Tuesday, September 9, 2014
"I Don't Remember" in An Open Statement
by Peter Hyatt
"I don't remember" in a court case is, according to Lie To me's author, Dr. Paul Ekman, the number one lie told under oath.
However, in an open statement, it is something else:
In the free editing process, the subject is speaking freely, choosing his own words outside the influence of the interviewer. In this open statement, the words "I don't remember" are a signal that information is being suppressed by the subject.
A. Because in an open statement, the subject can only tell us what he remembers. When he uses "I don't remember" or "I forgot", he is concealing information from us. The interview process means:
taking note of where, in the story, this entered, and asking appropriate questions, focusing upon that time period of suppressed information.
If he says, in the open statement, that he was drunk and does not know something, he again is saying "I don't remember" while he should only be telling us what he does remember, therefore, it is a signal that he is surpressing information.
"I don't remember" or "I don't recall" is appropriately used when a specific question is asked. There are lots of things we do not remember, including what we had for lunch a week ago last Tuesday.
It is when the subject is speaking freely and brings up the issue on his own. This is what one does not remember, stating openly.
How can we know what we do not remember?
Let's go back to our lunch issue.
In the open statement, the subject should tell us what he remembers. What if someone is freely speaking about his day last week and says that he does not remember what he had for lunch, even though he was not asked?
You might be able to picture this.
You might be able to say "I did such and such, but I don't remember what I did for lunch...and then..."
In the interview, I would pounce on the lunch period because the subject brought it up, indicating that it was on his mind, but then, in an open statement, declared not remembering.
I did not ask, "What did you have for lunch?" therefore, why is it important to the subject?
It is important and my interview will find out the reason why...I would focus my interview, not so much on lunch, but upon the time frame that the subject is referencing, to learn what information is 'leaking' from his brain.