Police Officer Skills: Detecting Deception

Being a police officer requires many skills. But out of all the skills the job demands, detecting deception and ground fighting are two of the most crucial. Below are a few data-backed tips on how to best improve the said skills if you want to be a police officer.

Detecting Deception

In the field of police enforcement, suspects naturally lie to safeguard their self-interests. In Psychology, it has been comprehensively studied whether or not detecting deception is possible. So far, these are some techniques that researchers think works:

Behavioral Cues

Behavioral cues can be assessed using different channel: gestures, body language, facial expressions, voice, as well as verbal style. Another way to examine whether an individual is telling the truth is how the actual words is spoken, which is through verbal statements.

Another common misconception in the behavioral cues of people who lie is that they’re not nervous. In actuality, people who are telling the truth are often nervous in the presence of law enforcement officials.

In assessing the truth, it was revealed that liars’ nonverbal behavior is often the opposite of what they’re telling. For example, a suspect may deny a crime but shows undue distress (not typical nervousness) in making his or her innocence claims. Or when a person says “no,” but nods his head in agreement.

More than these indicators, the more telling part is how consistent a person is in his or her statement. Make sure to take note of any inconsistencies in an individual’s stories to try to see if they’re lying. However, this assessment could also fall short if the liar consistently sticks to his or her stories.

Microexpressions

Microexpressions or the quick, momentary facial expressions that people show has also been used to examine liars. In daily living, most of us miss it and the best way to review them is through the use of slow and stop motion in a recorded video. Learning to recognize them in real-time is doable with training. Once learned people are able to retain this ability permanently.

The good thing about microexpressions is that they’re universal. No matter your gender, nationality, or race, everyone expresses a range of emotions in exactly the same way.

Unconscious and automatic, these are immediate responses we have at a particular thing. Learning them means you have a better chance of recognizing the truth. This has been a helpful tool for investigators since it’s one of the nearest thing we have when it comes to having a universal language.

Statement Analysis

Another way potential police officers can improve their lie-detecting skills is through statement analysis. This uses grammatical rules in how people speak to assess the truth. When people say they believe someone or not based on their gut-feel, they’re unknowingly using statement analysis a basis.

Statement analysis is about examining a person’s use of words, statement structure, and sensory details among a few. Studies have shown that there is indeed a difference in how people go about telling lies from truths.

In a book by Mark McClish called I Know You Are Lying, he tells of his nine years of research and studies on how people answer certain questions. He then formed a Statement Analysis system to know if a person is saying the truth. In it, he includes analyses of eight high profile cases some of which are: the Oklahoma City Bombing, the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial, the sexual molestation charges against Michael Jackson, and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., among others.

In Conclusion

All the above signs shouldn’t automatically be considered as an indication of lying by themselves. However, the above stated behavioral cues could also be due to different reasons and not just lying. Instead, these should only serve as tools that officers can use in an interview or interrogation. Like any tool, it would be best if it’s supplemented with hard work, evidence, and any corroborating statements.

All of these help tofurther probe a person’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

Overall, findings made by leading researchers in the field have stated that there’s really no single way to detect lies. This is because lying emits a complicated number of signals that it wouldn’t be possible to assess each and every factor in real-time accurately.

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