Deception Detection is difficult work.
If it was as simple as it is sometimes portrayed, or if reading a face expression sufficed, we'd all do it, and deception would be greatly hindered in its progress in society.
A twitch of a leg, a hand over the mouth, a "micro expression", and so on, all represent various short cuts in one way or another, and as in the nature of short cuts, rates of success inevitably betray the employer of such.
We live in a culture that may be viewed as the ultimate expression of narcissism, where our feelings overrule reason, our children are raised to believe that how they feel is more important than obedience, and where even science must be subordinated to emotion.
Law Enforcement, however, does not succumb easily to folly.
In Statement Analysis Training, the investigator/analyst begins by learning some simple principles of sensitivity in language, and moves on to detecting deception, content analysis, and on to giving a detailed profile of the subject (speaker/writer).
In initially testing law enforcement on detecting deception, scores are often poor.
Because professional experience leads them to incessant contact with deception to the point where "everyone is lying."
Training over comes this prejudice with only initial resistance. What brings success is when the law enforcement professional begins to recognize that outright lying is rare, and that in a statement where the subject is deceptive it is very likely to find 90% or more of reliable information (content).
In short, they learn to let the subject's own words guide them to truth.
Law Enforcement cannot afford error. They have cases in which the initial analysis is going to be immediately tested against the evidence, the case development, the polygraph, the confession and so on.
They must see accuracy to be convinced to study.
After becoming quite good at detecting deception, they move into deeper and deeper content analysis. This allows them to know the case details before the investigation even begins.
Over and over they find that the deceptive suspect "honestly" guided them to the truth.
This is thrilling and fuels them to more and more study. Their superiors are impressed and their solve rate moves up. Promotions are granted. Professional satisfaction is powerful.
Then, they move on to the most challenging and exciting aspect of all: psycho-linguistic profiling.
This is where they learn four things about their subject from the subject's words:
1. The subject's background
This tells them if the subject is a male or female, white or black, young or old, and so on. This recognizes the impact of sex, race, culture, age (etc) have on language.
2. The subject's experiences
This tells them what, for example, the subject has experienced in life such as work profession. This recognizes that, for example, being in the military is going to impact language. Prior crimes is another example, as this experience can enter language.
3. The subject's priorities
Here is where we often find exactly why the subject wrote out his statement. Was it to clear himself? Was it to confess? Was it to steer the investigation away from the truth, or towards it?
4. The subject's dominant personality traits
This is where we see things as narcissism, or human indifference, and many other personality traits that show up in criminal investigations.
Law Enforcement may struggle when it comes to initial deception detection but it is only until they learn how the deceptive suspect can and will guide them to the truth.
But Law Enforcement does not struggle with psycho-linguistic profiling; that is, profiling based solely upon the language. They grasp the personality traits well because they deal with them each and every day.
Law Enforcement's experiences, daily, lead them to outscore their non-law enforcement counter parts in psycho-linguistic analysis; they hold a very sober minded view of human nature, and are rarely self deceived by narrative.
Why is this?
In part, their exposure to human nature means, even in rural communities, incessantly being in a position where they never know if they are going to have their lives threatened. Few can grasp how this wears down the mind and the immune system. Coping with this can be at times, even more challenging in locales where violence is not expected as it is in a high crime city. In high crime/high violence locales, the element of surprise is lessened. Both professionals must learn to cope in healthy ways.
Predominantly, however, it is pragmatism that keeps them from being self deceived by narrative:
They cannot afford to allow emotion, belief, or ideology to over rule anything: they have a case to be solved.
In areas where leaders operate under the deception of "political correctness", the public often rails at law enforcement.
It is mostly unjust. Rank and file investigators are often represented by those they do not consider to be "cops" but politicians, and the madness of such impacts them as it does the population.
Investigators, like analysts, care for nothing but the truth. The case demands it. The interview is waiting; the evidence is guiding, there is a polygraph to review and...
there are confessions and convictions.
In other words, they do not "play" analysis as if it was a game; they not theoretical.
This is not to say that theoretical work is of no value; it has value. But its value is seen in its testings and results.
Law Enforcement professional men and women do not have time to debate the latest politically correct wave of belief;
they have crime to solve. They have truth to find.
They have little time and even less care for politicians. They understand what psychological impact a successful theft has upon the thief, even when politicians do not.
They know what desensitization to violence looks like, first hand, even if they do not possess the vocabulary of the DSM.
Most professionals in law enforcement have extensive experience dealing directly with human nature, making fine sounding platitudes valueless to them.
Professionals in training treasure the input of other professionals, as iron sharpens iron, they thrive on peer review of their work.
One of the most common expressions I hear is,
"I wish I could do the same high level of work alone that I do in team analysis!"
For training in law enforcement, see Hyatt Analysis Services.
The training is in seminar, or it is in your home. Both types of trainings are supported by 12 months of e support and allow for potentially joining live team analysis online, with investigators, analysts and professionals of many fields, from around the globe.