'This book is about a whole new way of studying the mind ... endlessly fascinating' Steven Pinker
Everybody lies, to friends, lovers, doctors, pollsters – and to themselves. In Internet searches, however, people confess their secrets – about sexless marriages, mental health problems, even racist views. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, an economist and former Google data scientist, shows that this could just be the most important dataset ever collected.
This huge database of secrets – unprecedented in human history – offers astonishing, even revolutionary, insights into humankind. Anxiety, for instance, does not increase after a terrorist attack. Crime levels drop when a violent film is released. And racist searches are no higher in Republican areas than in Democrat ones.
Stephens-Davidowitz reveals information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health – both emotional and physical. Insightful, funny, and always surprising, Everybody Lies exposes the biases and secrets embedded deeply within us, at a time when things are harder to predict than ever.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 2013. His work focuses on using big-data sources to uncover previously hidden behaviors and attitudes. He is a former quantitative analyst at Google.