Chapter 5: Language Indicators of Deception
A skilled investigator is able to analyze language indicators, looking for symptoms of deception. Some indicators are:
- Use of terms that suggest uncertainty – expressions such as usually, kind of, sort of, are comfortable because they allow a subject to conceal rather than falsify.
- Fewer factual statements – the less detail a liar provides, the less he or she needs to remember when the investigator questions them about what they have said. Too much details leads to conflicting statements and mistakes.
- Passive language – interviewee switches from the active to the passive voice. Instead of “I then lock the door” he or she says “The door is then locked”.
- Use of the second person – interviewee uses second-person pronouns and refers to himself or herself in the second person.
- Shorter message duration – subjects say only what they think they have to say to convince the investigator they are telling the truth, without providing any extra information.
- Response latency – a change in the amount of time it takes someone to respond to a question, responding to some right away and taking longer to answer others.