Friday, January 25, 2013

Why It's Called "Sensitivity"

fatigue sensitivity
When a person answers a question with a question, we say that the question is "sensitive" to the person.  It is our job to find out why the question would elicit a sensitive response. 

Example:  A man walks into his wife's office and asks his wife's boss,

"You're sleeping with my wife?" in anger in his voice.  

The boss says, "Excuse me?"

In looking at this, we conclude that the question, "You're sleeping with my wife?" is technically "Sensitive" to the subject (boss).

Why?

Because he answered a question with a question, showing that the question itself, was sensitive to him. 

Why would this question be sensitive to him?

A.  Because he is sleeping with the man's wife and is in utter shock at the question. 
B.  Because he is not sleeping with the man's wife and is in utter shock at the question. 
C.  He did not hear the person
D.  Other 

The question could be sensitive for any of these reasons, therefore, in context, we might see precisely why the question is sensitive to him, and he has answered it with a question, in order to stall for time, a bit, to think.

Let's look at the same question and response, but in another context. 

The married man was at lunch with the boss and were discussing the same topic, when he finally asked the question, "You're sleeping with my wife?"

In the midst of a conversation about infidelity, it is not likely that the subject would have the same level of surprise or shock that he had in the case of the man walking into the office and blurting out his question.

Therefore, the "sensitivity indicator" may mean that the question has cut too close to the bone to give an immediate denial.

Why might it be sensitive to him?

A.  Because he is sleeping with the man's wife
B.  Because he hasn't slept with the man's wife, but has been flirting with her, in hopes of
C.  Because he wants to, but didn't think it was evident to anyone but himself (yes, this happens)
D.  Other

We do not rush to declare "deception" but attempt to think about why something may be sensitive to someone.  The tag, "sensitive", that is, attached to emotion, is a very good descriptive word to use.  

Here is where the skill of the analyst comes into play:  Conclusion. 

Walk, don't run.  Do not conclude anything based on a single sensitivity indicator.  Note context and note it well.  Put yourself into the shoes of the subject.  Proceed with caution.  Think.  Think more.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

You must be reading some other blogs where untrained SA followers are running amok. :)

Katprint said...

As a person with some loss of hearing, who hasn't yet bothered to get the hearing aid that was prescribed for me, I often respond, "What?" or "Excuse me? I didn't hear what you said." I am just as likely to say that in response to my husband asking me if I'd like to go out for dinner or to my son telling me that his homework is finished or any other non-sensitive question/remark, as I would be to something sensitive. OTOH, when my son asked me where I had put everyone's Christmas presents, I responded by asking him, "Why do you need to know?" Which is intentionally answering a question with a question and reflects my sensitivity that I didn't want him to know where I had put the presents so I wasn't going to truthfully answer that question.

Hobnob said...

OFF TOPIC

Court sets aside 2 of Casey Anthony's convictions

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida appellate court has set aside two of the four convictions Casey Anthony faced for lying to detectives during the investigation into her missing 2-year-old daughter.

Judges on the 5th District Court of Appeals agreed with Anthony's attorneys Friday that two of the charges constituted double jeopardy, or being convicted more than once for the same crime.

The judges, however, ruled that the trial court was correct to allow her statements to detectives to be used during her murder trial.

Anthony's attorneys had argued that she was in police custody at the time and hadn't been read her Miranda rights.

Anthony was acquitted of killing Caylee in 2011. Jurors convicted her of four counts of lying to detectives, and her attorneys appealed those convictions.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/25/court-sets-aside-2-casey-anthony-convictions/#ixzz2J17VKZdF

Mainah said...


I thought of a couple more possibilities why the boss might be sensitive about that question...

- he's sleeping with someone else's wife.
- he thinks the mans wife is too ugly to sleep with
- he's unable to have sex

... etc.

Thank you for the important reminder.

Lis said...

I like this one.

It seems like as the conversation continues, if there are a number of other clues, a person could possibly come to a conclusion, but based on this one response alone, one must realize it is only an area of sensitivity.

It makes a lot of sense to ask to hear the question again if someone asks a bizarre and unexpected question. Otherwise, a person might start answering it and find they had, indeed, heard the person's question wrong, and that could make for an awkward moment. Then the first person could be thinking "why would you think I would ask if you are sleeping with my wife?!" heh

Vita said...

Peter I am confused.
Example: A man walks into his wife's office and asks his wife's boss,

"You're sleeping with my wife?" in anger in his voice.
The boss says, "Excuse me?"
--
This is not a question but an accusation is it not? A husband to enter his wife's work place, to enter her bosses office unannounced " You're Sleeping with my Wife" - I too would reply with excuse me, myself not the boss, as it is written, this a person blindsided, a man, husband of an employee, barges into the bosses office and ..blurts. I too would be stunned, " Excuse me" where the hell did this guy come from?

Add the word " ARE" to it, then it becomes personal, and a question directed, ARE YOU sleeping with my wife?!

2nd Scenario: The married man was at lunch with the boss and were discussing the same topic, when he finally asked the question, "You're sleeping with my wife?"

*this a totally different setting as it is what is being discussed, the topic of infidelity. It is sensitive to both individuals. As they are wagering upon each others saids. The words to come out,
" You're Sleeping with my wife" is
sensitive to the Husband first, yes, sensitive to the boss, as well. They are putting their cards on the table so to speak. Who is the connector, " the wife/ female employee" within this discussion is the why, of the discussion.

As you have followed up with written reasons of why. Yes, it is that the boss has endearment felt * to the wife, that it is known to the husband, that boundaries have been crossed (doesn't mean cheating has occurred - although cheating comes in many forms) The pretense is alive, by the Husbands own intuition. Husband to note it on his own, by how his wife acts, reacts, when she speaks about her boss.

This makes total sense to me:
A. Because he is sleeping with the man's wife. * does not mean he and she are having sex, they can be in a tango, emotionally, mentally, which is alike " the act". The act never to commence.

B. Because he hasn't slept with the man's wife, but has been flirting with her, in hopes of
C. Because he wants to, but didn't think it was evident to anyone but himself (yes, this happens)
---
Sticky yes. Working in offices for 11 years, I have seen with my own eyes, relationships between men and women single and married.
My younger years, propositions to come from my bosses, that I did not take the bait, thank god. Myself in my 20's, they much older, married, they to pull me aside and offer me ( practically anything everything) in exchange for yes, Sex. My reaction, thank you but no thank you, they to retreat. Move on to the next new girl? No, I believe they found in me a hunger to succeed, that I would be vulnerable to their offerings. Funny how the single men who were my bosses, never approached me this way. Only the married ones. Sensitive to me, yes.

Human nature, we want what we cannot have? willing to risk it all? depends on the character, I guess, of the person propositioned. Not so much on the proposition-er, as they have told you to your face, exactly who they are. A person who feels they have nothing to lose. She/He will either garner a Yes or a No. It's a 50/50 risk. They the boss, willing to take, as they are at the top of the food chain ' Boss'.

Ivy said...

Looks like Hobnob beat me to this, but here is the CNN link to the story on the 5th Circuit reversing two convictions. Not totally clear from the story what the deal is but it looks like maybe some of the convictions may have been lesser includeds of the other two so that two of them violated double jeopardy? Haven't read the ruling...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/25/justice/anthony-convictions-overturned/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Skeptical said...

This is a good post for me. I realize how easy it is for me to equate sensitive with deceptive.

Katprint said...

OT re Casey Anthony's convictions reduced from 4 to 2: Here is a link to the actual Florida Fifth District Court's opinion: http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2013/012113/5D11-2357.op.pdf

Anonymous said...

LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

This was a great read before ending the night...thank you.