LSI, the nation's lead in analysis, says that it may be as much as 80% of files in police stations contain linguistic confessions within them, especially via the pronoun. Techniques employed to show deception yields percentages that approach or obtain 100%.
The polygraph also has a very high success rate. In the hands of an experienced polygrapher, it also can approach 100%; particularly if the pre screening interview uncovers the Personal, Subjective, Internal dictionary of the subject.
The Personal, Subjective, Internal dictionary is something we all have. This is best seen in the realm of sexual activity.
If you ask 10 people what "sex" is, you may find 10 different answers. President Clinton's famous "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" showed this very thing: he believed (and spoke of) sexual relations means "intercourse" which, he said, he did not have with Ms. Lewinsky in the White House. In fact, he may have passed a polygraph if the code was not uncovered.
This is why the pre-screening interview is so important to the polygraph. Recall the sheriff who passed the polygraph about having sex with an inmate only to confess later. He said that he was truthful: He did not have sex with her. He said, "I didn't touch her." Yet, he said, she had sex with him, through the bars (oral) but he did not touch her. A 30 minute interview, before the polygraph, would have learned what his definition of sex was.
There are exemptions from the principle that each of us has a personal, internal, subjective dictionary.
Objective time is an exemption.
This is time that is on a clock. If the small hand is on the 2 and the big hand is on the 12, it is 2:00 O'clock to each of us. This is universal.
Pronouns and Articles.
Pronouns and articles are also universal. The pronoun, "I" means the same thing to each of us, just as the pronoun, "we" does as well. Articles do not change, either.
"A" man approached me, and "the" man told me to give him my money. Once identified, the article, "a" will become "the" in language. This is also instinctive.
With pronouns and articles being instinctive, there is no confusion in truthful statements, regardless of education, culture, background, medication, or anything else. They do not change and are 100% reliable. Therefore, when pronouns (or articles) are 'confused' by the subject, deception is present.
Statement Analysis has an advantage over the polygraph as it can not only identify deception, but it can show where information is withheld in a statement.
Statement Analysis and the Polygraph are excellent tools within an investigation that can guide investigators to the truth.
What of psychics?
For me, this is a fascinating part of human nature. Percentages of success of psychics, under various names and titles, is said to be anywhere from less than 1% to microscopic percentages far less than 1%.
In the investigation into the disappearance of a child, police may end up following 500 or 600 "psychic tips" phoned or emailed in and find that of the 500 tips, not a single one panned out. .05% or less success?
Yet, the public's fascination and gullibility continues. Is this part of a greater problem of the dumbing down of the American public, a la the Casey Anthony jury?
The "Science Channel"has "pumpkin chucking"
The "Learning Channel" has an overweight indulged and spoiled child call Honey Boo Boo
The "History Channel" has "Pawn Stars"
Recently, I was asked about psychics.
Many people love to believe that they have 'psychic' abilities. I was asked to look into possible deception of a person communicating with a psychic. I asked, "Why would a psychic need me to discern deception since she claims to 'read' the minds of people?"
How many anonymous posts do we end up having that say something along these lines:
"I had this terrible feeling and sure enough, the phone rang and my husband was in a car accident..."?
I liken it this way:
If you are a parent, you likely have thousands of worrisome thoughts with each passing hour. Eventually, something in this life goes wrong, and...bingo! You think you had a 'premonition'; that is, an access to information outside the laws of nature, when it is more likely that as the worrisome thoughts went by, the timing of an accident correlated with the thoughts.
One day I was driving late at night when Heather called me and urged me to put on my seatbelt, which I then did to pacify her. Two hours later she was at the scene to find me on the ground, with a broken rib from my air bag, after hitting a deer.
She frets often and the timing worked out. She is not "psychic" and doesn't believe that she was able to supernaturally access information kept from her sensory perception. It seems that today, the more ignorant we become, the more superstitious we become, as everyone and their mother has "psychic" abilities.
"Psychics" prey upon the vulnerable.
When a "psychic" speaks or writes, the words do not come from memory and Statement analysis indicates this, given enough sample to work from.
"I see darkness, and water...and it is cold and lonely..." is said at each missing child. "Tall grass, no wait, someone is crying..." and other such vagueness.
If an investigative tool was only 10% successful, (making it 90% failure), we'd not invest our time and energy into learning it.
Yet, fearful of that one tip of "water, darkness, lonely..." hitting the press, police are forced to expend time and resources chasing down every tip of a psychic.
For me, it is deception, but it is also cruel.
Chronic pain patients are vulnerable. Living hourly in pain is something, thankfully, most people do not experience, but those who do often do not have the satisfaction of knowing that the pain will fade "in an hour" or "by bedtime" as it is chronic. Therefore, the lack of hope makes them open to all sorts of snake oil and fake means and they run to and fro trying anything to gain relief.
How much more so for those who suffer the pain of a missing child?
It is very difficult to put ourselves into the shoes of a missing parent, emotionally, so we must rely upon logic and cases that show innocency on the part of the parent. Desiree Young, mother of missing 7 year old, Kyron Horman, is such an example. They help us understand "the expected" responses from the truthful and innocent, while Deborah Bradley, mother of missing Baby Lisa, helps us see the "unexpected"; that is, what a deceptive person, who is specifically deceptive about what happened, does and says.
To the innocent parent, the missing child is 'outside' the control and protection of the parent. The parent's natural God-given instincts are inflamed. A mother, for example, might throw herself in the path of a speeding car to protect her child, or fight a man twice her size should it mean her life or the child's life. This is the natural instinct of a mother.
Because of this instinct, there is a desperation from a feeling of impotence; a feeling that frustrates the mother to the core of her being: her child is in the hands of a stranger and she cannot find him.
It is, perhaps, beyond what words can describe.
It is at this moment, when the mother is at the most vulnernable that she possibly can be, that those who wish to be considered of consequence, descend like a vulture, upon the mother and say incredibly cruel things that give her false hope. "Your son is alive and he told me, don't give up hope, mommy!" and other lies.
These lies are not innocent.
These lies may be the second most hurtful thing the mother may experience in her life; secondly only to the loss of the child.
Analysis can show that the words are lies as they do not come from memory. Yet, the mother is so desperate for even the slightest bit of hope, that she grabs on to it.
With the millions of people who claim to talk to the dead or missing, can it be that not a single one can tell Desiree where Kyron is?
Yet, the "learning" channel will give one her own TV show. The rise of the internet has given rise to a mass army of psychics.
Why should we have Search and Rescue Dog training if we have 10,000 'psychics' on Facebook? Surely one of them can tell us where Hailey Dunn is, right?
As if a person with an extreme psychological need to be 'different' or 'special' can't get lower than telling the parent of a missing child something, they have found a way to be even more immoral:
They charge money.
When a psychic contacts me, the first thing I generally note is the passivity of voice.
"I've been asked to look into the disappearance of..."
"I've been asked" is passive and it seeks to conceal identity. I ask, "Who asked you?"
Next is, "I have been in contact with the police..." as the word "with" between "I" and "police" shows distance. I ask, "did the police contact you? If so, I'd like to talk to the officer."
If we take 500 people to guess where a body is, 1 may hit on it, regardless of any claims of 'psychic' or 'intuitive' knowledge.
It is unscientific, shows deception, and has an incredible failure rate, yet, people still love stories of it, just as they love ghost stories.
The snake oil practice remains the same, even when the language becomes more sophisticated, or the means now include digital technology.
Body Language Analysis.
Body language analysis and micro expression study have principles in which they follow. Many body language analysts recognize a need for a "base line" of behavior. With enough video, for example, they can highlight certain movements (hand to mouth) that appear during sensitive questions. Although it does not rise to the level of success of the polygraph or statement analysis, body language analysis is still a valuable tool in investigations. Unlike the psychic world claims, body language analysis is applicable (with the proper reference point) case after case.
If body language analysis had a 99.9% failure rate, we'd never use it. With a failure rate of 99.999% plus, psychics continue to deceive yet gain media spotlight, which eventually leads to the fleecing of the vulnerable and/or the gullible. The body language analyst studies, and seeks to help. The one claiming to be a 'psychic' has a deep psychological need to be seen as "special" and "unique."
Statement analysis is taught and can be learned by anyone so inclined. Though some of us are born with more musical talent or athletic talent than others, the trombone can be taught to anyone, just as throwing a ball through a hoop can be taught to anyone. Body language analysis can be learned by any of us, just as statement analysis can be. It is only 'psychic' powers that one must be "self anointed" and "unique."
I don't pity the psychologically damaged individual who claims to be a 'psychic' and exploits money from others, just because they crave to be of consequence. I save my pity for the victims of these deceivers who prey upon their victims without mercy.