In a crowded store, a man yells, "Stop, thief! She stole my wallet!" pointing to a young woman. The store detective takes the young woman by the arm.
Subject: "Let go of me. Who are you? I haven't done anything. How dare you!"
Store Detective: "Is this the one, sir?"
Male Victim: "Yes, she took my wallet."
Subject: "Let me go, let me go, you're hurting me. Where are you taking me? Let me go!"
She is taken into the store's executive office.
Detective: "This gentleman claims his pocket has been picked.
Male Victim: "This girl bumped into me, then I felt for my wallet and it was gone. I am sure she's got it. I felt her hand in my pocket."
Subject: "I didn't take your wallet. I'm a respectable woman. I never stole anything in my life.
Victim: "You did take it. You're a pickpocket."
Supervisor: "Call for female detective and have her searched."
Subject: "I won't be searched. You've no right to search me. How dare you say I stole your wallet!"
Victim: I saw you put your hand right..." (reaches into top right inner coat pocket and discovers wallet)
"It must have slipped down. Excuse me, miss, I'm sorry, I...it's been a terrible mistake"
Subject crying as accuser leaves.
The writing is fascinating.
1. "I didn't take your wallet" is a very strong denial. If this is followed by, "I'm telling the truth" it is 99% likely to be truthful. This is why detectives often ask, "Why should I believe you?" knowing that the psychological "wall of truth" removes the burden of persuasion from the honest, truthful subject.
2. The Sermon: "I'm a respectable woman" is unnecessary persuasion which belies the "wall of truth." This is where we see people who did not do what they have been accused of, but have likely done enough other things to warrant a need for sermonizing about self.
3. "I've never stolen anything in my life" is an unnecessary addition to the denial. It does not mean the denial is not reliable, but it does mean that this subject has a need to not only sermonize, but assert that her innocence goes beyond the context of this accusation.
"What about me? I'm a respectable woman. What about all those people who saw me arrested? I'll never be able to live it down. (crying) Oh, the disgrace of it! I am going to my lawyer. I will show you that you cannot falsely accuse innocent people of theft!"
At this point, store security enters to tell supervisor that a male-female team have been scamming stores in this manner.
In this storyline, the man and woman are working together to game stores out of money. It is not unlike what we see today with bus accidents or fraudulent claims of falling. For every fake accident, there is a doctor and lawyer willing to join the deception for pay.
Exploitation via fraudulent claims, especially in the "victim culture" today, are very successful.
Deception Detection training for business not only stops the payouts, but it can screen out the thief from employment, even before the interview is conducted.
The writer hit on truth: the woman did not take the wallet but her character, in deed, has reason to persuade.
Notice the accuser's use of passivity in his statement: "It must have slipped down. Excuse me, miss, I'm sorry, I...it's been a terrible mistake"
Not only is passive voice employed here, but it is that he does not accuse himself of making a mistake.
The writer was paying attention.
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