The Forensic Profile of a False Statement 2

By Chris Simmons

[Note: This feature should be read in conjunction with yesterday’s post].

Like a truthful narrative, a dishonest statement has five components and is arranged in a predictable pattern. However, in a falsehood, the sequencing of the core elements is reversed and the Main Information split in half. As such, a deceitful storyline is structured like so: Start, Main Information, Minor Details, Main Information, & the End.

The splitting of the Main Information triggers the “roller coaster” effect many people experience when victimized by a lie. In this scenario, the sub-conscious mind has spotted the anomaly (i.e., a deceptive pattern) but has not yet identified the lie(s).

These behavioral cues are indicative of a false statement:

1. The deceitful interviewee will only include information relevant to the discussion (in contrast to a truthful individual, who includes extraneous data).
2. The deceiver’s narrative tends to be very concise.
3. Almost without exception, the interviewee’s body language will show clusters of deceptive behavior.
4. When the interviewee is providing the Minor Details, be aware that he/she is studying your body language to gauge whether he/she is believed. If they see signs of skepticism, they may alter the second chuck of Main Information to allow themselves a way out.

Test a suspicious story by allowing the interviewee to tell his/her account from start to finish without interruption. After a brief period, ask them to tell their story backwards. Since a dishonest tale is memorized from start-to-finish, you will detect hesitation and stalling as the interviewee replays the story in their head. The timeline will quickly fall apart as well, as items are forgotten, moved around, and occasionally — added.

2 comments

  1. Great stuff! I heard Pamela Meyer (check out her TED talk) speak at a conference in Istanbul last year. She shared her experience at FBI on how to spot lies. It was good – especially that you are looking for patterns – not one single signal. I like the ask them to tell the story backwards tip 😉

  2. I’ve been involved with several interviews of people who were lying, and they actually provided a large amount of extraneous detail, mostly in order to justify why the were where they shouldn’t have been doing what they shouldn’t have done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s