Liars & Outliers Book Review

In 2010 I attended a conference on Security and Human Behavior at the University of Cambridge (, where academics explored ways of helping people operate more safely in an increasingly uncertain world, and spoke about the resilience of crowd behavior in mass emergencies. After that I offered to proof read a draft of a book by one of the organizers, and he very kindly sent me a copy, so I thought it only fair to give it a quick plug;

Bruce Schneier’s new book Liars and Outliers is a very readable book that looks at how society depends upon trust to operate, and that things would quickly grind to a halt if people did not place trust in each other for a multitude of vital social functions. It is grounded in sound theoretical perspectives, drawing upon well established psychological explanations for human behavior, such as social dilemmas, where immediate individual interest may not always be for the greater collective good. It’s helpfully peppered with tables that illustrate the issues involved in such social dilemmas, and supported by a variety of evidence from economic, technological, and psychological approaches- well worth a read.

Published by John Wiley and Sons and details of how to get copies are on his website:

Categories: Book Reviews, Liars and Outliers, Text

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.