by Kaaryn Gough
(The following is a response from Analyst Kaaryn Gough to a question posed about missing words in analysis. Kaaryn's reply is below.)
SCAN teaches us to analyze a statement starting with the first words in the first sentence and moving through the statement word by word, sentence by sentence. This is very important in the analysis process. Several things happen:
1) it forces us to slow down and consider each and every word. This is hard to do! We are trained to "skim" and see words as collective phrases when we read.
2) it allows us to analyze the statement similar to how the subject experienced writing it. When the subject begins writing sentence #1, he/she does not know what sentence #2, #3 etc will be. The first sentence must be complete before the next one can begin. In some ways, it's like following bread crumbs. You don't know where it's going to lead. Your only hope is to simply 'follow the trail' that is before you.
In SCAN, we extract every bit of analysis we can from one sentence before we move on to the next one. However, we know that there is likely more information inside the statement and we do not come to a conclusion with just one pass. We must do several passes before we can write our conclusions.
In this case, I did not have transcripts to read. I had only the YouTube videos. Therefore, I had to create the transcripts. There is a benefit to this.
By doing my own transcripts it forces me to slow down and consider each and every word. It also ensures that the transcripts are accurate. I am always wary of someone else's transcripts for even the slightest mistake or omission/inclusion of a word can alter the analysis.
I highly recommend comparing a transcript given to you to its source. Make sure the words are exactly as spoken.
As I write transcripts, I become very familiar with the language. I don't analyze as I transcribe for this would bog down the process of recording the words in a document. But I do take mental notes.
When I'm done with the transcript, I then begin at the beginning and read it. As I move through the statement, I highlight/bold/underline places that jump out at me. The big stuff like pronouns, tenses, personal dictionary. After doing this, I then begin focusing on the areas I have highlighted/bolded/underlined and analyze them further.
I'm careful at getting too focused on one area. When I am tired, I step back and take a break. I go back and re-read the interview as a whole to refresh my brain.
In this case, "rumors" caught my attention early on, but there was so much else to look at. I revisited it a couple of other times but only because it was part of the section I was analyzing.
The word had been "simmering" in the back of my mind all along but it wasn't until I heard it being used in a television show that I fully understood its implications. That's when I had the "a-ha!" moment. Suddenly, the pot was boiling over.
Your analogy, Peter, of an illicit stop or what is also called a "rolling stop", is perfect. Yeah, I saw the sign and slowed down, but I didn't come to a full and complete stop. This is a perfect example of why it's better to have many brains working together on a statement in order to extract as much information as possible.
I would also like to note that in our "microwave" age speed is the kingpin of our lives. Our goal is to do everything faster--cook a dinner in 5 minutes rather than 5 hours, download a movie in 10 seconds rather than 60, communicate on the run via texting shorthand--we live our lives in fast-forward mode and our need/desire to take in information, understand it and work with it is also done at high speed.
Statement Analysis can only be properly done when we set aside our "need for speed" and quiet our inner tyrants that insist we drive 200 mph and ignore the sights in our attempt to keep up with our fast-paced world.
I do my best analysis very early in the morning before the day's events invade and shift me into high gear. I prefer a darkened room for there's always something in the bright light of day that will distract my attention and lessen my focus. (i.e.--the dust shows up on surfaces). My computer screen is my visual beacon and everything else fades into the shadows. I enjoy the luxury of being able to work slowly.
Now, before anyone goes analyzing my use of "light" in this post, please recognize that light has a legitimate purpose in my statement.
I once had someone say I had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child because I used the phrase, "a light bulb went off in my head."-- a phrase that is used by many both verbally and in images to describe sudden understanding or a brilliant idea. ("brilliant" being the key word). I cautioned him to carefully consider my reference to "light" before jumping to a conclusion. Sometimes a lightbulb is just a lightbulb. :-)