That is a lot of female in one household and basically works out to having eight mothers. If females have a greater emotional capacity due to nature's gift benefiting childrearing, it is likely that I was influenced by this very thing: empathy.
If men are from mars and women from venus, or the other way around, and actually think differently, than it is also true that in doing anonymous letter work, gender can be determined by language because, after all, our speech reveals us. Even the most PC hardened under a threat, will want to know the identify of the one bringing terror and will not want to hear nonsense about not wanting to identify gender: the need to know means clarity is desired.
I admit to struggling in interviewing females. My nature is protective and this is particularly engaged if the woman has been abused. It can be a struggle to remain objective.
I was asked an honest question by a journalist about the news story where a Chicago mother had her son murdered in Chicago in a gang related shooting, where the mother started a Go Fund Me campaign and purchased a 2015 new car with the money, claiming her son would have wanted her to have it and that she needs it because she lives in fear.
That she lives in fear is likely truthful; not due to language, but her setting, but did she buy the car out of fear is a different question, which stands above another question:
Did she use Go Fund Me to raise money for his funeral, or for her own self?
If she used the Go Fund Me to raise money for herself, and not the funeral expense, as claimed, fraud is involved and deception will show up in the language.
The journalist gave an honest self assessment: she has a heart for parents.
This is something that journalists, like investigators in police, security, insurance, as well as counselors, attorneys, therapists, businessmen and women, and, in short, anyone else who desires formal training in lie detection must not lose.
Cynicism leads to poor results in training.
The system that sets the stage for discernment is one of presuppositional thinking. Presuppositional thinking is something we all do, and is often used in apologetics. For example:
"Do you think it is wrong for one person to walk up the street and slap another person in the face?" to which the subject responds with "yes" or "of course" or something similar.
The subject is then asked,
"Why do you believe it is wrong?"
This is a far more important question than a surface glance reveals. Thoughtful people will pause and seek to learn the source of their decision. Some will hesitate with, "it's what my internal moral compass dictates" to which is then asked:
"What is your moral compass based upon?"
Now, we have the thoughtful subject engaged. When one says, "It is common knowledge that is is unacceptable" he is challenged with those who are "uncommon", and if he says, "It is a known community standard that it is not acceptable " he is then taken to 1938 Berlin where this slap would be very much a widely accepted standard of the community should the slapped face belong to a Jew.
It is good to think.
Erica Morse's question about fear (she posted it on Facebook) is such a question; intelligent and probing. She is not challenging analysis nor posing an agenda or narrative, but asking a question worth consideration. Yes, it is 'laughable' to listen to the profanity laced rant of a woman who's own words are related to child abuse, and ironic to see the father than rush to Go Fund Me to pay for a funeral of which neither of them would pay a penny towards.
She wasn't looking at irony, selfishness, or greed: a child has been murdered.
I used Erica's question to open up a topic, but then decided to do an article instead. As I urge Erica to stay kindhearted and sympathetic and, in this sense, "gullible" not simply for moral reasons ("so, Peter, why do you think it is moral to give the woman from Chicago the benefit of the doubt...?"), though it is important to me, but for "scientific reasons" instead.
Cynics do poorly on "lie detection" tests, and cynics do poorly in formal training. They begin the training with "one foot in the bucket" and only the most self aware and self honest are able to overcome this powerful trait.
Some patrol officers are cynics simply because they spend more than 40 hours a week either at a front door, a street corner, or standing next to a vehicle and in all three scenarios, they are doing, at times, dozens and dozens of "on the fly" interviews per day and they hear, quite literally, dozens and dozens of deceptive responses per day, every day, every week, every month, and every year of their careers.
It is very difficult for patrol to not develop cynicism towards the world, which is directly related to statistics on substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, and generalized anxiety (and hopelessness) among police.
The secondary and tertiary trauma are far greater than any single event trauma most may face. The event trauma is dealt with via processing, but each day seeing, at times, the base elements of humanity, breaking up fights, hearing people curse and abuse one another, and so on, is similar to what Child Protective Caseworkers experience yet with one critical difference:
On average, the Child Protective Caseworker (mostly licensed social workers) does investigatory work for two years. This is the most cited national average given. In the investigatory stage, in a given case, the CPS investigator will interview:
a. two children
b. two parents
c. two significant others to the two parents
d. four grandparents
e. extended family
g. medical professionals
i. support team
Then, the CPS worker must document, depending upon which state and which requirement, the entire interview, sometimes transcribed, but rarely ever permissible in short summaries.
The worker may conduct 20 interviews in each case. The pace is overwhelming and in cases of severe abuse, neglect or exploitation, a decision that is life changing, must be made based upon these interviews, along with physical evidence (which requires a doctor's written opinion) and the production of an affidavit, clearing outlining the danger to the child, along with mandated proof that every possible family member has been explored for placement.
This is often a decision that has a very intrusive ticking clock to it, with 48 total hours being the widest possible range, with 6 hours being the time frame from the point of the crucial decision to the presentation of an affidavit to a judge, who, off hours, must be located and, perhaps, awakened in the middle of the night.
The pressure is intense, but it does not match the impact of seeing, close up, the abuse of a child.
This was Erica's point: the child is dead and the mother may be afraid for her own life. Whether or not it fits the language is another answer, but the empathy over a lost child is there, and the desire to believe the truth is there.
The CPS worker will most often "move over" to a similar position but no longer in "the trenches" of directly confronting abusive parents and actually removing a child. It is a few short moments of intense fear and emotion where the honest worker cannot help but wonder if the removal will save a life, or emotionally destroy it. The CPS worker will thus, after two years, take a position where he or she now works with children or parents after the investigation. Stressful? Yes, but nothing like the front line. The front line, even for those who are armed, still puts them not only in harm's way, but in positions of seeing, up close and personal, the abuse of children.
The same worker can be paralyzed with fear over making the decision to leave the child in the home, only to have the child come to serious injury or death.
If one, for example, associates with drugs, by virtue of the drug trade, the child is in danger.
The CPS worker moves on to a 'safer' position while the patrol officer, par on salary, or perhaps even less, continues to be in the front lines of inhumanity and also see the child abuse cases.
Exercise and taking care of oneself is critical given this level of stress.
It is easy to see why one would become cynical but here in is the lesson:
Successful lie detection is about recognizing the use of wording in such a way as to be alerted while listening to something that has caught your attention above the rest of the words used.
Or, as intuitive people say, "it feels awkward" or "it sounds hinky" or "off" to me.
This is true.
When someone speaks from experiential memory upon being asked, "What happened?", the words will connect them to the event.
When someone is asked, "What happened?" and considers that the truthful answer will result in my arrest, the person opens his mouth, accessing his brain, but must disrupt the speed of processing (measured in less than a millisecond of time where the brain chooses the words, syntax, etc) because critical wording must be avoided.
How does this sound?
It often sounds...
"Doesn't pass the straight face test" (not my favorite as strange or unusual events do not fit into the science of Statement Analysis, including coincidence).
But, if the deceptive subject is a pathological liar, that is, one who has been successful at deception since childhood, there is less and less awkward feel to it. Therefore, more concrete discernment is needed.
The Expected Versus The Unexpected In Language
This is called "the expected" in language where the lie detector presupposes the person did not "do it" and presupposes that the person will tell the truth, and holds to a certain expectation of language.
When the lie detector does not hear what was expected, the lie detector is now made to pause to consider why he or she did not hear the expected wording.
In other words, by presupposing truth, the lie detector is allowing herself to be "confronted" and "interrupted" by the deceptive subject's wording.
There are several ways to mis-set the standard of "expectation" in language. If one does not have a basic understanding of human nature, it will backfire terribly on them, but here I limit myself to:
This is a part of the personality where it is presupposed that most everyone is lying (for some, "everyone" is lying, not "most everyone."
Since this is presupposed, there is no "confrontation" that is allowed to take place, nor is there an "interruption" in the flow because the expected and received match.
It is in the "mismatch" that we catch our liar.
To catch a liar, we have to have a disruption in the flow of processing: not only a disruption in the flow of processing of language by the subject, but in the flow of processing the information that we hear from the subject!
"a, b, c" is truth.
If someone says "a, b, c", in this order, he is telling you the truth.
If you expect to hear "a, b, c" but hear "a, c, b", you are 'startled', 'disrupted', 'confronted', and feel 'awkward' like, "something is just not right."
But what if you think that everyone says "a, c, b" or "b, c, a"?
If you cynically expect, "b, c, a..." and you hear, "b, c, a", there is no "confrontation", nor "disruption" nor "mismatch" and deception is not indicated. You have no interruption in the flow of processing the words that enter your ears (or eyes) to signal you to a higher alert status.
Without this "high alert status", there is no detecting deception.
Since 2009, I have trained many "gullible" investigators, successfully, and it posed no additional challenge.
Since 2009, I have had some very highly cynical investigators attend training and it was a struggle for both them, and for myself.
If you wish for success in lie detection training you must enter the training, and then enter each and every exercise with the presuppositional thinking that:
1. The person did not do it.
2. The person is truthful, sentence by sentence.
With the overwhelming majority of deception via withheld information, the "worst case scenario" is this:
The person will tell you the truth, line by line, only leaving out the fact that he did it. You are left with many lines of truthful sentences of which to guide the investigation and the upcoming interview.
We need more "gullible" journalists like Erica who approach believing, yet move forward, asking questions, seeking answers, and learning. Questioning even the emotion behind statements, and the reality of the context is an important part of the analysis conclusion. It is part of the "greater" and "lesser" context of a statement.
Those who see deception everywhere can not only fail in Statement Analysis, but can pervert justice, and bring disrepute to our science, and harm one's department's reputation.
The most common example of this is found in this tragic account of Kevin Fox and the inability of an investigator and a lawyer to exercise discernment. Its human and financial cost were extreme. Please take a moment to read of Kevin's plight. We can only guess at his suffering.
Our science can and must withstand rigorous and healthy skepticism.
If you or your department or company is interested in training, please visit our website here for personal training or seminars.