Wednesday, April 6, 2016
UK Testing of Statement Analysis Revisited
Increased listening produces results.
Canadian musician Neil Young has made headlines over the past few years decrying the music industry's severe compression of music, making it easier to store on phones, but at a cost of quality.
What do the science tests say to Mr. Young?
In double blind tests, most people cannot hear the difference between a lossless file and a 196 mp3 file...the exception? Musical engineers and audiophiles who make it a point to learn the difference. On the average, however, the general public cannot discern the difference, in spite of Neil Young's assertion to the contrary.
Is this settled science?
Let's consider it and its relationship to Statement Analysis training which claims not only extreme results, but a natural move from analyzing statements to analyzing speech.
Music is audio; that is, sound waves for discernment by the brain, through the mechanisms of the ear. To record it in "digital" is to make millions and millions of tiny 'bits' of information, for just one song. This digital file is huge, (called "lossless") so it is compressed into something much smaller (called "lossy" with much data lost) and much more easily stored: Mp3 format. The size of "CD Quality" is 196. To hear it, the digital bits must be converted to audible sound. Every phone and lap top has this converter built in. It is most cost efficient and they do not use expensive ones; after all, the public cannot hear the difference.
Testers have then taken expensive DACs (digital to audio converters) and done the same tests and have found out:
The average person still cannot tell the difference between a severely compressed file (196 Mp3) and a lossless file. Thus, the purchasing of more expensive lossless files is a waste, as is the purchasing of more expensive DACs, to supplant the one in your computer or phone a waste, and it is 'snake oil salesmen' who are profiting off the foolish public.
Scientific testing, using the A/B blind method has been conclusive, therefore, Apple and others' use of low cost DACs within their products is a wise cost saving move. People cannot tell the difference anyway.
Has the science been settled?
Many years ago, testers in the UK had investigators trained in Statement Analysis and then tested them. They outscored the untrained and were about 20% points higher than average. This, they concluded, may not be enough to invest the millions of pounds (or is it still Euros?) into training (though some argued that going from 50% to 73% was quite a jump worthy of investment). The training was 2.5 days in length, which works out to under 20 hours.
I reviewed their report and the samples they used in the testing.
Not so fast.
Let's take a deeper look.
First, let's begin with how we hear and how we read; for we do not hear with our ears and see with our eyes, so much as we do with the brain.
"A" 'ah' apple"...'B 'ba' ball" and "C, kuh, Cat"
Let's begin with recorded music.
We hear in analog.
It is recorded in digital. It must be translated back to analog (audio) for our ears to hear it.
The digital information is converted (DAC) to audio for our ears to translate the sound waves so that our brain can tell us:
*what we hear
*the pitch of which we hear
*the distinction of what we hear
*the proximity of what we hear
*the emotional response to what we hear, or, the "discernment" of what we hear ("this is good" and "this is not good")
The brain learns early that a siren has sound waves that tells the brain, "emergency!"
The brain has a positive emotional response (hormonal) to harmony; that is, 2 or more sound waves that work together in a 'pleasing' manner.
The brain has a distinct opinion of nails against a blackboard, or Yoko Ono singing.
When the sound waves reach the ear, the brain can often tell if the sound is that of a young female child, or an elderly male speaking. It can discern if the sound is hostile, or friendly, imperative, or suggestive. The brain tells you that the sound is far away, or right up behind you.
In digital, millions of bits of information is lost during the conversion. Much of this is outside the human range of hearing, however, but lots within that range of hearing, too, is lost during compression and conversion.
A converter is used to convert the millions of digital signals of music, including little bits of information regarding a single note; when the note begins and when it ends.
Lossless has it all while MP3 has much less. Larger MP3 (320) is closer to lossless but for this purpose, 196 mp3 versus lossless is used for the blind tests. 196 is called "cd quality."
If you take a high quality digital to analog converter to the source and give someone high quality headphones upon their first listening test of which is which, lossless or lossy, they will still likely score the guess rate of 50%. This is similar to the results of lie detection.
Then, do it again.
In fact, give the person the high quality DAC (converter) and headphones and let them listen to either lossless or large mp3 (320) with their favorite music, every day...
for a month. Test them now.
And...for another month. Test them again.
And another month of daily listening...
You will see significant increase in the scores.
The high quality DAC is taking millions of bits of information more than normal and giving it to the brain to interpret. At first, the brain did not recognize this overwhelming amount of information but in time the brain recognized the information until, as time goes by, the listener who could score no higher than 50% guess rate is at or near 100% and may now even be able to tell the difference between even closer rivals; lossless and 250 MP3...
and so on.
Sometimes the person who has purchased the headphones or DAC says, "it needed time to burn in" and it is "much better now that it has 300 hours on it", or something similar. The testing of the equipment at 300 hours is the same at 1 hour: the electrical wiring is moving signals just as it was the day before. The difference is not in the speaker, but in the brain's ability to interpret the complexity of sound.
The DACs within phones and computers are generally of much lower quality with the money invested elsewhere. When one purchases a quality DAC to bypass their computer or phone's DAC, and quality headphones, the music appreciate increases immediately, but over the course of days, weeks and months, the increase is significant enough that they will not want to return to severely compressed music files again. Neil Young was right.
The Scientific A/B blind testing was correct; but it was not complete.
Listener Fatigue = Dulled Listening
Two years of intense training and someone has the right to call themselves an analyst. Given course semesters and breaks, this is about the equivalent of a 6 year degree.
True enough, they begin to work in analysis within 24 hours of initial training and often find success due to guided work, but by the time they have completed all work, written a thesis, and have a minimum of 24 months of peer fueled guided training: they are proficient in their craft of lie detection.
During this time they have gone from 50% guess work to near 100% accuracy in written statements, but as the brain became accustomed to signals of sensitivity, the transition from statement analysis to discourse (live, conversational) analysis is realized, quite naturally, without any overt training to the such.
Dulled Listening is a survival mechanism in the brain uses not unlike "listener fatigue."
People commonly report that after listening on their headphones for "too long" they felt tired, irritable, fatigued, had a headache, or even dizzy.
This is a regular report.
In the conversion from digital signals to the audible sound, the length of notes is also within this digital code. A converter needs thousands and thousands of a specific part to ensure that the length of the note is accurate, but this adds to the expense of the DAC. When notes are 'off', even though we do not recognize it as such, the brain has to 'readjust' the communication (the tiny muscles within the ears) and cause the ear to work harder at reorganizing the signal to 'make sense' to us.
This overwork of the ear muscles and devices is fatiguing.
Listener fatigue is real, just as dulled listening, something we all adjust to do in childhood, is real.
"Be careful! There are 'big ears' in the room!"
Children hear very well and parents often report, "they don't miss a thing!"
The 2 1/2 hear old who says, "Oh ***!" much to the embarrassment of her parents is often met with, "Where did she learn that word?" (which was preceded by, "Did she really just say $%^&?")
The same parent will find, in just a few years, that the child will have learned how to 'tune out' more, and although they must be careful with what they say, they do not find that they have to be 'as careful', which is why by the time she is in her teens, she might be oft to say, "Oh, you were talking to me?"
The brain "sees"; not the eyes.
Think of photos with more megapixels. Over time, our eyes adjust.
Recently, I watched "New York Mets 1973" rerun on television only to have the kids ask, "You watched this??"
The picture is dull, I cannot see the faces, and the crowd is a blur, but yes, religiously, I watched this.
Of course, I may not be so enthusiastic today if our games were broadcast in such low definition. In fact, when an entire game from 1986 was recently broadcast, I fond that I could not watch the entire game due to the dulled picture.
Statement Analysis is the training of the brain to recognize and interpret signals of sensitivity within language.
In early training, some are enthusiastic but grow discouraged and what they learned in seminar dissipates without practice.
Yet, of those who give themselves to training, as they approach or pass the two year mark, they become so proficient at a higher level of listening, that they cannot 'shut it off', and often remark, particularly on little things, verb tenses, TL, or pronouns, on what they just heard.
The brain's efficiency is not only at a new level, but it has 'rehearsed' itself at this new level enough to fix it solidly at this point.
Can this level be lost?
I imagine it would take years to reverse and may have to be an act of the will to ignore speech in others for, perhaps, years.
In reviewing the UK study, had they taken the same law enforcement who had 20 hours of training and gave them the exact same training, daily for the next 6 months, they would have found far greater results. For example, in one case, the investigators said, "this is a reliable denial" because they saw the pronoun "I", the past tense verb, and the allegation present in the denial. This is a 101 error: the subject added to the denial pushing it to "unreliable."
The testers also did not classify anything as "reliable or unreliable" only "did he do it, or not?" The proper answer was that he has given an unreliable denial and we need more information for a conclusion. (he did it) Instead, testers wanted a 'yes or no' response when it did not exist. The Reliable Denial could have been fed to the subject by the investigators inadvertently, which would then be contaminated.
Testers gave no room for contamination, either. (We train to spot contamination in a statement and can even still analyze it in part).
Training teaches us to go much further into a statement. He may not have done "it", but he did do "something else", which is signaled in the statement. Or, he may have "done it" but the statement is not complete within itself. Tell us what he said next, or what question he was asked, or if he was interviewed first. All of these factors were ignored, leaving the Free Editing Process, the single most critical element within discernment, out of the equation entirely. That these rookies scored over 70% is a surprise and a signal of just how effective training can be.
From the entire 2015, investigators, security experts, psychology experts and human resource experts report either 100% accuracy, or very close to it, in training.
The habit of peer review does not end at the 24 month mark; it is life long and it is used whenever it can be used. Those with decades of experience know this, and they know why it is necessary, even while the new analyst begins to analyze on Day One and will apply it to his or her work.
How valuable is training?
When someone attends training who has been a long term reader of the Statement Analysis blog, I always ask them to review their comments and conclusions that they came to prior to training.
They all report the same thing: The difference is huge. Everything from "I should have been more cautious!" to "this is more difficult than I thought" on to, "Where can I get more training?!"
Training is available in both seminars and from your home. Please see Hyatt Analysis Services for opportunities for:
Statement Analysis Training
Advanced Analysis and Profiling
Ongoing Monthly Training and Peer Review.