analysis by Peter Hyatt
Here is is in its entirety, followed by emphasis and analysis:
"I was walking to the store to buy cigarettes when a man approached me and asked me if I knew what time it was. I thought this odd because he had a cell phone and everyone has some form of time on them, even if they don't wear watches. I told him it was 3 o'clock and he said to me to give him all of the money. I was so scared so I gave the cash in my wallet to him. He left and I called 911."
"I was walking to the store to buy cigarettes when a man approached me and asked me if I knew what time it was.
1. Here, instead of telling us plainly what happened, the subject tells us why he went to the stores. "I was walking to the stores when a man asked me..." would have been best. When one tells us the reason "why" he did something, and has not been asked, it is a signal of sensitivity:
He anticipates being asked, "Why did you go to the stores?" as if it would matter. That he considers this important indicates to us the high level of sensitivity, as covered in the color coding blue.
2. "asked" is appropriately soft, or polite language. He is not being robbed at this point, but being asked about the time.
I thought this odd because he had a cell phone and everyone has some form of time on them, even if they don't wear watches.
3. Here he had an "odd" feeling, that is, to place his emotions in the perfect or logical part of the story. If this is a fresh telling of the account, it may be placed there artificially.
I told him it was 3 o'clock and
4. Note that he didn't say it was 3 o'clock, but "told" him, which is more in line with a harsher conversation.
5. Note "3"
he said to me
6. "said" should be "told"; this is a robbery, not a polite request.
to give him all of the money.
7. Why is it "the" money when it has not been identified previously? Why is it not "my" money? "The" money is money discussed. It has already been identified by the subject.
I was so scared
8. If you thought the above was more "thought" than "emotion", you now find the emotion in the heart of the story...artificial placement.
so I gave the cash in my wallet to him. He left and I called 911."
9. "so" gives us the reason he gave the "cash". Why the need to tell this?
10. "the money" has become "the cash", which is something spent.
11. "left" is missing information at the time of departure.
There are lots of signals here to conclude deception: that the subject was either not robbed, or knows the other subject.