Evaluating Truthfulness

A paradigm shift in our understanding of Deception and what exceptional criminal interviewers and researchers in psychotherapy are telling us

     The humorous answer: “their lips are moving”. As we all know, it’s a little more difficult than that.

     A study called the “Wizard Project” was conducted by researchers in psychotherapy testing 13,000 judges, psychologist and law enforcement officers in the United States. Participant’s ability to detect general deception, criminal deception and emotional deception were tested. The study revealed that only 29 participants could detect all forms of deception over 80% of the time. Of those 29, four were law enforcement officers, all four of whom were considered exceptional criminal investigators.

     These exceptional criminal investigators and interviewers focus on obtaining the truth, not compelling a confession. When the veracity of the interviewee’s statement becomes suspect, deliberate questioning strategies are initiated to verify truthfulness or reveal the deception. The goal of these questioning strategies: to stimulate cognitive processing. In other words, these questions cause the interviewee to think about what is true and requires a deliberate intent to deceive. This deliberate intent to deceive triggers an emotional reaction resulting in a cluster of cues indicative of deception. Managing the interview process, evaluating truthfulness, and detecting deception require proficiency in advanced Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills.

     Accurately detecting deception requires identifying clusters of cues involving any combination of verbal terminology, micro-expressions, micro-gestures, timing of body movement, and changes in paralanguage.

     A training video of Kato Kaelin testifying during the O.J. Simpson trial has been provided to demonstrate how to accurately detect clusters of deceptive cues. The interview instructor in the video is retired Special Agent Mary Daugherty, one of the four exceptional criminal investigators and interviewers capable of detecting all forms of deception almost 100% of the time.

     She is a retired Senior Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF, ironically the E is silent). Special Agent Daugherty has been instructing Analytic Interviewing and Cognitive Interviewing since 1993. She is considered one of the leading criminal interviewers and interviewing instructors, training thousands of Federal, state and local law enforcement officers in the U.S. and Internationally.

     Watch as she demonstrates the proper way to evaluate truthfulness and detect deception.

Analytic Interviewing