top of page

The Paradigm Shift in Deception Detection

Exceptional Interviewers and researchers in Psychotherapy have made profound discoveries about deception that changes the way we should conduct interviews?

     Discoveries have dramatically changed the way we look at detecting and managing deception. We now know there are three reasons focusing on trying to detect deception is a flawed strategy when interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses. Let us explain.

     The relationship between truthfulness and deception is the same as light and dark. We can measure light because light is energy. Darkness cannot be measured because it is the absence of energy. Truthfulness can be evaluated. The truth is multidimensional and has many layers of information. This is because a person’s story involves something that has actually happened. If I asked you to tell me everything you saw, heard, did, felt, and even smelt, you could give an incredible amount of detail. You would be shocked at the amount of detail the human brain records at the subconscious level and can be retrieved by a skilled interviewer. Deception is the absence of the truth. Even a practice Lier only has a single layer of information that can be easily penetrated and exposed with the proper questioning strategies.

     The second reason focusing on detecting deception is a flawed strategy is because there are numerous ways we deceive one another. White lies, serious lies, concealment, falsification, embellishment, exaggeration, half-truths, minimization, bluff and by omission.

     When we are conducting an interview how are we to obtain detailed, accurate, truthful information when we are focusing on which form of deception is being used, if any. Truthfulness is much easier to evaluate. Deception is simply the absence of the truth.

     Another reason focusing on deception is a flawed strategy is because subconscious emotions, hidden emotions and deception share the same physiological symptoms. They exhibit the same nonverbal and verbal cues. This is why the average psychologist, judge and police officer are able to accurately detect deception only 50 % of the time. And, we are wrong 50% of the time when we think someone is lying.

     This is a dramatic paradigm shift in how we traditionally think about deception. Which means a paradigm shift in how we conduct interviews.

Analytic Interviewing was designed by exceptional criminal interviewers in collaboration with psychotherapist studying human deception and detection. Analytic Interviewing is designed for interviewing suspects and obtaining detailed, accurate, truthful information by managing the interview process, evaluating truthfulness, and motivating a deceptive person to tell the truth in a nonconfrontational way.

     Cognitive Interviewing was developed by Cognitive Psychologist to interview victims, witnesses and law enforcement officers involved in traumatic events. Cognitive Interviewing incorporates a variety of memory retrieval techniques and is supported by nearly 400 studies as to why it works. It was endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999 and by the Force Science Institute.

     Both interviewing approaches require the interviewer to be proficient with the same fundamental nonverbal, emotional intelligent and social intelligent skills. The philosophical approach and strategies overlap and create a synergy that when trained in both techniques, the interviewer is prepared to manage any conversation or interview. Hence, we instruct both Analytic Interviewing and Cognitive Interviewing at the same time.

bottom of page