Thursday, March 5, 2015

Analytical Interviewing: Understanding Persuasion in Language


            Understanding Persuasion in Language
                                                               by Peter Hyatt

Persuasion is not necessarily a 'bad thing' in analysis.  We all hope to persuade others, whether it is to order a pizza tonight, instead of General Tso's chicken, or an issue of historical importance.

There are techniques within "Analytical Interviewing" that are powerful tools of persuasion.

This is something that is necessary in learning the truth about what happened.  I, as the Interviewer, wish to persuade the subject (the interviewee) to not only tell me the truth, but tell me a great deal of information.

I want him to be truthful about what happened.

I want him to tell me the truth, the whole truth, and not leave out any truth in order to deceive me.  Therefore, I must persuade him.

I will, therefore, utilize simple phraseology to facilitate the flow of information.
I will, therefore, not interrupt the subject, in order to facilitate the flow of information.
I will even allow him to 'control' the interview, in spite of training to the contrary, knowing that as he chooses his words, I am getting information that may help me, even if it takes longer than usual.
I will allow him to speak, freely choosing his own words, so that my vocabulary exerts minimal influence over the words he chooses.
I will keep a "poker face", if interviewing in person, to the best of my ability, no matter how I am emotionally impacted by the words spoken, in order to continue the flow of information from him to me.

I do so to get to the truth.

The truth protects the innocent and brings justice to the guilty.

There is something to learn here that is explained in far more detail in seminars.

Each one of us has our own internal, subjective, personal, dictionary.  As the average adult has, perhaps, 30,000 words, almost all of them are subjective.  The exception is:

Time as measured by a clock.

When one reports what has happened, we do not expect a need to persuade and often find this need, itself, as weakness.  If the subject repeatedly returns to the need to persuade, rather than report, we must question why this is.

Is it that he is lying?
Is it that he does not think he will be believed?

We find a non-so-phenomenal phenomena in language:  Husbands and wives, once married for a long time, often "enter into each other's personal dictionary" in speech.

We see this when they not only finish each other's sentences, or communicate to each other without words, but if we listen carefully enough, in each other's specific words chosen, phrases chosen, and even syntax of words chosen.

This is a major key to understanding how to conduct an Analytical Interview.

An Analytical Interview is one in which:

Information is passed from subject to Interviewer;
Legally sound;
Controlled by the subject;

and allows the subject's own words to guide us.

It is legally sound in that it protects the innocent by not feeding words (leading questions) nor suggestions.

But there is something that is so utterly powerful about this interview process (when trained) that becomes, by itself, strongly persuasive, so much so, that the world's best salesman and saleswomen seem to do it intuitively.

It is related to both marriage and analytical interviewing and is something that, in the wrong hands, can cause much danger in the realm of exploitation.

What is it?

It is taught in the seminar, and although it is quickly recognized with "wow!" commentary, we must practice it, hands on, with boundaries set up.

What is it?


Why is it so powerful that I have added a caveat?

Put your thoughts in the comments section...


Anonymous said...

off topic; will you please analyze Kurt Busch Nascar not facing domestic abuse charges case? who is telling the truth??

Apple said...

Caring/ kindness?

Sus said...

You must get in the mind of the person you're interviewing, see the world through their eyes.

Sara said...

Make the subject/spouse believe that you are like them. You are in sync. People in sync will naturally mirror the other. You can do this mirroring on purpose, to give the illusion of being similar. But, not just body language, speech tone, volume, vernacular, rate of speech, rate of breathing (watch their shoulders to gage their rate of breathing and match it), and so on and so on. In relationships, be observant, then mirror. For example, program your radio/phone/iPod to the same stations, bands, genre. What brands of food do they buy? Buy them too. Clothing brands too. Be as alike as possible without being obvious or creepy. Remember Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? Yeah, exactly.

Sus said...

You're right, Sara. That's it. That's what a narcissist does to catch their prey. You think you've met your soul mate, when really you've met yourself.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic:

This interview is interesting from a perspective of statement analysis; it's got some huge red flags.

You are on the air, who is this?

This is Mark Redwine.

Oh hello Mark Redwine, well we have 3 minutes left in the show.
I’d like to know what you have to say.

Well I mean you know I think that I disagree with a lot of what Elaine says,..mmm…I’m certainly not running from her, law enforcement or anybody else….mmm…Caller Rodney is probably the reason why the sheriff’s department has added additional patrols to my house… know the bottom line is, this isn’t about me, this is about my son, and my son is still missing and until we find his remains and have a better opportunity to determine his cause of death, I think that we’re all talking in circles right now.

And do you mind sharing with the listeners, Mark, and again I wanna let everyone out here know this is Mark Redwine, this is the father of slain child Dylan Redwine,
Do you mind sharing with the listeners, what do you think happened to your son, sir?

I don’t know what happened to my son. I have absolutely no idea what happened to my son, I have no idea where he’s at. Or where his remains are at
What I can tell you is that he was very much alive when I went to run my errands that i had to do the morning that I … that he disappeared. And he was last seen alive by me. So you know I don’t know I don’t know what else I can say to you people. Obviously the sheriff’s departement doesn’t have any evidence to support a crime has been committed or I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you on the phone right now.

I understand Mark, I have another question for you. Have you ever offered to take another polygraph test to clear you name?

I have not refused to take another polygraph test.

Have you ever offered?

I haven’t offered, no.

Do you think, do you not agree that it would clear your name if you offered and took another attempt to taking a lie detector test?

Well I don’t know that I do agree with that, Chelsea, to be honest with you. I think that you know taking a polygraph test is only a tool that is used by law enforcement and in my opinion [?]

OK I guess we can just agree with that it is just a tool and that it’s not admissable in court. I only have 30 seconds left in the show, so I want to thank you for calling and the next time I do do a show and I want to invite you to come and talk.
Would you be wiling to do that?

Well, I‘ll be honest with you Chelsea, I don’t know that this is a proper venue to have for his kind of thing but you know the fact is that I very much care about my son and I very much like everybody else wants to know where he is, because if anything, he needs, he deserves to be laid to rest. And I am a firm believer in that and I don’t think until we get to that point that anybody should be out pointing fingers. At anybody. But that’s my opinion.

Anonymous said...

What I can tell you is that he was very much alive when I went to run my errands that i had to do the morning that I … that he disappeared. And he was last seen alive by me. So you know I don’t know I don’t know what else I can say to you people. Obviously the sheriff’s departement doesn’t have any evidence to support a crime has been committed or I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you on the phone right now.


GetThem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GetThem said...

I watch MSNBC on weekend nights and it shows different prisons and interviews with prisoners. I once noticed that prisoners on death row responded very well and look more relaxed when they heard the interviewer say something like this in a calm voice:

1. "Thank you for talking to me, I want to make sure that I have your permission and to hear what you will tell me. I want you to know, that I don't believe in the death penalty."

One they heard that last sentence, the look on their face changed and they spilled everything. Somehow, now, the interviewer gained respect or maybe the prisoner got the feeling that someone was "on their side" whether that was actually true or not. That made the prisoners feel like they could talk.

It seemed they needed to feel like someone was on their side even if they may have felt slightly suspicious at the start of an interview. The interviewee probably continues to gain trust in the interviewer while they tell their story because they notice no judgement in the interviewer's facial expressions and also because they are not interrupted. Maybe not being interrupted makes them feel like the interviewer is silently agreeing with them (even though that is not necessarily true).

Common ground? Because the interviewer should automatically believe the person is innocent at the start of the interview so that should put them on level footing.

I look forward to hearing more!!

Thank you!

Anon "I" said...

How about "I want to understand your side of the story?" You truly want to know what they think happened and the whys and wherefores, etc. and their possible motivations...

Also, on Mark Redwine, he says he "I don’t know what happened to my son. I have absolutely no idea what happened to my son, I have no idea where he’s at. Or where his remains are at..."
Remains: He knows he is dead.

Anon "I" said...

Or, reeactments.... with parameters in place...

Anonymous said...

"Obviously the sheriff’s departement doesn’t have any evidence to support a crime has been committed or I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you on the phone right now."

I think this pretty much says it all.

Unknown said...

Entering into the subject's language/mimicking the actions of the subject? Showing empathy?

I'm having a hard time putting into words what I'm's too early for me!

John Mc Gowan said...

Rapport/Empathy, mirroring etc. In language and Body Language is and can be very powerful in the hands of both good and bad.

Anonymous said...


John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

Prosecutor to seek charge against Georgia police chief who shot wife in bed

Unknown said...

Hi John,

"Reckless misconduct", for almost killing his wife, and leaving her paralyzed. Sad.

Interesting quote from DA:

"I can't see any intent to hurt her. He didn't have any motive," District Attorney Scott Ballard told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"I can't see any intent to hurt her.'

-'CAN'T', refers to his ability, which may be limited by several things. He also adds 'any' to both 'intent', and 'motive', suggesting a need to persuade via emphasis. Both sentences would make the same point, without the use of the word 'any'.

"He didn't have any motive".

-It is impossible for him to know the police chief's motive, or his state of mind when he pulled the trigger. His 'motive' for shooting his wife could have been anger, control, paranoia, etc. The lack of an obvious financial motive, (or another type of personal gain) does equate to a lack of "any motive". This is stated in the negative, and assumes a closeness to the perpetrators state of mind that I find revealing of the Prosecutor's bias. He does not speak from his own point of view, in general terms such as, 'I see no motive', or even, 'there's no motive'...instead he speaks in defense of the chief, citing his point of view.

Then comes the 'if':

"The criminal activity, IF the grand jury indicts, is he recklessly brings a gun to bed with him after having ingested sleep medication and alcohol," Ballard said. He said he plans to present the case to a grand jury April 15.

-He needlessly adds, "if the grand jury indicts", when stating the criminal activity which justifies the charges he brought. This needless addition shows his reduced commitment.

Unknown said...

Should say, "doesn't equate".

Unknown said...


Tania Cadogan said...

Wouldn't his previous divorce from her, the allegations of domestic violence count as motive??

Given his track record regarding marriage, was another divorce on the horizon?

Was he seeing anyone else behind his wife's back?

There are plenty of motives if one takes the time o look at his track record.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Answers are getting closer and closer...

warmer, warmer, warmer...


Anonymous said...

I'm glad some kind of charge is made though a misdemeanor seems mild. If someone was paralyzed from someone drunk driving what would the charge be? I agree there's no evidence for attempted, premeditated murder. Drugs and alcohol played a role.

Divorce is not a motive for murder; they reconciled, right?

The "allegations" abuse are thus far Internet gossip. Where in the public record (including public statements of his wives) is any proof of this? Did the gossip state "abusive" or clearly state physical assault? Why didn't any ex wife state physical abuse in divorce papers? Seems like it would have worked to their advantage to state it there. Am I wrong or is this allegation of abuse from an unnamed, unquoted internet source? And you say "domestic violence"; I've only seen "abuse" which could be verbal.

So, yeah, let's take the time to look at his record. When we look, what's the best source of proof he beat his wife?

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

This is helpful! I have been given permission to call Richard Haynes Sr. To ask him questions. He is the father of missing Kittitas Washington boy Cody Haynes. I wish you could make this call for me!! I have been reading up on everything I can, don't wanna mess up this opportunity.

Anonymous said...

“She lived in fear of the guy,” the anonymous nurse said. “We all thought she was making a mistake when she left the job to move back with him in Atlanta. Our understanding is that there was mental and physical abuse.”

I found that at

I cannot find any other news (non-blog) source that ran with that quotation.

Further, how does it hold up in analysis?

No first person singular commitment.

"Our understanding is" is a pretty weak beginning if we are verifying first hand knowledge. Maggie didn't tell this person she had been verbal and physically abused.

So, anonymous gossipextra source who can't commit to first hand knowledge. Is that enough?

Anonymous said...

You'd need to be a super-duper good listener. I took a class in college on listening. we learned how to listen and not have to take notes...


Anonymous said...

The persuasive teqnique is TOUCH.

Tania Cadogan said...

Touch when talking to someone makes them remember what you are saying to them subconsciously better than without touch.

It is a trick often used by magicians when asking the subject to think about something or to select something from a range of choices.
When the word/idea you want them to remember is said a light touch on their arm/hand/leg generates the link.

I don't know about others, when i talk to someone be it a friend, a stranger, someone doing a service for me i am tactile. i touch them when i talk to them and hug them at the end.
It lets them know i am interested in what they are saying and to continue and also helps them to remember me (a case in point a year or so after i hugged a stranger whilst i was wearing my stetson and in a different town , mom got talking to selfsame stranger a year later to pass the time whilst i bimbled around a store for a specific item .
When i came out and chatted with him and mom his face didn't ring a bell but his light scottish accent did He said the hat sort of rang a bell but he didn't know from where, he said as soon as she hugged me i remembered.
It turns out after we had last chatted he had stopped drinking completely and had now gotten a good paying job.

Cue more hugs.

Everyone should hug more, it makes the world a happier place.

Unknown said...

Using the subject's own language is the best technique.