Why is Statement Analysis so accurate?
There are several reasons why the Statement Analysis techniques are the most accurate way of detecting deception. When you use nonverbal communication techniques to detect lies you have to "read" or "interpret" someone's body language. Of course when you interpret, you always run the risk of misinterpreting. When using the Statement Analysis techniques we never interpret. This is because people mean exactly what they say. In addition, you cannot read someone's mind. With Statement Analysis we do not infer but we point out what the person has said.
Take for example O.J. Simpson's so called suicide letter. After Simpson failed to turn himself into the police, a letter written by Simpson was found which read like a good-bye letter. The letter starts out saying,
"First everyone understand, I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder."
That is how you heard it read on television. That is how you saw it printed in the newspapers and magazines. The problem is that is not what Simpson wrote. In his letter, he crossed out the words "I had." His letter actually reads, "First everyone understand,
I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder." Simpson took himself out of the denial. He could not bring himself to say, "I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder." So, why do most people include the words "I had" when reading Simpson's letter? Most likely because they are interpreting what Simpson wrote. They believe this is what he meant. However, people mean exactly what they say or write. Simpson meant to cross out those words. He could not state that he did not murder Nicole.
Another reason the Statement Analysis techniques are very accurate is because they are based on the English language. This includes word definitions and the rules of grammar.
The majority of the Statement Analysis techniques are based on word definitions. Every word has a meaning. When you combine this with the fact that people mean exactly what they are saying, it then becomes possible to determine what a person is telling you and if the person is being truthful. Look at the following statement which was given during a job interview. Is this person being truthful or deceptive?
"You know, I am trying to be as honest as possible."
In this one sentence, there are three things which tell us what this person is saying.
The subject starts off saying "you know." The subject expects us to take for granted that he is being honest. The problem is he has not told us he is being honest. He did not state "I am being honest." He states "you know" but we do not know. We cannot believe he is being honest unless he tells us he is honest.
The subject goes on to say, "I am trying." The word "trying" means "attempted," "failed," "didn't do it." The subject is clearly telling us he is not being honest. He is only attempting to be honest.
He ends his statement by saying that he is trying to be as honest "as possible." The words "as possible" mean the subject has a limitation to his honesty. He can be honest up to a certain point. Apparently at this point in the interview he reached his limitation.
When you first glance at this statement, it appears the subject is sincere and being forthright. However, upon close examination of the words he uses we see he is being deceptive and he is not very good at it. Even though he wants us to believe he is being truthful his language clearly tells us he is being dishonest. Later in the interview, he admitted he withheld some information. You may say this is a very obvious and simplistic example. You are right. However, it happens all the time where people's words betray them and it goes unnoticed.
"I swore an oath to tell the truth and I believed I was bound to be truthful and I tried to be." President Bill Clinton August 17, 1998.
Rules of Grammar
Some of the Statement Analysis techniques are based on the rules of grammar. For example, the rules of grammar define how articles are used in a statement. The indefinite articles "a" and "an" are used to identify someone or something that is unknown. Once the person or thing has been introduced, we are then required to use the definite article "the." Consider the following statement from an alleged robbery:
"I was standing at the bus stop when a man approached me and asked me what time it was. The man then pointed the gun at me and told me to give him my wallet."
In the first sentence, the victim properly refers to the attacker as "a man." Having identified the attacker, he then correctly refers to him as "the man" in the second sentence. A problem arises when he refers to the weapon as "the gun." Since this is the first time he mentions the weapon, he should have called it "a gun." Using the article "the" tells us the victim either recognized the gun or he is making up the story which was the case in this situation. Because he is thinking about placing a gun into his deceptive story, in his mind he has already made the introduction. Therefore, he uses an article that seems right to him but violates the rules of grammar.
Research and Observations
Only a very small portion of the Statement Analysis techniques are based on research and observations. For example, deceptive people may try to convince you they are telling you the truth. They will sometimes do this by using phrases such as "I swear to God," "I swear on my mother's grave," "Honest to God," "Honestly" as well as several other phrases.
Years ago Al Davis, the owner of the Los Angeles Raiders, was asked if he was going to move his football team back to Oakland, CA. He responded, "I don't know what's going on, so help me God." The very next day he signed the paperwork for the team to move back to Oakland! Al Davis knew what was going on and we know he knew what was going on because of the phrase "so help me God." Just because someone uses one of these phrases does not automatically mean he is lying. It is only an indication of deception and is one more thing within the statement to take a closer look at.
Statement Analysis is a very accurate tool in detecting deception. The techniques are easy to learn. You will begin to hear things in a verbal statement and see things in a written statement that you never heard or seen before. When you use these techniques your analysis will not be your opinion but it will be based on the person's own words.For more examples of the Statement Analysis techniques, take a look at my analysis of some famous cases.