For example, wine testing and high end audio testing are two areas in which recent developments are of particular interest, and then how this applies to Statement Analysis.
Does expensive wine really taste better than moderately priced wine?
Does wine taste better in crystal than in plain glass?
Does a $2000 cable sound better than a $20 cable?
From AVguy blog:
"Robin Goldstein conducted over 6000 wine tastings with over 500 people including many wine experts who work in the industry. He discovered when people know the prices of the wines they clearly prefer more expensive wines. But when the the same wines are served “blind” (anonymously), the votes reverse and they express a strong preference for the least expensive wines.
Goldstein exposed one of the most prestigious sources of wine ratings in the world, Wine Spectator, as arguably having their awards up for sale. He created a fictitious restaurant with a wine list featuring poorly reviewed wines with descriptions like “bug spray” and “barnyard”. Then, after paying the appropriate fee, his fake restaurant managed to score a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Goldstein argues organizations like Wine Spectator do not provide the sort of unbiased advice many anticipate. He also concluded their ratings have a heavy commercial and financial component the public is largely unaware of. It’s alarmingly analogous to high-end audio including the questionable awards. For those into podcasts check out the NPR story on Goldstein and wine myths . He’s also written a book on the subject called The Wine Trials. (photo: heatherontravels)
TASTE WRONG: How can the same people, taste the same wines in two different tastings, and rate them completely differently? The is our senses are not nearly as reliable as we think. In this case what’s known as expectation bias caused the wine tasters to perceive the wines differently. They expected the more expensive wines to taste better so their brains filtered their perception of taste to help deliver the expectation. But when they didn’t know anything about the wines, they couldn’t have any expectations, hence the bias was removed. I’ll explain more shortly but this is also critical to what we hear."
When blind or 'double blind' testing is done, the forums may delete the links to the test results. It is because, for example, in headphones, there can be a huge difference between quality as the headphones go up in price, but this then levels off, where outrageously priced earphones ($3500) are not picked out in blind testing over $150 ones. Whereas the sound difference and build quality between $50 headphones and $500 headphones is great, once they reach elite levels, the differences are not discerned, for example, between $700 headphones and $3000 headphones unless the people testing them know which are the more expensive ones.
This is common to many such items sold and it helps to read advertising through the lens of analysis. Why?
Because there is an author behind the scenes who is writing, revealing himself.
I recently went to purchase batteries that had nine 5 star (out of 5) reviews giving them a perfect score. I noted the language of each review was the same. The reviews were shill. I passed on the batteries. It falls into propaganda and "need to persuade" categories. They may be good and just unknown, but the company has a need to employ shill reviews, which leaves me unwilling to take a gamble and purchase from them.
In Statement Analysis, "expectation bias" is something that can be pre screened, and it is in training that those who will fail in this matter will fail for a specific reason.
The most powerful bias, however, is the basic understanding and belief about human nature that can disqualify one from analysis.
A misguided view of human nature will cause expectation that will not lead to discernment of deception. It will fail to properly assert what is expected in language, because it does not properly understand what humans are most likely to do and what they are most likely to say under various scenarios.
In going "backwards", reversing analysis, the same 'miss' will fail to see what type personality says and does certain things.
Although there are various bias elements within expectation, it is very rare to overcome this particular error. Our belief regarding human nature not only impacts what we expect people to do, and subsequently what people will say, but it impacts how we view life, death, marriage, work, how we raise our children, what methods of instruction we consider best, and even down to how we view politics today and how we vote.
Over the years, I have known only 2 investigators who 'overcame' their initial bias to move on to successful analysis. Both overcame the bias very slowly, naturally, case by case, study by study, and it was due to strong enthusiasm and initial shocking success. They could not deny that the analysis was correct and because of this, they were willing to allow others to criticize their work which was consistently found 'off' in its early stage of "expectation" and application. Both were so impressed with accuracy that they abandoned long held beliefs, slowly and through application. They did a lot of self analysis and talked a great deal about surprises found within their own language. Both above average in intelligence, and both with self confidence and humility in balance.
There are several different types of analysts who do this work and some of these categories are not mutually exclusive, but bleed over one to another.
1. Instructor only
These are those who simply teach and may or may not have a disconnect from investigatory work, as they remain in theory only, without preparation for the interview based upon the analysis.
2. Analysts who investigate.
These are professionals who are wearing 'two' and sometimes even 'three hats', including polygraph examiners. These are dedicated professionals who often log many unpaid hours to obtain truth, well outside their own work weeks, and who even attend trainings at their own personal expense.
3. Analysts who submit their work to investigators. This includes federal analysts who assist in local investigations by submitting analysis and specific questions for investigators. They will analyze a statement and then send not only their conclusions, but specific questions to guide the investigators.
4. Analysts who include psychological profiling.
These are rare and are sought out particular for anonymous author identification and who often present the most detailed and purpose driven questions for investigators. Please note that some who are full time investigators do actually go this deep into analysis.
When statements are submitted for analysis, little, and some rims no information is provided. What is needed is:
*What is the purpose of the statement?
This is the allegation that caused the statement to be written.
The only other information needed is:
a. If the statement is contaminated. This is where the investigator first "talked with" the subject and then sought a statement. In these cases, it is best to set aside the statement and not do any in depth analysis.
b. If the subject's first language is used.
c. If the subject has acute mental retardation, adult autism, or developmental disabilities, including extreme mental illness, such as one hearing voices, or seeing visions. Analysis is still done, but the analysis is different: Some of it is specifically done to separate fact from fantasy, and it can be done.
No other information is provided.
This 'blind analysis' may even include:
No reading of the statement prior to analysis.
In some cases, a group of analysts will show up and be handed a statement 'cold', and asked to work it live, and think out loud. This is stressful but strongly productive, and it is essential in weeding out 'expectation bias', where the person 'experts' something that may not fit the category.
The analysis of a statement without the case file does have an impressive impact upon analysts.
It is rewarding for them to work through a statement, void of all information from the case file, write up their conclusions only to learn just how accurate their findings were, particularly about small facts of the case.
The impact is powerful.
It helps analysts recognize the scientific aspect to the work, while the artistic cannot be denied; particularly when the psychological profile is a match with the formally done psychological evaluation in the case file.
The confirmation from polygraphs is also strong, but not quite to the level of a confession or admission.
When an analyst has the inevitable confrontation versus the untrained, especially the analyst-investigator, nothing justifies his work more than the signed written confession.
There is no pushback from the opposition, where even a polygraph may not persuade some.
The confession, replete with detail, fuels the analyst on in his work.
He sees others, from other parts of the country, with other training and investigatory experience, be given the same statement and submit the same results, though with varying levels of depth, as to their own finding, and the case is eventually resolved in the signed confession or admission:
There is something deeply satisfying within the realm of justice that surpasses everything else about their careers. It reminds them of what called them to this field in the first place.