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NCJ Number: 221411 Find in a Library
Title: Interview Clues: Words That Leave an Investigative Trail
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:77  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:1-9
Author(s): Vincent A. Sandoval M.A.
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 9
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The article examines suspects’ use of words that camouflage or conceal the truth
Abstract: Analysis suggests that a large part of linguistic behavior is subliminal. To discover insight and identify areas of possible deception, structural and linguistic features of an individual’s word should be scrutinized. Most people who choose to deceive will lie by omitting information or details from their statement or narratives. Individuals deliberately camouflage the truth by using words that leave an investigative trail. Investigators should identify these words and attempt to capitalize on them during the course of an interview. Because verbs comprise the principal part of speech that denotes action, they require particular attention. Subjects who want to conceal their involvement in, or knowledge of a crime, occasionally camouflage their actions by inadvertently or intentionally manipulating their choice of words to describe their actions. Investigators should listen for words that convey conversation, words that camouflage conversation, and words that camouflage actions. If a reference is made to a conversation of some sort, the investigator should determine the precise content and nature of that conversation, when it took place in relation to the incident under investigation, who initiated it, and whether the writer or speaker changed any words used to describe verbal interaction. In addition to recognizing overt words that suggest conversation, investigators should listen and look for any references to social gatherings typically associated with verbal interaction. Variations include using present tense to describe action, passive voice to distance themselves from their actions or uncompleted action verbs when something interrupted the action. Several case examples are dissected to illustrate the concepts presented in the article. Notes
Main Term(s): Interview and interrogation; Statement analysis; Suspect interrogation
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Forensic psychology; Individual behavior
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