can adjust our own behavior so as to ace our next job interview or tip the dating scales in our favor.

Drawing on rigorous research in psychology and brain science, Hertenstein shows us how to hone our powers of observation to increase our predictive capacities. A charming testament to the power of the human mind, The Tell will, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, show us how to notice what we see.

About the Author

Matthew Hertenstein received his PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and is on the faculty at DePauw University. He has been featured on the Today Show, ABC News, NPR, and in the New York Times, The Economist, and The Guardian (UK). Hertenstein lives in Greencastle, Indiana, with his wife, Margo, and his ever-curious son, Isaac.