Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sensitivity and Weakness

  1. the state or condition of lacking strength.
    "the country's weakness in international dealings"
    synonyms:frailty, feebleness, enfeeblement, fragilitydelicacyMore
    • a quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault.
      plural noun: weaknesses
      "you must recognize your product's strengths and weaknesses"
      synonyms:faultflawdefectdeficiency, weak point, failingshortcoming, weak link,imperfectionAchilles heelfoible
      "he has worked on his weaknesses"
    • a person or thing that one is unable to resist or likes excessively.
      "you're his one weakness—he should never have met you"

As principles are learned, it is easy to jump ahead to a conclusion.  Staying out of the "oops" category is not difficult if:

1.  You never draw a conclusion or...

2.  You are careful in your conclusion.

Some will simply avoid saying, "this person is deceptive" when it is the very reason they've been called upon to analyze.  There are lots of times when there is not enough sample to work from, but at some point, especially in an interview, a conclusion should be made from the transcripts.

As one is careful in consideration, we are able to say such things as "we do not conclude deception on a single indicator" as well as build up a theme within a statement.

A caveat is what to do with a sensitivity indicators.

"Listen to me, I have to tell you something important..." and on comes the information sought.

Looking strictly at the two sensitivity indicators that precede the relevant information (missing from this statement for the purpose of the lesson), one might say "the subject is deceptive" and be right, but also may be wrong.

Sometimes sensitivity indicators are not indicators of deception, and sometimes they are not even indicators of weakness.

1.  "Listen to me"
2. "something important"

It may be that the information that follows is sensitive because it is untrue, or because it is deliberately misleading.

But what if the subject is the "boy who cried wolf"?  What if the subject is finally telling the truth after bluffing previously?

Or, better still:

What if the subject does not think he is going to be believed?

And on to the next step going upwards:

What if the subject knows the critical information is critical and must not be missed?  What if the persuasion is necessary because the recipient is dull of understanding?

This leads us to the bigger picture.  Step back, perhaps several steps, and ask:

What is the context of this statement?

What if it is in a board meeting in which the subject has been struggling to get the board of directors to take seriously a threat to their business and has consistently focused upon tangents and have wasted time?


What if it is the statement of a liar, who is obviously struggling to get his deceptive point across?

It is one sentence and there may be good reason for the sensitivity indicators and it may not necessarily be deception.

There are times when the analyst must say, "I have concerns, but I do not have enough for a conclusion" and not jump.

This is not a license to avoid the conclusion of the matter when the conclusion suggests itself, but it is a "stop sign" from which, "stop, yield, and proceed with caution" is best advised.

That's different from a red light.


John Mc Gowan said...

This quote jumped into my mind straight away.

But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false.”

Anonymous said...

missing ...found!

Sus said...

I'm glad you posted this. I transcribed and analyzed Dorian Johnson's first media statement, the one from the street. Dorian Johnson is the witness to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Dorian Johnson's statement comes off deceptive, especially surrounding two time periods...the struggle at the car and Michael Brown's last actions.

But, I have been thinking about the context. They just robbed a store, they were high according to the autopsy, and Dorian Johnson had prior troubles with the law and a warrent out on him. Although it seems Dorion Johnson is trying to convince his audience, I wonder if he is instead fearful his audience will not believe him as opposed to the police.

It's something I'm pondering.

Anonymous said...

That's when it can get tricky. There can be deception, but it might be for a different reason.

In this case, I think Dorion Johnson is just deceptive all around (for more than one reason).

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