Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why Lying Causes Internal Stress

Why Lying Causes Internal Stress

                                                                  by Peter Hyatt

Certainly, Dr. Hannibal Lector did not feel guilty about his meal of his enemy's liver (and fava beans), and wouldn't have been at all nervous taking a polygraph.  He would just concentrate and use his brilliant, sociopathic brain to control the needle measuring his body's reactions to questions.

                                            Or so Hollywood would have you believe.

It ain't so.

Lying causes internal stress and this stress is not exclusively that of a conscience.  This is not what causes the stress.  It may, for those of a tender conscience, but that refers to those of us who lie, feel badly about lying, and own up to our mistake and grow from it.

It is stressful, as well, to be seen as a liar.  Liars do not like to be called liars.  This does cause stress, but it is not the entire  cause of internal stress that causes deceptive people to avoid a direct lie, instead employing a process of editing out, or suppressing (which takes effort) information in order to deceive.

This suppression, itself, is stressful.  Yet, the element of internal stress caused by a direct lie is due to something far more powerful, and it is what causes leakage of information from a deceptive subject.  This is why we love when the liar talks and talks.

Leakage is simply this:

The guilty party is thinking about what he did, while answering a question, or making a statement, attempting to deceive.

So, when the father of a "missing" toddler was asked about taking a polygraph and said, "I smoked it", he may have thought about the pot smoked beforehand to make him relax.

When confronted with allegation that he was not cooperating with police and said, "Contrary to rumors floating around out there, I have been cooperating...." with the thought of the child dumped, perhaps, in the Kennebec River.

The brain may hold (in this case) 20,000 words in its vocabulary.

While thinking of guilty activity, the subject reaches into this dictionary and finds:  CONFLICT.

The conflict is a cause of stress.  Liars do not like being called liars and liars do not being caught, but it is in the conflict of words, internally, that is powerful, uncomfortable, and causes a 'delay' in the amazing processing speed of computing words and sending them to the tongue to speak, or the hand, to write.

It is like a 'cog' or 'gremlin' in the machinery that causes this conflict, or delay, in processing, which ignites anxiety, in less than a microsecond, for the subject.  Hence, the body's blood pressure rises, as does perspiration, breathing, etc.  The body reacts to the conflict.

The polygraph machine is just reading stress on the body.  That's all.  If we measure stress via the body's reactions on a scale of 1 through 10 of a very nervous subject (since being polygraphed is, itself, stressful):

1.  Is your name John Smith?                          Answer:   Yes       Nervous subject:   Level 3
2.  Is today Tuesday?                                       Answer:   Yes      Nervous subject :   Level 3
3.  Did you take the missing money?               Answer:  No    Nervous subject:   Level 10
4.  Is it 11AM?                                                 Answer:   Yes     Nervous subject:   Level 4

(Note "take" is not "steal", which is morally charged language.  We use not only neutral language, but in Statement Analysis' rule of "no interpretation", we seek to only use the subject's own language, which will then give us  reliable results and avoid "inconclusive" results. )

When the guilty party seeks to deceive, what really happened, and what he wants to say, are both known by the brain and the conflict arises of which words to use.

The main source of internal stress is this:

the speed of transmission is disrupted.

For some, there is the stress of conscience, but only when there is time to consider things.
For some, there is the stress of having to keep track of lies, but this, too, is only when there is time to consider the matters at hand.

The immediate, therefore, most reliable indicator of stress in deception is the disruption of the tremendously fast transmission:

"What happened?"

The subject moves into his 25,000-35,000 internal dictionary.
The subject chooses which words to use;
what order to put the items,
place which words where, in order to make sense:

all of this in less than a micro second of transmission.

Deception interrupts the speed of this transmission triggering stress chemical to the brain.

If you are able to learn this, you can learn to discern deception.

If you are a polygrapher, trained in Statement Analysis, entering into the language of the subject, grasping the principles and avoiding introducing your own speech:

you are in a "no miss" position in obtaining results.

Learn this principle and learn how to exploit it to your advantage in analysis.

The speed of transmission is what gives us our accuracy.  Learn what causes this micro-fast process to be 'thrown off' and you will learn to discern deception and catch the liar.

Forget Hollywood's portrayal of lie detection and sociopaths.


GetThem said...

Speaking of Hollywood's version. Did you happen to watch Gone Girl? Hollywood must have done it's research because without revealing any spoilers, there were surprising reliable denials. I don't think anyone but SA'ers would have noticed though.

mamacat said...

Funny little tidbit...
I was going to play a harmless little prank on my 18 year old. I asked her to walk over to me and then tried to apologize for bumping into her (pre-prank). Instead, I accidentally said, "I'm sorry for lying to you." She looked at me suspiciously and instantly caught on that something was up. Haha - talk about leakage! In the end, we all still ended up having a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I loved the article.
Can you please give your insight into the Robert Durst case?

Unknown said...

OT: This little boy is missing not far from where I live. No statements from parents or even LE yet, other than massive air and ground search underway.

Unknown said...

Mobile link not working, hopefully this one will:

Katprint said...

There are recent medical studies which indicate that lying/imagining/fictional storytelling involves a different part of the brain than memory/recounting. There is increased blood flow to that other part of the brain which can be seen on an MRI. The slight change in heart rate/rhythm and slightly increased blood pressure needed to supply extra blood flow to the brain may be detected by polygraph. The brain is the organ which most greatly affects the blood flow which is why one of the best ways to regulate body temperature is to wear a hat.

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