Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Missing Information and Reliability" by Peter Hyatt

                         Missing Information and Reliability
                                                                    by Peter Hyatt 

Missing information is a signal that the information included is highly reliable.

How so?

When an investigator notes that there are signals of "missing information" in a statement, he often concludes that deception is indicated.

This very well may be true; the information withheld is done so deliberately, hence, the linguistic signals.

Yet, in order to conceal information, one must be working from memory, making the information that is included likely to be very reliable, as it came from memory.

This is why dismissing a "liar" is to miss content, just as the conclusion that a particular statement is "deceptive", although correct, the dismissing of the information offered is to miss out on the structure and even major points within a truthful account.

Remember:   most deception is, indeed, through missing information.

For example:

"Tell me what you did today."

Subject:  "Well, let's see.  I woke up, took a shower, and got dressed.  I had coffee, and went to work."

1.  "Well, let's see" indicates the subject is pausing to consider his words.

2.  "I woke up" uses the strong formula of the Pronoun "I"and the past tense verb, "woke up" making it very reliable.  "I had coffee" also follows the formula of strength.


How much time passed between "got dressed" and "I had coffee"?

Was it 5 minutes?
Was it 15 minutes?
Was it an hour?  Two hours?

In other words, the subject has left out information because it is impossible for anyone to tell us anything.

Information is missing, but the "missing information" has not linguistic signal of missing information.

Let's view the same sentence with an indication of missing information.

"Well, let's see.  I woke up, took a shower, and got dressed.  Then, I had coffee, and went to work."

This statement now gives us a linguistic signal of missing information.

You may recall that the word, "Then" is a space or passing over of time ("temporal lacunae") which indicates:

This person is thinking of the time period between getting dressed and having coffee.

It is a signal for the investigator to explore, via questions, what happened in this time period.  There is also the inclusion of the word "coffee", which, although many of us have coffee in the morning (I am almost to the point where I cannot start my day without it), but few feel the need to mention it in their statements unless...

unless there is something more important about "coffee" than just the need I referenced about myself.  In fact, "coffee", when included in a statement, is often an indicator that someone else may have been present at this point in the story and that the conversation that took place between the subject and this person may be important.  This is explored in the interview.  If the conversation is not important, the person's presence likely is.  This is to conclude that the subject had a reason to mention "coffee", which is often a 'social drink' (people go out for 'coffee') and tea drinkers are not known to include, "I got up, had tea and went to work" in their statements.

The word "Then" shows that the 2nd subject (second statement) has paused in his chronological order and this pause is due to something that happened, was said, or was thought, at this point.

It could be anything, including:

a.  an important conversation
b.  the subject received an important phone call
c.  the subject met with someone
d.  the subject may have even left the home, had coffee elsewhere, with someone important
e.  the subject opened his mail and found something very important

In other words, something of significance has taken place to cause the subject to 'pause' in his progression of his account and this pause, itself, tells the investigator that the investigator, too, should pause, to learn why.

Yet it is that in order to conceal information, which is deliberate, this cannot be done unless the subject is working from memory, making the rest of the statement highly reliable.

We then may conclude that, yes, we know the subject is deceptive in a statement which contains enough of these signals, yet, that information which remains is going to help us build up enough pieces of a puzzle to learn what happened, and once the missing information is discovered, the entire statement will make sense to us.


Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic BBM

KITTERY, Maine – The man convicted of setting a fire that damaged a nuclear-powered submarine — ultimately causing it to be scrapped when it was deemed too costly to repair — now claims he made a false confession because he was threatened with life in prison.

Casey Fury, who pleaded guilty in the 2012 fire that damaged the USS Miami, told The Portsmouth Herald ( in an interview published Sunday that he does not think he started the blaze.

"I don't believe I'm responsible," he said. "I don't believe I did it. I don't remember doing it."

Fury said he wants to ask a judge to reconsider his sentence because his mental health and addiction problems weren't fully considered at trial.

Prosecutors say Fury was seeking an excuse get off early from his job at the Portsmouth Naval Yard when he set fire to a box of rags in May 2012, starting a blaze that quickly spread through the forward compartments of the Miami. The fire caused $700 million in damage and the Navy eventually decided it was not worth fixing.

Fury, who pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, said he did later set a second, smaller fire and pull a fire alarm on another day.

Fury, 27, said he began suffering anxiety, panic attacks and depression soon after being hired as a civilian to do painting and sandblasting on the submarine, and that he often mixed prescription drugs with alcohol.

Fury said he was taking a lot of medication at the time and doesn't even remember his confession.

"I don't think I remember going to work that day," he told the newspaper.

Oh dear, this is a fine example of an unreliable denial

"I don't believe I'm responsible,"
This leaves it open for others to believe otherwise.
He also embeds I'm responsible.
This is a weak denial.
If he didn't do it as he claims, then he would say I know i didn't do it.
In this case a strong reliable denial would consist of 3 parts:
First person singular I
Past tense Did not/didn't
Event specific Set fire/cause the fire in the submarine.

Statements which contain less than the three specified parts or contains more than the three specified parts is deemed unreliable.

"I don't believe I did it.
Again this is another weak denial since he uses the word believe, which allows for others to believe otherwise.
He also doesn't say what IT is so i can't assume.
He also embeds I did it

I don't remember doing it."
Again another weak denial.
He doesn't say he did not start/cause the fire, only that he doesn't remember doing it.
he also fails to tell us what IT is that he doesn't remember doing.

"I don't think I remember going to work that day,"
Again, another weak unreliable denial.
He tells us he doesn't think he remembers.
He thinks, allows for others to think otherwise.
He doesn't say he doesn't remember going to work that day which would be the expected.
Instead he weakens his denial by saying he doesn't think he remembers.
You either remember something or you don't.
You can't think you don't remember, since to think you don't remember something means you had to remember what it was you don't think you remembered.

Kellie said...

Cosby has finally "spoken" and still no reliable denial! Yet the news article states: "Cosby has denied all allegations made by these women and has not been criminally charged." It amazes how much society relies on assumptions. And he is a master at doublespeak.

Someone please show me where he has even once given a direct reliable denial.

Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic BBM

She learned at the feet of a master.

Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s
eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show.

Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was “severely injured, bruised and wounded” when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit.

Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote in a post to Instagram after the Oct. 2 fall.

She was pictured in a walking boot in the weeks following the tumble, but by December, Dominique was good to go for NAN’s Justice for All march in Washington, DC, and for a New Year’s Eve jaunt to Miami Beach.

And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim, there are social-media shots of her in high heels, and another of her climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.

The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook.

Al Sharpton has used threats of protests and boycotts against large companies as a way to generate huge corporate donations, his critics charge.

Everyone from McDonald’s, Verizon, Macy’s, General Motors, Chrysler and Pfizer have forked over cash to the elder Sharpton.

The Rev on Saturday said he didn’t know the status of his daughter’s legal claim. “She’s 29 years old. Why would she have to talk to me about that?” he said of Dominique, whose mother is Sharpton’s ex-wife, Kathy. “I just know that she was hurt and that she got a lawyer and she’s a grown woman. [Where] she goes from there, I have no idea.”

Broken sidewalks and rough pavement can be a windfall for pedestrians. One plaintiff, Denise Giles, snagged a cool $2.25 million settlement seven years after suing the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp. for failing to fix a broken sidewalk outside one of its clinics. Giles claimed she needed ankle surgery as a result of her fall.

Her payout was one of 885, or $60 million worth, that the city made over 22 months for defective sidewalks.

Dominique Sharpton claims she fell in a crosswalk, which would make hers a “defective roadway” claim. The city received 774 such claims in the 2014 fiscal year alone.

She was left with “internal and external injuries to the whole body, lower and upper limbs, the full extent of which are unknown, permanent pain and mental anguish,” she alleges.

The younger Sharpton is seeking the damages for “loss of quality of life, future pain and suffering, future medical bills, [and] future diminution of income,” according to court papers.

Sharpton’s lawyer, John Elefterakis, said she had “multiple ligament and tendon tears” and “has not had any involvement in selecting a figure that would be fair and adequate compensation for her pain and suffering. The number was selected by my firm and is meant as a safeguard for Ms. Sharpton in a worst-case scenario.”

If she scores her legal windfall, she might want to give her dad a handout; he reportedly owes $4.5 million in unpaid taxes.

John Mc Gowan said...


Trident Whistleblower William McNeilly Says Royal Navy's Nuclear Programme 'Disaster Waiting To Happen'

trustmeigetit said...

There needs to be some laws put in place.

i have fallen on the streets but never once thought of suing.

The fact this is happening and is legal makes me angry.

I would love to know if she was drinking or what shoes she was wearing as those could be the real issue.

Rebecca Ann too said...