The participants don’t know that the partner works for Levine. After his surprising appearance at the door of the U.S. Embassy, Aspillaga was taken to Germany for debriefing. Defaulting to truth aids in our survival. In 2007 a British student named Meridith Kercher was murdered by a man named Rudy Guede. This book is an attempt to understand what really happened between Brian Encinia and Sandra Bland that day. What did you talk about? Eventually, Encinia began to reach into the car and try to remove Sandra by force. The third mistake that people often make when dealing with strangers: We fail to recognize coupled behaviors, behaviors that are specifically linked to a particular context. Still think you’re the outlier? Back in 2001 a psychologist performed a study in which she had participants fill in missing letters for words, like “GL_ _.” Most people, when asked what their answers said about them, declared that what they wrote wasn’t an indication of how they were feeling. So he takes us on a digressive journey in which we are encouraged to examine our own behaviour and thought processes. But because the assault was hidden under the guise of a medical procedure, none of those people ever stopped it. For example, we fail to see how a person’s personal history might affect his behavior in a particular environment. The officers were told to search as many cars that fit the specific requirements and confiscate as many guns as possible. This action unit is used to notate and score people’s facial expressions like music is scored by notes on a page. Wait until you hear about this next study. And as we’re about to see, this works with other emotions as well. But the truth was so devastating that it seemed unlikely, and so the parents’ truth-default kicked in. She unknowingly gave Encinia a lawful excuse to pull her over. Whereas default to truth and assumption of transparency both affect your understanding of a stranger as an individual, failure to recognize coupled behaviors affects your understanding of the context in which a stranger operates. If you’ve ever seen the show Friends, you know how easy it is to tell what the characters are feeling. Instead, the Holy Fool sees con men around every corner. The Kansas City Police Department completed an experiment that proved this theory. (For example, Scott Carmichael missed all the clues that Ana Montes was a Cuban spy in the moment. The Russian archetype of the Holy Fool demonstrates the benefits of being able to see the truth of a situation. And (because the cost of not defaulting to truth is to have mistrusting social interactions) Encinia was immediately scared of Sandra Bland because her license plate and food wrappers had already triggered his doubts. You must accept that there are limits to what you can learn about a stranger. It was only after she was found out that the DIA realized the red flags were there all along. Kercher’s body was found by her roommate, Amanda Knox. This is known in the spy trade as a walk-in. Bland had fast food wrappers in the car (because she had just driven all the way from Chicago to Texas). Judges have to grant or deny a stranger’s freedom. In other words, the average person is only bad at detecting lies when the sender is mismatched. After Kercher’s death, many of her friends mourned. They are human, and their inability to detect a lie was a human mistake. Facial expressions are one of the primary ways that we interpret a stranger’s feelings (because we mistakenly assume that a person’s demeanor is an accurate representation of his feelings). Do you think you’d be able to spot a Cuban spy if you worked with one? Being able to detect lies seems like an unequivocal good. Psychologist Tim Levine says that the cost of not defaulting to truth is the sacrifice of meaningful social interactions. But as we’re about to see, even triggers might not work. Throughout human history, the vast majority... Read full summary of Talking to Strangers. But being weird is not a crime. In searching for Sandusky’s victims for nearly two years, the police actually dredged up more confusion—victims who changed their stories and allegations that disappeared. Earn 125 points on every ticket you buy. People jump at the chance to judge that person or entity for covering up the criminal’s behavior or putting their own interests ahead of the truth. He has practically invented a genre of nonfiction writing: the finely turned counterintuitive narrative underpinned by social science studies. So he drove up behind her to get a better look—to see if she had any signs of potential criminal intentions, like air fresheners or fast food wrappers. The viewers were operating under the assumption of transparency that someone who behaves like a liar is indeed a liar. After all, how can you know if a person is shady or not unless you can see it in their eyes? Two of Levine’s participants were particularly interesting to study. Montes’s reports often contained Cuban viewpoints. What Nassar was accused of was so monstrous that these parents and coaches simply couldn’t believe it. In the early 1990’s, the Kansas City Police Department decided to study how to deploy extra police officers in an effort to reduce crime in the city. After multiple runs of the experiment, results continue to show that people can accurately determine a liar only 54% of the time. Here are the 3 most helpful lessons I’ve learned about how we talk to strangers: Are you ready to learn how to tell when you’re making bad assumptions about people?