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What Interviewers and Interrogators Are Missing

Lie Signs and Hen’s Teethinterviewers adn interogators, lie signs, body language

What Interviewers and Interrogators may be missing

For nearly 50 years there has been a fundamental belief that those people who commit the act of deception will exhibit a plethora of telltale non-verbal cues. Interviewing and interrogation courses have taught over five decades that fidgeting, grooming, hand wringing, sweating, breaks in eye contact and even eye movement were just some of the purported undeniable cues that someone was lying. Unfortunately the overwhelming results of empirical research on deception, has debunked a very large majority of non-verbal cues as reliable signs of deception.

Body Language Cues Are Not Working

Several empirical studies confirm that focusing on body language results in poor detection of deception. Lie signs that subjects may generate during interviewing and interrogation are apparently rare and very faint signals. This is most likely the very reason the majority of people including interviewers and interrogators tend to perform very poorly at spotting deception.

Free ebook Practical Kinesic Interview & Interrogation®: A Basic Guide

Big Foot is alive and well! Not!

Peer reviewed research published by Aldert Virj has shown that people in fact do not generate what he calls “stereotypical signs” of nervousness behavior during their attempt to deceive. He found this to be true even though the individual may be experiencing a high level of “detection anxiety” or the fear of getting caught lying. Virj further found that investigators who focused primarily on the body language cues during interviewing and interrogation to spot deception developed a very strong “lie bias.” In empirical research, this is referred to as “confirmation bias.” This is especially true for the multitude of body language myths perpetuated in law enforcement academy training materials. If you think you’re going prove that Big Foot exists, then every single snapped twig or unusual noise in the woods is a sign that Big Foot is real.

Could Verbal Cues Be More Reliable?

When put to the test, in general interviewers and interrogators who focus more on speech cues for diagnosing deception perform better than those watching for the myth-based body language cues. However, another contributing factor to missing verbal cues to deception are the many myths about verbal signs of deception. Such cues as stuttering, stammering, stalling, “ah” “er” “um” and “uh”, laughing, voice pitch and many many more have been proven unreliable.

Hen’s Teeth and Lie Signs

It would appear that verbal and nonverbal signs of deception are quite rare. To complicate matters even more, they have a very short duration which overall makes them hard to spot. Ekman, et al and their work on micro expressions have overwhelming proved that point. The job of the interviewer therefore is cover topics thoroughly and perhaps even repetitively. If the interviewer or interrogator hopes to spot any signs of deception, then they need to focus more not only on what they hear but also ask questions that are very focused and will energize the subject’s efforts to maintain deception making the cues stand out. In other words, the better the questions and the more thorough the coverage the better chance the interviewer will have at spotting deception. Otherwise deception cues from a subject will be as rare as hen’s teeth!

Watch Stan’s You Tube Video on Hen’s Teeth & Lie Signs

Hen's Teeth & Lie Signs | Tip #31 of 101 Interviewing and Interrogation Tips

Interviewing Tips | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses | Tip # 27

Interviewing tipsInterviewing Tips

Interviewing Victims and Witnesses

Interviewing tips taught to many investigators during their initial training is unfortunately severely lacking. Interviewing victims and witnesses is THE most important thing you will ever do as an investigator.  In a prominent study conducted by the Rand Corporation many years ago provided an important interviewing tip.  The interviews of  victims and witnesses is one of the most important steps to clearing any case.  That is however if you are using an effective interviewing style. Now, nearly 3 decades later our training academies may still be short changing our investigators by not giving attention to this critical skill.

The vast majority of interviewing tips offered in interviewing and interrogation training courses focus heavily on the element of spotting deception in the victim or witness’s behavior.  They do not focus on getting information and how to avoid contaminating statements. To complicate the situation even further, most interviewing and interrogation training courses offering interviewing tips of spotting deception.  The problem is that the great majority of verbal and nonverbal cues identified as deception in these interviewing and interrogation courses have been proven wrong.

Check out our “Mastering Narrative-Based Interviewing” course.

Unfortunately, during interviewing and interrogation training,  little emphasis is on interviewing tips and techniques that have been proven to be effective. Many victim and witness interviews uncover little of the information victims and witnesses possess.   Most tactics taught and used are even counter-productive. The result is often statements that have been contaminated by the interviewer’s efforts. Those same tactics also do little gain cooperation and compliance from victims and witnesses nor take into account the strong emotional and cognitive reactions they may be experiencing.

Watch Interviewing Tip # 27 | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses of 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation to Learn More.

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Tips for Recording Interviews

Tips for Recording Interviews

What’s Holding You Back From Recording Your Interviews?

tips for recording interviewsAre you recording your interviews? If not maybe you should be!  The trend for recording interviews is growing on a national level.  There is even some changes on the horizon for some federal agencies to start recording interviews.  At last count 22 states are requiring some type of recording of police interviews and interrogations.  More than 3000 agencies are reportedly also doing some recording. So what is it that is holding you or your agency back?

 

When asked about their experiences with recording interviews, the results were quite surprising!  Almost every single agency said they would never give up the practice.  Despite all the misgivings and concerns about law suits, exposed techniques, or even compromising the “tactics” being used in the interview room, the results have been remarkable.  So maybe what is holding you or your agency back are some concerns about methods, procedures, recording devices and more.

Take a look at Tip # 26 of 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation.  This episode contains some tips for recording interviews.  Many of these tips for recording interviews has come from agencies already using the process and have adjusted their methods, procedures and polices.

Be sure to subscribe to Stan’s YouTube Channel: 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation.
Get ahead of the game with some valuable interviewing tips for every interviewer and interrogator.

Meanwhile, get the Interviewers Playbook and get a head start on all your interviews!

 

Interviewing and Interrogation | The Power of the word “Because” | Tip # 24 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation
The Dialogue of Persuasion and the word “Because”

Interviewing and InterrogationEffective interviewing and interrogation is far more than just rattling off questions and hoping to get information.  Too often investigators make the assumption that they must “power” the subject through interviewing and interrogation and that their subject will eventually surrender under the mere weight of suspicion, the fact that they are being interviewed about their involvement in a critical event and that to resist the investigator and his or her conclusions is futile. More often than not, these are the very same tactics you will find in cases of contaminated victim, witness and suspect statements.  These tactics in combination with other factors have also been noted to be present during interviewing and interrogations that have resulted in false confessions.

A professional investigator doesn’t have to use manipulation when interviewing their subjects.  They will persuade to subject to draw the conclusion that it is in their best interest to do so.  One small part of effective persuasion is the use of a the very powerful word “because.”  It is “a request plus a reason.”

Learn more in Tip # 24 of 101 Tips for Interviewing and interrogation.

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Also be sure to check out our On-Demand Training Courses.


Interviewing and Interrogation: Will Crushing Analysis Paralysis Ruin Your Interviews? | Tip # 23 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation
Don’t Let Crushing Analysis Paralysis
Ruin Your Interviews and Interrogations

All too frequently, investigators become trapped during interviewing and interrogation focusing predominantly on finding where their subjects may in fact be deceptive.  Certainly that is important to know as their case progresses. The problem however is that with such a narrow focus, the interviewer can miss all the other valuable information the subject may generate during interviewing and interrogation and the interviewer may in fact be sacrificing another important element.  The being creating some degree of compliance and cooperation with their subject along with lasting and meaningful rapport.

(Get your Free eBook on Practical Kinesic Interviewing and Interrogation here!)

In order to advance any interviewing and interrogation event, the interviewer must look beyond just the analysis of their subject’s behavior.  They must look for topics or issues that generate significant reactions from their subject.  These “topics” will then become the focus of conversation later as the interviewer moves toward the cross-examination phase of interview.

Watch Tip # 23 and learn more about “Analysis Paralysis” and the detrimental effect it can have on your interviewing and interrogation.

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