Psychological orientation

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The rules of conversational communication often do not allow you to properly analyze the behavior of a person suspected of lying.

A liar should avoid contradicting himself, should not say things that you know are not true, and should remember what he has already said. Liars should monitor their behavior at all times to avoid exposure due to obvious signs of nervousness or difficulties in transmitting content. The influence of these factors increases even more when you continue to ask questions, forcing the liar to continue lying. A person becomes irritated very quickly if they consistently question what they are talking about.

If possible, carefully consider a potential liar, because the person's body movements can give away their lies. This kind of head-to-toe gazing is extremely rare in conversational communication. As a rule, we are limited to looking into the eyes of the interlocutor, however, isolated control of eye movements of the interlocutor does not provide enough information to recognize a lie.

Most often, errors are related to the use of insufficiently justified decision-making rules called cognitive heuristics.

These heuristics include:

  • accessibility heuristics-in real life, people are much more likely to encounter true statements than false ones, and therefore they tend to believe that they are dealing with sincere behavior.
  • frequency heuristics-people tend to rate strange or unusual behavior as false, regardless of how false it really is.
  • heuristic of relational error of truth – as close relationships develop, communication partners develop a pronounced tendency to evaluate each other as people who tell the truth;
  • representativeness heuristic-people believe that nervous behavior, as well as behavior that indicates difficulties in transmitting content, are signs of deception.

Even when people are nervous and have difficulty communicating content, this does not necessarily mean that they are lying. A sincere and innocent suspect who fears that he will not be believed may, because of his fear, show the same signs of nervousness as a guilty liar who fears exposure.

Individual differences in people's behavior are often overlooked. The natural behavior of introverts and socially anxious individuals is sometimes misinterpreted by experts as behavior that indicates deception.

When assessing the sincerity of the interlocutor in everyday life, people (including experts) rely on such stereotypical representations as: "liars look away", "liars squirm", etc. Attempts to mechanically use such stereotypical "lie detection" strategies are doomed to failure. First of all, because the nonverbal behavior shown in deception depends on the individual's personal characteristics, the type of lie, and the circumstances under which the lie occurs.

  1. It is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of lie detection.

There are three fundamentally different ways to detect lies:

- observation of nonverbal behavior;

- analysis of statements;

- analysis of physiological reactions

Based on nonverbal signs, a lie can only be recognized when the liar shows a certain emotional reaction (fear, guilt, etc.), or if the lie is difficult to fabricate. There is no typical non-verbal behaviour, characteristic of the situation lies. Therefore, it is extremely important to carefully observe the behavior of a person, not forgetting to listen to what he says. When analyzing nonverbal characteristics, attention should be directed to deviations from the "natural" or typical patterns of basic behavior of the individual. However, the "basic comparison method" only works when the behavior of the alleged liar is compared with his natural behavior under similar conditions. It is useless to compare the behavior of a person in an episode when he denies involvement in a crime with his own behavior in an episode of light introductory conversation (the behavior in these two situations will be different for both the guilty and the innocent).. If in one situation of accusation a person is simply outraged and asserts his innocence, and in the second-the statement of non-involvement is accompanied by stuttering and stuttering, the conclusion becomes obvious.

Stuttering can consist of hesitation before the beginning of a phrase, long pauses, repetition of the same words or syllables. Such indecision or inhibition of speech activity may occur because the liar often needs time to determine their true feelings and decide what they will talk about. As a result, his response in verbal form is not received immediately.

Nonverbal speech characteristics are often very informative indicators of lying. The process of lying can be accompanied by an involuntary change in intonation; a change in the timbre and tempo of speech; the appearance of tremors in the voice; the appearance of pauses when answering questions that should not cause difficulties; a reduction in pauses when answering questions that should make you think; accentuating by speech means (intonation, pauses, etc.) any fragments of the reported information, masking or distorting the true attitude to it.

To a much lesser extent than it is emphasized in popular literature, when detecting lies, you can focus on the expression of the face. The "running" look is usually found only in cases with inexperienced liars. Such people experience increased anxiety during a false statement, find it difficult to maintain the direct gaze of a communication partner, and look away. A "light" smile can be a means of masking the internal tension that accompanies a lie, or it can be just a form of manifestation of an individual communication style. The micro-tension of the facial muscles at the moment of a false message (as if a shadow runs over the face) is too short, and it requires the use of special technical means (video equipment) to establish it.

Symptoms of autonomic reactions (redness of the face or its parts, lip quiver, dilated pupils, rapid blinking, etc.). accompany insincerity, largely depend on the sensitivity of the autonomic system and the kind of experience lies (with experience is a liar ceases to be awkward, and with it eliminated symptoms of lying).

An informative sign of lying can be a change in the motor activity of the hands. Intertwining your fingers, clenching them into a fist, or putting your hands in your pockets when talking usually reflects the internal tension that a person is experiencing. By lying, liars-men can loosen the knot of their tie, and women can touch their neck with their hand. When they talk, they may also hide their hands, fidget, or sway from heel to toe, showing anxiety and discomfort. It should be borne in mind that lying can be accompanied by directly opposite nonverbal manifestations – a person can sit or stand absolutely still.

In the process of lying, there may be an involuntary switching of the current gesture from the right to the left hand (this is true only for right-handers). Sometimes there is a decrease in the intensity of the liar's gestures during the conversation. He has to control his verbal activity (keep his legend in mind all the time) and nonverbal behavior (not give himself away), which reduces the spontaneity of the liar's behavior in General. Given that the degree of self-control over nonverbal behavior decreases in proportion to the distance of body segments from the head, involuntary leg movements are of particular interest as possible indicators of lying.

An important sign of lying is the discrepancy between nonverbal behavior and the content of speech. Non-congruent (disproportionate, mismatched) "body language", in which gestures contradict words, is a sign of internal discord, a signal of possible distortion of the reported information. At the same time, it should be taken into account that the interlocutor may not be lying, but simply feels uncomfortable.

A marked discrepancy in emotional manifestations indicates the presence of hidden stress factors, or Vice versa – factors that reduce the level of stress. The content of these factors should be clarified and taken into account when making a conclusion about the degree of frankness. These factors may relate, for example, to the problems of the object's personal life.

An important diagnostic value for detecting lies is the assessment of the compliance of the psychoemotional state of the studied individual with his statements in this regard. It is obvious that a person is experiencing emotional stress in an environment that threatens their life, health, or social well-being. Therefore, the predominance of behavioral responses of self-control and self-defense in such stressful conditions is natural. Another thing is when you are assured of your openness and benevolence, describing the interaction situation as psychologically comfortable, and they themselves experience a pronounced emotional stress, and finding the need to control every word. We can assume that this is an attempt to hide the real attitude towards you and the motives of their behavior.

Of practical significance is the allocation of so-called feigned manifestations of feelings. The most frequently observed elements of fake behavior are:

- fake smile-a person smiles only with his lips;

- feigned expression of excitement – walking back and forth, imitation of shaking hands;

- feigned expression of calm – demonstration of boredom, yawning, sipping;

- feigned expression of joy – clapping, whirling, rolling laughter, noise;

- feigned expression of grief – shaking your head, blowing your nose, wiping your eyes;

- simulation of illness-coughing, cupping your head with your hands, simulating muscle tremors, etc.
Identification of feigned movements is based on taking into account a number of objective features listed below.

Mock suffering. All components of the expression of grief are emphasized, exaggerated. There is no characteristic pallor of the face for such experiences. Muscle contractions, motor acts are artificial. There is tension, stiffness of movements. Disharmony in facial movements (there are contractions that do not exist in suffering). Through the sighs, tears and weeping, sometimes slipping a smile.

Feigned anger. Increased movement of the arms and legs. Deliberate wrinkling of the forehead, lowering of the eyebrows. A smile on his lips. The eyes are directed in the other direction.

Feigned joy. When smiling, a complex of facial muscles is not involved, including the lower segment of the circular eye muscle (the lower eyelid should be raised). Forced, forced laughter.

In General, feigned behavior is not difficult to recognize, but you should not be deceived by easy success. The lies of a person with a sufficiently high level of intellectual development are rarely accompanied by such primitive tricks.

  1. Analysis of statements in order to identify hidden information

Sometimes a liar says something that doesn't correspond to reality. Comparing the statement of the alleged liar with the known facts, it is checked whether his story does not contradict these facts.  Often the necessary facts are unknown, or the liar tells a story that matches the facts. In these cases, the lie cannot be revealed in the way described above. There are no absolute indicators of false verbal behavior. However, some verbal criteria allow us to distinguish quite successfully between false and truthful statements.

The relationships between lies and the following verbal characteristics are most fully studied:

- negative statements (indicate an aversion to an object, individual, or opinion; this group of characteristics includes: negatives, pejorative statements, and statements that indicate a negative mood);

- the most likely answers (the statements that make sense and sound reasonable and likely);

- irrelevant information (information that is not relevant to the context and is not requested by the interlocutor);

- overly generalized statements (using words such as "always", "never", "nobody", "everything" , etc.);

- self-referencing (using words related to the speaker himself, such as "I", "me", or " my»);

- direct answers (describing the case and candid remarks; for example, the statement "I love N." is a more direct statement than "I like to be N.");

- duration of response (duration of response or the number of spoken words).

The difference in the manifestations of these verbal characteristics in situations of lies and truthful statements is due to the influence of three factors: emotions, the complexity of transmitting content, and attempts at control.

The emotional responses (guilt, fear, or emotional uplift) that accompany the reporting of false information are often reflected in changes in the form and content of statements. The result of guilt or fear may be that the liar does not want to associate himself with his lies, and therefore liars tend to give indirect or overly generalized answers, or answers that do not contain explicit references to themselves (self-references).

Guilt and anxiety are negative emotions that can irritate the liar or cause them to be uncooperative. One of the indicators of irritation may be the use of negative statements. For example, when a person doubts the truth of a message, they falsely say, "I am not a fraud," instead of saying,"I am an honest person." Unwillingness to cooperate can be expressed in the use of short answers.

Difficulties in transmitting content. Usually, lying is harder than telling the truth. As a result, false statements can be short and sound unconvincing and implausible. Liars often avoid referring to themselves, due to their lack of personal experience of acting in a fictional situation.

Attempts at control. Liars often try hard to impress others as honest people. They often assume that they will look suspicious if they don't provide enough information. The message of irrelevant information, the distraction of random associations, the unnecessarily detailed description of minor details acts as a substitute for the information that the liar cannot provide.

Liars use more negative statements, give less plausible answers, shorter answers, use less self-reference, and tend to give less direct answers.

The use of these verbal indicators is limited to the following circumstances:

- liars can be aware of the verbal criteria of deception, and, if desired, change the content of speech so that these verbal indicators are less obvious;

- verbal indicators of deception are influenced by personal characteristics (for example, intelligent people with the gift of eloquence show fewer verbal indicators of deception than less eloquent and less intelligent individuals).

Spontaneous lies contain more verbal indicators of deception than planned ones.

The analysis of the statements of the studied individual provides for the consideration and evaluation of a number of meaningful criteria:

- logical structure,

- unstructured presentation of information,

- number of details,

- contextual inserts,

- description of the interaction,

- playback of conversations,

- unexpected difficulties during the incident,

- unusual details,

- redundant details,

- making adjustments on their own initiative,

- recognition of the fragmentary nature of your own memories,

- details containing negative information about the narrator.

The presence of a logical structure is evidenced by the fact that the statement (story) is meaningful, i.e. the statement is coherent and logical, and its various segments do not contradict each other and do not differ from each other.

An unstructured presentation of information is present if the way the information contained in the statement is presented does not meet the requirements of consistency and chronological order, while the statement as a whole does not contain contradictions (the criterion of logical structure). Unstructured reproduction is most common when a person is under the influence of strong emotions.

The "number of details" criterion assumes that the statement must be full of details — that is, it must contain references to a place, time, people, objects, and event. A request to specify certain points will help you get more information in cases where a person is talking about real events, as opposed to situations where it is a fabricated statement. The fictional past is passive, artificial, and not experienced by the subject.

The presence of contextual inserts is indicated by the fact that the described event is defined in the time and place of action, that the events that occurred are woven into the canvas of everyday worries and habits. For example, the interlocutor reports that the meeting took place in the evening in the Park, where he, as usual, was walking the dog at this time.

A statement will meet the interaction description criterion if it contains information about an interaction involving at least two actors.

You can talk about reproducing conversations when a person recounts a speech or a fragment of a conversation (at least one of the participants 'speech) in the original form, If the person simply recounts the content of the dialogue (for example, "We talked about sports"), then this does not meet this criterion.

The criterion "unexpected difficulties during an incident" corresponds to a statement in which certain unexpected elements, obstacles and obstacles are "wedged" into the described events.

Unusual details include references to features of people, objects, or events that are unusual and/or unique but relevant in this context. For example, a description of the character oddities described by the person, rare appearance characteristics, special features, and so on.
The presence of excessive details can be stated if a person stops at questions that are not related to the topic, or on some issues tells more than they would like to learn from him, does not skimp on details.

Making adjustments on your own initiative. Compliance with this criterion can be discussed in situations where a person makes adjustments to the information presented earlier on their own initiative, or makes new details to the material already presented to them. Examples: "It was about two o'clock, or, no, wait, it must have been later, because it was already getting dark"; "We were sitting in the car and he was driving very fast, by the way, the car was a Volvo, so he was driving so fast that he barely had time to stop at the traffic light."

Recognition of the fragmentary nature of their own memories. It can be judged that a statement meets this criterion if a person on their own initiative admits that they do not remember certain aspects of what happened (statements such as "I do not know" or "I do not remember" made in response to direct questions cannot be called relevant to this criterion). Reporting details that contain negative information about the narrator. Truthful people do not hide facts that characterize them not in the best light (manifestations of weakness, fear, doubt, etc.).

These criteria are much less common in fabricated statements than in stories about actual events. This may be due to the following reasons:

Liars often lack the imagination or time to speculate on the relevant details, to enrich their narrative with sufficiently complex elements, to reproduce fragments of conversation, to mention fragments of interaction, to describe their own mental state or the state of another person.

In some cases, liars have a sophisticated enough mind to "decorate" their stories with detailed characteristics, but it is very difficult to ensure that a fabricated statement meets several criteria at once. For example, it is much easier to present a fictional story in chronological order (first this happened, then this, then he said this, and so on) than to intentionally present events in a chaotic order.

Liars try not to include too many details in their story, because they are afraid to forget their version of what happened. If they forget what they said last time, they run the risk of facing serious problems, because there is always a chance that they will be asked to repeat the story, and then the liars will have to repeat it word for word, without getting confused in the details, and without allowing contradictions on important issues.

Liars try to avoid excessive detail for fear that checking these details will reveal that they are fabricated.

Liars try not to include certain characteristics in their story (for example, admitting that they don't remember something, doubting the accuracy of their memories), because they believe that this will make their story less convincing or it will seem less plausible.

To make a conclusion about the veracity of statements, the criteria considered alone are not enough. Fictional stories can also be full of colorful details and the smallest nuances of what happened – for example, if a person has carefully prepared for a conversation, or if someone has instructed them what to say. Sometimes the opposite happens. Sometimes, the quality of truthful statements leaves much to be desired, it clearly lacks significant details (for example, due to the fact that the interviewee is not enough fluent in speech, or is he too upset to talk in detail about the incident, or the expert has not given him the opportunity to tell the whole story from beginning to end, etc.).

Additional grounds for assessment of a lie in the conversation gives the analysis on the content of speech of the individual and characteristics of the situation. The main directions of this analysis are presented below.

The inadequacy of language and knowledge. This area of analysis is related to the solution of the question: whether a person uses a language and demonstrates knowledge that would go beyond the usual abilities of a person of his age, life experience, social status, intellectual and cultural level, and professional qualifications. If such an inexplicable discrepancy exists, atypical expressions appear in a person's speech, or their typical words and phrases disappear, then this may indicate that the person is pre-prepared for the conversation.

The inadequacy of affect. This point of analysis concerns the extent to which the feelings that a person demonstrates during a conversation are commensurate with their intended experiences.

Unreliable motivation to provide information. This indicator of lying is related to how convincing a person's motivation to report specific information is. It is important to know what relationships the participants of the described events have, and to be aware of the consequences that the implementation of the reported information will entail for these people.

Unreliable context of the initial contact. This point concerns the root cause and history of the operative's interaction with the agent, in particular the context in which it first took place. It is necessary to pay special attention to those components of the context of the initial contact that may raise doubts (who, or what prompted the person to interact with the security authorities).

Incongruity with the laws of nature, this point of analysis is related to the fact that in some cases people describe completely absurd events.

Incompatibility with other statements. This point is related to the fact that the main elements of the statement may differ or contradict other statements of the same person or third parties.

People too often assume that others are telling the truth. The expression of suspicion is considered unacceptable in everyday everyday Affairs. When performing official duties, suspicion is necessary, although it should not always be shown.

It is necessary to constantly ask new questions about the topic, as soon as there is a suspicion that the interlocutor is lying. If a liar keeps asking questions, it becomes harder for him to lie. The lie becomes a chain character. All this requires effort and time, which often does not allow the liar to think through and remember the content of their statements. Liars have to constantly monitor their behavior to avoid giving themselves away with obvious behavioral signs of nervousness and cognitive overload. However, it should be borne in mind that when faced with the persistence of liars, people often tend to believe in their honesty.

It is important not to show the liar your awareness of his circumstances. In such circumstances, liars do not know what to say to them, and they always run the risk of being caught in statements that contradict your knowledge. The constant threat of being caught will make them nervous, which increases the likelihood of specific behavioral indicators appearing in the process of lying.

A useful technique for detecting lies is to ask the liar to repeat what has already been said. Liars sometimes expose themselves by not being able to remember what they said before, and start contradicting themselves when they try to repeat their stories. When liars realize that their lies have attracted attention, they may decide not to burden their statements with fabrications, so the statements are qualitatively impoverished.

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