Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Training Results 2015
Statement Analysis Training Results 2015
by Peter Hyatt
Over the past two months, I have asked analysts to go over their statements from 2015 and report back to me their results.
I asked them to include all analysis done, including:
The work with others, including their monthly training;
Analysis done in live investigations
Analysis done for co workers
Analysis done for employment hiring
Analysis done on cold cases
In short, include it all.
This is not a true "test" figure for them because their work is advantaged work, that is, work that is checked by peers or instructor, yet little of it was theoretical; it was assigned work that led to arrests, polygraphs, hiring, and so on. Thus far, the analysts range from law enforcement to human resources, to psychology and security.
All have had a base of formal training, including LSI, the FBI academy, or their state's own academy.
All have been involved in monthly, ongoing guided training.
The commitment of a minimum of two years is critical. Consider, however, how this compares to a degree, for example, in history.
If you receive a four year degree in history, you studied:
Four years, which is broken down to 8 semesters, with summer off.
In the classes, history is not studied all day, but part of other classes, which is important to overall instruction and learning.
In Statement Analysis training, the formal training is structured and, at times, intense. In the home course, the advantage of recorded lessons allows for a great deal of repetition.
This, and the Advanced Course, will involve daily work, without break, for months.
Added to this is the monthly guided training, which is 6 hours of deep, intensive concentration.
Woven through all of this is the daily practice which is often done within shared emails or text'd statements and analysis.
What of those who have studied for all of 2015?
Here are some common reactions and then the actual results:
*Initially, analysts see a marked difference from their own commentary on statements, and the general analysis here at the blog, from their own new work.
There is often a reaction that "this was harder than I thought" from the blog.
There is, for many, two moments of personal 'crisis':
a. Is where complexity arises, particularly, principles 'crashing' one into another
b. Most, if not all, experience an eye opening and often unpleasant self-analytical view. I consider this a very good sign for progress as their own honesty emerges, human empathy increases, and the analyst is better suited to enter the 'shoes' of the subject, via the statement.
Lesser critical moments include:
"I did not realize how much deception was in the world!"
"I did not realize how little outright lying is actually done."
"I cannot believe how much I did not know about liars in general."
"I can't believe I missed that!"
For all, the 'surprise' of accuracy remained. "This really works!" and "Wait'll you hear what happened!"
No one became 'accustomed' to accuracy. This is a most thrilling moment, in spite of being oft repeated.
Some of the best moments:
1. "A to Z" where analysis, polygraph and confession all come to play. This is particularly rewarding when the analysis 'reconstructed' what happened, versus the deceptive portrayal by the subject initially, causing the analyst to doubt his work, only to find out, via the confession: the entire reconstruction of what happened is "really what happened!"
2. Overcoming colleague doubt, including expert opinion.
A colleague had assured the analyst that the subject is telling the truth (particularly in a sexual assault) where the colleague is an expert in sexual crimes. Here, an analyst/investigator stood with his analysis against the opinion of experts (plural) who "knew from years of experience" that the "victim is telling the truth" and "this is exactly how a victim speaks!"
When she failed her polygraph and fessed up, the confidence in analysis went through the roof; not just for the investigator, but for others involved in the analysis, itself.
3. Overcoming opposition from superiors.
Several reported this thrilling moment in analysis. The superior says one thing but the analysis says another. The analysis was checked and checked again and in the end, it proved accurate.
4. Overcoming the Polygraph
Only one report from early 2015 faced off against the polygraph result. The analysis was so clear, however, that an arrest was affected and adjudication awaits, though a guilty plea of sorts may be entered. The polygraph error is mostly traced through examiner contamination. Unless the subject's own internal dictionary is used, errors can and will be made. Examiners trained in analysis have acute advantage as their work will produce their own internal and private data base.
For years, I had to transcribe my interviews with the psych profile at my right hand. This helped me immensely, though at the time, it seemed overwhelming.
Profiling reports are mostly that from Human Resources professionals, though in law enforcement, many interviews have a marvelous intuition which only sharpens with training, and helps with overall interview and investigative strategy.
Some notable victories include:
a. The analyst concluded that an applicant was deceptive about his history and did not hire him in spite of a great presentation and impressive resume. Later, he learned that his analysis showing "deceptively withholding information about his past" was accurate in spite of the clean background check and good references, with an out of state conviction of a serious nature. The analyst knew that there was something significant missing.
b. The analyst profiled a 'trouble maker' but was overruled by his boss and the employment proceeded. It took but a few months for the trouble maker to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The boss dismissed the analysis because he thought that there was an issue with 2nd language, but the analyst had concluded deception and was firm that the interview was such that showed the applicant was not translating words, but was, in deed, in the "free editing process" during the interview questions.
One may argue that there is no real "test" of skills since the work is constantly being checked by others.
I argue that this is not theoretical, but life and that having either peer support or professional review should be best practice and should not end.
As one analyst said, into her second year, "We don't just stop at 2 years, right?"
It will take a minimum of two years to reach the level of proficiency that will consistently maintain lie detection at 100% or very close to it, while moving deeper into "Analytical Profiling", security vetting, and Anonymous Author Identification.
Once one has reached a level of professional proficiency, the analyst so loves the work that meeting monthly for training is not so much study, but an enjoyable time of helping others, while always learning, as human nature never fails to throw new curve balls, via language, at us.
To combat the "101 -itis", I sometimes throw a simple statement to be analyzed knowing that the investigator is very likely to be wrong due to conflicting of principles in play. Yet if the 101 course has so infused him or her with zeal, it is of great value for training. I am privileged to see the work of those with decades of experience acting like school boys with a new toy, full of zeal and excitement over learning. It is contagious.
The "advantage" of peer review and professional oversight should be a norm. True testing has its role and purpose, and is useful in study, but when real defendants with real accusations are on the line, or life changing decisions are to be made, best practice is to always have the work checked.
Is he lying or telling the truth?
The results have trickled in, especially the past several weeks and it is exciting.
Consider that testing shows the general public to be no more than 50%, which is simply guess work, and rank and file law enforcement to be not much higher (criminals score better while judges do not score well)
Thus far, every analyst has reported having either 100% success, or very close to it.
To date, "contamination" continues to be cited as the cause of error, with only one analyst reporting missing the mark due to failure to balance one principle against another, which is part of the Advanced Work. We cover some hints to stop contamination and how it is still possible to do some general analysis of a contaminated statement under certain conditions.
If you wish to host a seminar, or take our course, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services for details. See what others are saying about the courses, look at the tuition costs, and some of the samples.
Successful completion of the first course allows you access to ongoing monthly training and will permit you to take the Advanced Course for the certification. If you have a professional license which requires renewal, CEUs are awarded by the University of Maine. Enrollment in any training is accompanied by 12 months of e support.
If 100% accuracy is your goal, you will need solid training, commitment, humility and support. The results are worth the effort.
If the results did not convince you, perhaps this will.