This page exists for Derren to inform you about skills and areas of knowledge that are of interest to him, or relevant to his work.  Here you can find suggestions for further reading and resources. Derren has written in more detail about some of these areas in his book Tricks Of The Mind, and will continue to add to this page as he finds material that he thinks may be of interest to you.




This is a far trickier and more subtle area than body-language ‘experts’ will have you believe. But amongst the exaggerations and over-generalisations, I have found the following to be of interext. Though again, a pinch of salt should be kept handy in some cases.





Aldert Vrij: Detecting Lies and Deceit
This is a terrific work on lie-spotting. Vrij is one of the true experts and great experimenters on the subject and his book is rich in detail and bursting with research. Written for professional lie-catchers as well as students and academics, it is one of relatively few serious nooks on the subject.


Stan Walters: The Truth about Lying
A more immediately accessible book on spotting lying tells and therefore will be of interest to many, I’m sure. However, this area is so much more tricky and elusive than many popular books on the subject will have you believe.


Peter Collett: Book of Tells
This is an accessible, thick and comprehensive book on body-language, but when a Big Brother residential psychologist informs you that yawning is a ‘tell’ that a person is bored or wants to change the conversation, it might make you doubt the academic gravitas of this work.
Undoubtedly Collett is a far more qualified and experienced psychologist than I, so maybe this unabashedly popular book doesn’t do him justice. The topic is one which is always borderline so-obvious-it-makes-your-nose-bleed (Stephen Fry’s line, not mine), so any such books tend to run dangerously close to seeming a bit pointless.


Ekman & Rosenberg: What the Face Reveals
There’s a huge amount to explore, but Ekman and Rosenberg’s work on codifying every possible muscular movement of the human face has allowed those trained in the system to develop a seemingly super-human ability to spot micro-expressions; the tiny, fleeting twitches and incongruities which betray our real emotions. This is an academic book rather than a learn-at-home hide, but is great reading for the enthusiast.


Ekman & Friesen: Unmasking the Face (2003)
This is a more accessible starting-point to understanding Ekman’s work and includes lots of exercises to improve your sensitivity to reading people. Excellent stuff.