|Most police K-9 handlers want male dogs for street work. Most. There are exceptions.|
In Statement Analysis, we operate on statistics.
Statistics guide us, and allow us to draw a conclusion, "betting" on a norm.
There is no such thing as building principle on exceptions.
Lie Detection is not rocket science, but it is hard work. It is not as the Hollywood TV show, "Lie To Me" indicated where one could simply stare into the face, see, as it were, the "video" of the face inflections going by in "slow motion", knowing all. It made for interesting television, until they jumped the shark by turning the character into a superhero, punching out, and being punched out, with ever increasing bad guys and higher stakes. It was not sustainable writing.
After the show became popular, suddenly, many "experts" arose and imitated the show, which was very loosely based upon Paul Ekman's work. Recently, Dr. Ekman sent out an email stating that he would not be able to say if someone was lying or not, unless he, himself, conducted the interview.
That should put an end to the legion of his followers seeking expert status. If the leader won't watch a video of an interview and conclude...well, you get the picture.
Statement Analysis is a generic term that is based upon principle, established cohesively by Avinoam Sapir, who founded the Laboratory of Scientific Interrogation. He has taught nationally and internationally, and he uses principles based upon norms. He continues to teach, predominantly law enforcement, through his website.
It is based upon principle, statistics, and percentages. He does not, for example, conclude "deception indicated" on a single linguistic indicator, no less on a single movement of the facial muscles. Anything you might read here that you have an appreciation for, has come from LSI. If you appreciated the research done by Susan Adams on 911 calls, when you read the article, you are reading the principles of Avinoam Sapir, whether credited or not. He began in Israel as a polygrapher who was then able to, along with other previously completed research from the 1920's through the 1960's, observe language used in passed tests as well as failed tests.
These statistics emerged and built upon one another, decade after decade, and only increased as his students contributed statements along with end results of investigations. When he says "80% of police files contain confessions by pronouns", I listen.
No principle is established upon an exception.
"Men are stronger than woman" is a true statement made as a generalization.
Let's say that your career was based upon following this principle, and each time you had to face a suspect, you prepared yourself, based upon the principle that if the suspect is male, he is going to be stronger than a female.
The choices you made, as one in authority, based upon this principle have served you well for the past 15 years.
One day, you send out a small male due to the suspect being female, and she is, against the odds, stronger than the male.
After 15 years, you finally landed upon the exception to the norm.
Will you now ignore statistics based upon the exception?
In live training, I call this the "I Principle" where the student says,
"Statement Analysis does not work because I say..." and the student uses himself or herself as the exception to the principle.
Ego 1, Training 0
Thankfully, I have not encountered this often.
If an owner of a NFL football team wishes to ignore principle, he can say,
"We are a team who welcomes diversity. From now on, a full 50% of our players will be female! We celebrate diversity and show our respect to our many female fans!"
How will this team do?
How will the ticket sales go?
It would be like the owner of the LA basketball team announcing:
"From now on, our team will have blacks, whites, hispanics and Asians. This is mandated. We will show the rest of the league that we are not hateful nor exclusive. We have instructed management to get us female players, too!"
In Statement Analysis, we work on "70% likely" and "80% likely" and in some cases, up to "90% likely reliable denial..." due to the massive amount of research and brilliant conclusions of Avinoam Sapir. Reid Technique, and my own Analytical Interviewing, as well as anything else you might find, owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Sapir's work.
It is based upon principle, not exception.
There was one class, a few years ago, that produced the following "I Principle" objection. I will recreate it here for you. The class was civil investigators. They all had advanced degrees and were their company's best and brightest. They were internal investigators, as well as Human Resource managers. They need information, via the interview, for their careers.
I was taking them through principles and the class, due to its intellectual level, was moving at a good clip. I came upon the "Divinity" principle and taught:
"When you hear someone say "I swear to God", "I swear on my mother's grave" and so on, you are listening to a deceptive person. They may be lying, but if they are not lying, they are telling you that they are liars and need to swear and invoke Divinity in order to be believed. Red flag every phrase involving Divinity."
It was rather a boring point in the class and in classes, it does not raise objections.
This time, it did.
A somewhat quiet, pensive investigator said,
"Statement Analysis seems good, but I..."
It hit me.
I had forgotten to give the introductory warning about the "I Principle" to this class. It happens.
I begin classes with an introduction to the various law enforcement and Fortune 500 companies that utilize Statement Analysis.
I prepare them, emotionally, for some tough spots, particularly how our language reveals us, including embarrassing, personal things. I then say:
"You will likely love Statement Analysis and find it exciting, but some of you, at some point, will be tempted to say that "Statement Analysis is good but I..." and it will be the word "I" that I want you to consider: Don't let ego, the "I", take you off principle."
Inevitably, someone's face tells me I have trampled on their flowers.
I use celebrities to get attention and in studying the words of Michael Jackson, I reveal not only a pedophile, but one who's own language shows that he had victims all across the world, including South America and the Middle East.
Inevitably, this upsets someone, usually a female, who was about 14 years old when "Thriller" came out, and she emotionally shuts down due to the powerful connection to adolescence and music. When this has happened, thankfully, the few females afflicted had enough self awareness to say to the class, "I feel like resisting this teaching due to that stupid song in my head!"
It usually brought a laugh.
Males were more upset at Roger Clemens or Lance Armstrong, and felt a certain resistance, depending upon their age when these two athletes impacted them, and, perhaps, where they grew up. A lawyer in my training was a major Roger Clemens fan who sat stone faced while I spoke of his non denial.
In this class, the female who used the "I Principle" to overturn the training spoke out. It was not easy for her, as she was, by nature, shy. But she was upset and was not going to be silent. She said:
"Statement Analysis is wrong because you say that when someone says they swear to God that they are a liar. I can tell you that you are wrong. It is not true. Here is why: My sister and I, for 40 years, have had this rule growing up and we still use it today. If one of us says "swear to God" we are not allowed to lie to each other."
I stood silently, stunned at what I just heard.
I did not respond and the class was also silent.
Suddenly, the silence was broken as Heather could not control herself from giggling. She put her hand to her mouth to stop her, but she was just so shocked that she laughed. It was contagious.
The investigator next to her started to laugh, and as the realization of what the woman had just said settled into the class of over 20, the laughter spread until the entire room was filled with laughter, all but one.
The woman who had spoken out was furious.
"I don't see what is so funny", she said.
Heather said, "You've just proven the principle!"
Interestingly enough, the woman, very intelligent, had emotionally shut down and was unable to see how she had just proven the principle.
When she and her sister, for 40 years, have invoked God's Name, they were unable to lie to each other, presupposing that when they do not invoke God's Name, they may lie.
If something is "70% likely" it means that "30% will be different in analysis. It will be "unlikely" in the statement.
Mr. Sapir tells an amazing story of how in a class he was teaching "Incomplete Social Introductions" when an Israeli investigator told him, "I love the class but..." and went on to explain that she would "never" use the word "husband" because, in Hebrew, it means 'lord' or 'boss' or 'leader' and she, as a professional woman, as well as her professional friends, never call their spouses "husband."
Mr. Sapir said, "we are possessive creatures. "My husband, Bob" has the possessive pronoun, the name, and the title. Incomplete social introduction means trouble in the relationship."
She agreed to disagree as she loved the training.
The next day he was teaching on how to count the words in a statement to look for deception. He said something to the affect of, "You don't even have to count. Microsoft word will count for you" to which she said, "Oh, on the computer. My husband is on the computer all the time."
She was in the Free Editing Process, speaking for herself.
He said to her "Computer triggered the word "husband"; your husband must be cheating on you with the computer."
You may fall into an exception at any point. Don't let it derail your understanding of principle.
Egocentric view is nearsighted.
The word "but" is used to refute or minimize by comparison. If you find yourself saying,
"yes, but I..."
A little self awareness can go a long way.
We all find the "but I" somewhere in Statement Analysis.
I was raised to be a "polite liar" telling my dear aunt Polly that her blue hair was just ever so lovely. Years ago, I was faced with this uncomfortable truth about myself and set out to not be a "polite" liar. Now, when I see blue hair, I say, "it's interesting."
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