Friday, December 11, 2015

Faith, Language and Lie Detection

How does the topic of faith impact language?

"...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and ..."

A verbal interview in an assault case produced this sentence.  As the Interviewer listened, he was convinced of the pain he was hearing in the woman's voice.

I had said that the pain is real, and the assault is real, but she's lying.  

...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and..."

In the interview she produced sensory description which is something that can signal that it was experienced but exactly when it was experienced...years ago, or today, as the crime is being alleged, is not answered. 

In fact, in this interview, I believed that not only was she lying about what happened now within a criminal investigation, but she is truthfully reporting what happened to her years ago.  

If one can picture a system of (+) and (-) as an interview 'goes by' audibly, this can help.  

It is sometimes challenging to follow the formula for reliability at first, but with practice that is specifically done with audio and then transcripts, the twain do eventually meet.  

As the audible goes by, each signal of reliability is given a mark on the notebook that shows a (+) and each signal of sensitivity is given a (-) and when there is a near balance of the two, such as

5 (+)

4 (-) 

It is something that must be further explored because there is enough signals that memory is at play, but there are also enough signals that deception is at play, as well. 

This is where someone is lying but using experiential memory to do so.  It is something to specifically train for. 

I said that this particular allegation will lead to a failed polygraph in spite of the strong sensory description and affect of the subject during the entire interview.  

I watched the video of the interview.  

In listening to the subject, I too heard the pain coming from her and the accurate description of an assault, but I did not hear her connect the assault with the accused. 

I also noted "Divinity" in a statement.  

"Divinity" within the interview is a red flag for deception and beneath it is a desire to persuade someone, hoping that the Interviewer, too, will be a person of faith.  The need to call for Divine approval, itself, is a weakness.  

The signal in the statement above shows that this event had been long processed in the brain and the fear of it something that was reflected in the voice. 

She failed the polygraph.  

It is not so much that a person uses some form of Divinity in a statement but the context of the statement, audible or written that is key.  

This was a police investigation of a crime.  

Years ago in a seminar for investigators I warned them of "the I Effect", which was that they would, as we progress, fall in love with Statement Analysis but eventually will come upon a topic where they will be tempted to say,

"I think Statement Analysis is great, but I..." as they come upon a principal they struggle with. 

Where is this often found?

a.  Politics.  This is where the person's prejudice overrules reason.  They have seen the analysis principles applied evenly in case after case, but once applied to a political figure they are emotionally attached to (or partisan), the shut down takes place.  

In comments, it is predictable.  "I came here for murder not politics..." instead of answering the analysis.  "Peter has just lost all credibility..." also offered instead of an answer to analysis.  A weak, "if he would just analyze _______, I would know he is not being partial..."  

b.  Sports figure.  This is not as frequent and is generally male orientated. 

c.  Music figure.  This is mostly female and the age is key.  I found that female investigators who were 15 years old when Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released, recoiled at his statements revealing  pedophilia.  

d.  Familiar relations.  "When someone says 'I love you' to their children, it is often a signal of a poor relationship and you should explore it..."  

One female investigator made a very bold declaration against this.  

I explained further:  "We all say 'I love you' to our children when we put them to bed, but few of us would feel the need to tell others, especially in an investigation that they love their children."

She bristled even more.  Up shot her hand:

"I feel it is important that someone know I love my daughter and  I would include it in a statement. "

Weeks later, she was the subject of a child abuse allegation. Interesting also is that when this statement was made, her superior was present and had known of the explosive temper with her child. 

e.  Divinity 

This is an interesting one.  

If the subject says "I swear to God" or anything similar, it is a very strong signal that the subject is a liar who may be telling the truth now, but normally does not, or he may be lying now, but in either case, he is not someone known for truth.  It is a need to have someone or something far above us to accredit us that the weakness shows. 

It is like someone giving pedantic advice anonymously.  It is not suggestive but paternal and the need to qualify it is that the person then gives his or her "qualifications" in defense.  

The first signal that something was wrong is that a person of qualification does not feel the need to browbeat nor lecture in a pedantic manner.  The confidence of their experience allows for them to suggest or offer for consideration. 

The second signal is the rush to "prove" one's qualifications, which itself, reveals weakness.  Some may offer qualifications upon challenge, but when it follows the 'demand of acceptance' it is weak.  A great example of this is found in the ex- FBI agent's defense of Amanda Knox in which he used "hyperbole on steroids" and revealed his own bizarre obsession which eventually led to losing his job.  "Every investigation rule followed by every investigator in the world by everyone who knows...and I have investigated thousands of murders and I have...."  The need to persuade was, perhaps, the strongest I have ever seen in a professional.  

Back to Divinity.

I used the "Swear to God" as a generalization and a signal to be on high alert for deception. This is in any form of either swearing ("I swear on my mother's grave" or the use of Divinity, "as God as my witness...")

It did not take long.  

I had written "The I Effect" across the blackboard, very high, prepared to point to it, when one feels such temptation. 

An investigator said, "I think Statement Analysis great and I am learning a lot but..."

Here we go:

"My sister and me, when we were growing up we had this rule that if we said to one another that we swore to God, we were not allowed to lie!  It was a rule and even today we keep it!"

There was an awkward silence at first, but soon laughter and Heather could not contain herself:

"You just proved the principle!"

The audience burst out laughing.

She had just confessed that she and her sister normally did lie to each other and the lying, as the norm, came to an end when the words "Swear to God" entered the language!

What stood out to me, however, was not the marvelous example of proving the principle and driving it home for investigators, but it was the investigator herself. This was a very sad reality for me, but now something I have come to accept.  

She emotionally shut down and was 'gone' for the remainder of the seminar.  

The science of lie detection, and all the hard work it takes, and the marvelous results it produces, was lost to her.  

In investigations, all one had to do was call upon Divinity, in any form, as a witness in an oath, and the investigation would come to a screeching halt. 

She missed out on so much learning and time saving techniques of lie detection that have extreme results, all due to the emotional shut down that took place. 

It is not that we pray, nor that we call out to God, or that we have faith: 

It is the need to appeal outside of ourselves, especially in any language of Divinity that shows the weakness.  

Faith is a natural part of language, which is why the context is so important.  

"Statement Analysis is really great but I find..."

Generalizations are based upon statistics and norms.  There are always exceptions. 

Principles are not based upon exceptions.  When we have a signal of sensitivity, we explore it.  It may not be conclusive for either veracity or deception, but we will explore it to learn more.  

Following this overall strategy not only produces results, but is both time saving and energy saving, while maintaining the civil rights of all interviewees.  


Anonymous said...

...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and...""

I don't the person prayed 'Lord help me' but most likely thought or said aloud 'Lord help me' as it is a common expression in many areas.

Randie said...

Peter, this is an awesome article! Keep 'em coming!!!!

Anonymous said...

doubt or don't think...doubt was what I was going for

SA newb said...

I am enjoying these articles and then applying the techniques as I wade through the comment section to aid in discernment.

@ 11:35 My interpretation is, that yes, it is probably true someone did pray "Lord help me", but in mentioning this in a crime investigation is telling.

As for the example of sharing a statement that you told your children you love them, do others feel this may support DB as genuine in not mentioning his love for his wife in his public statements? He did not say "I loved my wife..." perhaps because, it is understood, of course he loved her?

mom2many said...

I have always noticed when watching episodes of Survivor, that those who swore on their relatives graves or lives seemed to be the quickest to break their vows. It is interesting to hear SA confirm that observation!

Randie said...

Peter Hyatt, I know this is off topic, but would do analysis on Davey Blackburn's latest statement?

Anonymous said...

Cute doggie!

Anonymous said...

Re: "I think Statement Analysis is great but I..." principals:

a. Politics.
b. Sports figure.
c. Music figure.
d. Familial relations.

In my world, I would have to add:

e. Woody Allen

Louise K said...

I think Statement Analysis is great BUT I recall the Jill Meagher case Downunder when SA had her totally innocent husband as "indicating deception" when all he was indicating was Enormous Grief and Confusion.

I still need other evidence

and by the way, so do the courts

Louise K said...

BTW if I have to give evidence in court I refuse the bible (you're allowed to Downunder) and merely testify that everything I say will be the Truth.

YOu can swear on the bible or on your own self.

I choose to NOT use the bible as in my lifetime of experience there's a whole lot of Satan hiding in that there light

2 Corinthians 11.14

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this site, and new to SA, and have been fascinated and gobbling up each SA article posted, until there was one recently about President Obama, of whom I am a big fan. My first (brief) thought was "What? Oh no! I thought this was a smart website!" but I quickly saw the opportunity to open my mind, and I realized I still believe this to be such a smart website. So I printed the article (as I do for each article), in order to read with highlighter and pencil, determined to pore over the article as usual. It's been a few days now, and I still haven't read it! It's folded up, and in my purse, and I carry it everywhere with me! Ha ha! I WILL read it!

Anonymous said...

By adding "e. Woody Allen" I meant that it's been mind-boggling to me how many of my smart family members, friends, co-workers, etc. didn't believe Dylan Farrow's strong statement, and DID believe Woody Allen's weak deceitful response. It's like they lost their ability to think, when a beloved icon is the topic. I wonder if this site ever did SA on those 2 statements - I would love to see that!!

Anonymous said...

Beginning a statement with "God knows that..." or "I swear to God that..." reminds me of the authority fallacy in logic. It's a logical fallacy to say "A, therefore B, because God said it." or "A, therefore B, because I'm an authority on the topic." Both would fall under authority fallacy I believe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter:

As I have read the articles on your blog, I find myself examining my own language...I am wondering why I sometimes use the phrases, "I swear" or "to be honest" when I am telling the truth (I think I just indicated that I sometimes lie lol).

It is my desire to be a truthful person in every aspect of my life, and it seems that speech is the place where integrity can really be examined. This would line up with Scripture I think..."out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"

Do I have integrity? This is something I'm thinking about a lot.

For example, yesterday I said to my pastor, "maybe I will...." Then I corrected myself, and said " I mean, I WILL..."

I thought after that the word 'maybe' is a word I use sometimes when I lack commitment to a certain thing.


Anonymous said...

This website isn't here to further political agendas; it's here to teach how to use Statement Analysis to distinguish truthful statements from deceptive statements.

Vicki said...

Anonymous said...
By adding "e. Woody Allen" I meant that it's been mind-boggling to me how many of my smart family members, friends, co-workers, etc. didn't believe Dylan Farrow's strong statement, and DID believe Woody Allen's weak deceitful response. It's like they lost their ability to think, when a beloved icon is the topic. I wonder if this site ever did SA on those 2 statements - I would love to see that!!

December 11, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Yes Their statements are here somewhere. It was quite awhile years.

mom2many said...

Anonymous @ 3:08 If you are a fan of Obama, what caused your hesitancy to read the article? There is no conclusion in the title. Peter does review truthful statements as well as deceptive statements. I'm curious, as a fan, why you'd jump to the conclusion that Obama has been deceptive?

Anonymous said...

mom2many, I still haven't read it, but plan to. Maybe my first impressions were wrong - I got the impression from title and subtitles that the article says Obama's statements regarding "muslim connections and roots" (something to that effect) have been deceptive. Not having read it yet, I still don't know what article says. I will read it, and will be open to it.

mom2many said...

Ah, so you did scan it. I'm not saying your impression was wrong, I just wondered if there was something else behind your assumption that you wouldn't like what you would read. I'm glad you are open to being challenged. I hope you do update us with your reaction once you do read it.

Anonymous said...

mom2many I will!

Anonymous said...

mom2many, I just went to my bag and retrieved the printed article. What's striking is that I have been printing and reading all articles here, and carrying some around in my bag, but all end up in a stack on my kitchen counter. All BUT this one! This one is still in my bag!

Anonymous said...

...still in my bag, and unread.

Anonymous said...

mom2many, I read the whole thing with highlighter and pen. Very interesting, and good examples of Statement Analysis. I remain open, and plan to continue reading all articles here, regardless of topic, for the purpose of learning Statement Analysis.

Anonymous said...

How can I find the Dylan Farrow/Woody Allen statement analysis??? Really want to see the SA here on those 2 statements!!

Anonymous said...

I found it!!!!!! Hee hee!!!!

mom2many said...

Anon @7:27 You are a fine example of a curious and teachable mind, which are qualities that I try to instill into my children. Like you, I am more interested in truth than attached to people or even ideas. It's led me to places I'd never imagined I'd go. Learning and beginning to apply SA principals has been eye opening for me, too.

lynda said...

By adding "e. Woody Allen" I meant that it's been mind-boggling to me how many of my smart family members, friends, co-workers, etc. didn't believe Dylan Farrow's strong statement, and DID believe Woody Allen's weak deceitful response. It's like they lost their ability to think, when a beloved icon is the topic. I wonder if this site ever did SA on those 2 statements - I would love to see that!

Exactly. My ex husband is a huge Woody Allen fan. Since the day Mia Farrow came out with what had happened, and the whole thing ended up in court, I have never watched another one of his movies as I felt I would be lining a pedophile's pocket and that makes me sick. My ex defended him, "He's an artist, they have different rules, it's kind of expected that stuff like that happens, they're allowed to think differently because they're creative..blah, blah, blah. The people that defend that piece of crap have something wrong with them. Seriously. People can justify anything if they want something.

Horse chestnut said...

Peter what kind of dog is that? Please answer. I adore it!

elf said...

Good article, Peter :)

Anonymous said...

Peter Hyatt,

I work in a small office, and we received an email from H.R. just before 5 (quit time) Friday, informing us we are each to follow a link to something called "Predictive Index" before Wednesday next week, and, from what I can gather, we will be asked a series of questions about ourselves, which we are to answer.

There is a 7-page privacy policy which I haven't read yet.

As employees, are we required to do the survey? Is there any danger?

Here's the website that was at the bottom of the email:

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated!


Louise K said...

Michelle - I worked somewhere that offered Free Health Assessments and Assistance to Lose Weight which turned into a way to stalk Overweight Staff when they needed to Downsize.

Lesson learnt.

Anonymous said...

Louise K, really?? How did they stalk you? That's terrible! "Here, let us help you..." and then they invade your privacy!?

Anonymous said...

Michelle, I worked somewhere the uncover police came to the house and followed me to work as part of a background check. Little did I know I'd be threaten by a cop of a higher level working there and required to fill out forms that specifically stated it was illegal to require such forms. Training denied, schedule denied for too long a time, and I received calls at my home asking about their policies.

Needless to say,after trying to acquire some training on my own, being booted from the training room, and having to walk in front of the moron that threatened me, tried to shoot a sharp projectile in my face-which missed my eye by appx 3 inches- I quit.

Some personnel managers are more inclined to hire certain people-those who don't want to get anything done.

Anonymous said...

There won't be
There won't be
Another Texan callin' me
You can slice them thin
Hang 'em from a tree
There won't be another Texan callin' me

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:27 that is horrifying!! Threatening you and following you, and then having the scary experience you describe! I don't blame you for quitting!

Anonymous said... gets better. The cop was telling others it was okay to carry guns to work as Supreme Court ruled they couldn't search your car. The irony: he'd sit in his vehicle staring you down while you warmed up yours.

Louise K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louise K said...

I used to work for local gubmint and personally handled an invoice from a Private Detective, hired to investigate their own Staff.

There I was thinking that's what Bosses were for

but they did it selectively to those they wanted to target

Ditto the Overweight thing

BTW they didn't do it to me but others I knew - I was long gone.

Anonymous said...

NOTICED THE SCREAMING OF the F bomb came whenever a person scheduled vacation time for a surgery and was denied though it was put in months in advanced. Customers did too if they were near the breakroom.

The Fbomb was common place. It was embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

And, it wasn't a PI unless he was allowed to use police vehicles for his own business. My neighbor saw his plates in front of my house and I saw them when he followed me into the parking lot where I worked.

Bas (The Netherlands) said...

That's funny. Since I've got into SA I correct myself when I catch myself saying "we" when I should've said "I". According to SA this could mean I 'd feel the need to share guilt, or a way to not commit to what I've said. But I still have to dig deeper to find out exactly why I do this. I guess my mind feels more secure using "we". So yeah, I'm working on my langauge too, and it feels better.