In a new book released this month, Robert Feldman writes about the reality of lying in everyday life. The book, called The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships, is the culmination of about 3 decades of research by Feldman on the issue of lying in a casual and professional environment and how this affects our ability to trust others. Robert Feldman argues in the book that the social acceptance of telling “little white lies” has turned our environments into a “culture of lies” that has lasting affects on all of our relationships.

Time Magazine sat down with Robert Feldman and asked him a few questions about the book and his thoughts on lying everyday without even realizing it:

One of the reasons people get away with so much lying, your research suggests, is that we are all essentially dupes. Why do we believe so many lies?

This is what I call the liar’s advantage. We are not very good at detecting deception in other people. When we are trying to detect honesty, we look at the wrong kinds of nonverbal behaviors, and we misinterpret them. The problem is that there is no direct correlation between someone’s nonverbal behavior and their honesty. “Shiftiness” could also be the result of being nervous, angry, distracted or sad. Even trained interrogators [aren't] able to detect deception at [high] rates. You might as well flip a coin to determine if someone is being honest.

You can read excerpts of the book at the book’s website and find out more about the book at Twelve Publishers.