Friday, February 7, 2014

Rafael Palmiero Denial of Steroids

With the death of Ralph Kiner, baseball is in the headlines, though Spring Training remains two weeks away, which reminded me to re-visit the topic of denials in Statement Analysis.

Here, we have the word "never" which is not to be substituted for "did not" or "didn't."

Baseball player, Rafael Palmiero employed the word "never" instead of "did not" in his denial.  Much is made of his finger wagging, as he feels the need to make emphasis, reminiscent of President Clinton's now famous denial.

"Never" is an appropriate response if one is asked, "Have you ever..." but it is to be deemed by the analysis "unreliable" in an open statement.  It does not conclude deception, but the analyst must have more sample to go upon.  An innocent person will use the pronoun "I" and the reliable "did not" or "didn't" (even more casual) along with the specific detail "use steroids..." often without making his audience wait.

Why do liars use "never" in their denials?

I don't know with certainty, but it may have something to do with the vagueness of time, spreading out the stress over a lengthy period.  Could it be that the liar is concentrating on a specific time period, for example, when he did not use steroids as he speaks this sentence?  Perhaps.

Lance Armstrong always avoided "did not" in his denials, instead, clinging to "never" repeatedly.  Sometimes he went to passive language with "Never happened.  Look at me.  Never happened."  This was spoken to a friend who was bike riding alongside of him.

"Never, never, never!"  Joey Buttafuouco regarding Amy Fischer.

We also find that "never" is joined by "ever" highlighting the lack of confidence in the statement, as it has a need to persuade.

Our words reveal us.


Lemon said...

Use of the word 'never' also has within it the ability to shut down questions, specific as to time frame/incident, that would be especially stressful to the liar. The " fire blanket effect" on those who accept "never" as meaning "no", suppressing more questions.

Nadine Lumley said...

I especially love this blog post because I have often recently wondered about the denial of the word never.

The best part about this blog post is Peter saying he doesn't know why never is not reliable. That just blew my mind wide open. Here I am sitting here the last month or two wondering what is wrong with my brain that I can't understand why the word never is an unreliable denial, and here Peter just flat-out says openly, we don't know why it is this way it just is. And I love that. I don't feel so stupid anymore.

About a year ago, my ex-boyfriend thought we had plans Christmas after dinner evening, and we had not as far as I was concerned, he had not asked to see me, so he didn't see or hear from me. The next time we saw each other he told me that he thought I had ghosted him. I told him, I would never do that to you. I would tell you in advance if I'm leaving you.

Cut to six months later and I ghosted him. Now why did I use the word never and it was obviously a lie or was it a lie?

I feel like saying the word never is like making a vague promise that I had not committed to actually fulfilling or honoring.

Would you ever do that? Oh I would never do that.

It's just very vague and nothing concrete. Yes, Peter is right, it has something to do with the expansion of time. Like in the history of the Universe I would never do that to you. Whoops, I did it again. My bad.

It is a fascinating word because when you hear the word never it sounds like one of the most strongest denials.

Humans are endlessly fascinating and I can't get enough of this blog.


Nadine Lumley said...

*he doesn't know with certainty