Friday, October 24, 2014
Reporting That Which One Did Not See
When one reports what one did not see nor hear, it is to be flagged for deception. We have seen many such examples, but today we have a twist.
Truthful people report what they did see and what they did hear. When someone offers, in an open statement, what they did not see or hear, it is often an indication of deception.
"I didn't see anyone run across my driveway."
This often comes out when one is using many sentences in order to persuade, rather than truthfully report. The above now introduces the topic of some individual, running, and across the caller's driveway. (this ended up being a guilty caller in a false robbery claim)
A reader here had the occasion to call 911 and said, "I think I just reported what I did not see! I am not deceptive."
Here is the call:
911: What is your emergency?
Caller: "There is a car broken down on the side of Interstate 41, on the southbound lane, near exit 41."
911: Was anybody hurt?
Caller: "I didn't see any people."
You will notice two important things:
1. The caller did not offer what she did not see in an open statement; it was in response to a question.
2. The caller did not enter the language of the 911 operator. The 911 operator said "anybody", but the caller said, "people."
What caused the change in language?
I questioned the caller who revealed that she is a caring person and gets upset when she sees anyone hurt. She knew, early in life, she could never be a nurse.
For her, "anybody" is "people", and it is "people" that get injured.
There is a justification for her change of language; she was upset and concerned, even about not seeing anyone, as she was driving by quickly, and was concerned about possible injury. She even has the tendency to want to turn away, for fear of seeing someone injured.
Truthful people report what they have seen and heard. Deceptive people will add what they did not see nor hear, if it propagates the deception.
Yet, when asked a direct question, such as "Did you see anyone run across your driveway?", the response would be appropriate. In the above case, the deceptive caller, nervous about the ruse, offered it without being asked, and was deceptive.