How Statement Analysis Works
Statement Analysis depends entirely upon analyzing written or verbal statements. The basic premise is that the structure and content of a subject's statement will reveal when there is an attempt at deception. We all write in different ways, with different characteristic choices of words, and what we use words for is to define our reality. When we lie, we're trying to juggle two things in our minds at the same time: the real events and the invented or disguised version of them. The language we use reflects that tension -- and when it does, the language we use does not follow our normal patterns.
For instance, word choices can reveal whether a statement comes from the memory or from the imagination. When the statement begins to address the central incident, some subjects change to the present tense. Most verb tense changes indicate that the statement is being made up as the writer/speaker is going along. This is a case of "constructing" the statement rather than "re- constructing" the incident. Gaps in the narrative also betray deception. The statement, " I don't remember " in an open statement often conceals a critical detail which the speaker would rather forget -- or at least avoid mentioning. Delay tactics also signal deception, and in fact, most deceptive stories (80%-90%) push the main issue the statement is supposed to address to the end of the statement and do not continue the narrative after that. They end abruptly or not at all, as if they didn't want to tell the big lie and waited as long as possible to do it. Another difference between truthful and deceptive statements is that most deceptive stories do not mention emotion, and those that do, locate the emotions rationally, near the most threatening point. Finally, some subjects cleverly pose their own questions to avoid revealing information. In short, for every liar, there are innumerable ways to lie -- but every one of them involves a linguistic choice. Statement Analysis studies speech patterns, seeking revealing signs of deception by analyzing both the structure and contents of a statement.