Analytical Interviewing

When law enforcement use microexpressions as an interviewing/interrogation technique it is called “Analytical Interviewing”.

United States police officers, TSA workers, and the FBI have all been using microexpressions to detect deception for quite some time.  Science has come to distinguish this from merely reading body language and gestures.  Although, those types of techniques are helpful in trying to detect deception they are not quite as beneficial as reading microexpressions.

Good liars can control lots of their output when being questioned or when under duress.  However, science is continually proving that they cannot control everything all of the time especially their microexpressions.

Things like a slight pursing of the lips, an unnoticed scrunch of the nose or a subtle shoulder shrug are all clues that what the speaker is saying somehow does not match what they know to be true.

According to BBC News, British police officers will soon be employing the same interviewing techniques as their American counterparts.

Detective Constable Tony Collins an expert from the National Crime Faculty is quick to point out, “You can’t just look at someone’s face and tell that they are lying.  This is just an indicator that something is not right.  It show they’re not comfortable with the line of questioning.”

The article points out that the seven basic facial expressions of emotion cross cultural boundaries and microexpressions are a quicker version of these facial expressions of emotion.

Mr. Collins doubts that British officers will adopt other policing techniques used in the U.S., but recognizes that analytical interviewing is an important step in interview techniques for Britain.  He affirms, “Their whole reason for interviewing suspects is to get a confession – ours is to get to the truth.”

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One response to “Analytical Interviewing”

  1. Keith D. says:

    “Their whole reason for interviewing suspects is to get a confession — ours is to get to the truth.”

    An interesting quote there at the end. We’ve seen several examples of this recently in the news haven’t we? One interesting example was watching James and Rupert Murdoch’s testimony over there before Parliament. It did appear that they’d prepared for questioning whose purpose was to get them to inadvertently confess to wrongdoing rather than to correctly establishing responsibility (and maybe in the end an inadvertent confession really is what it was about, but the wording of several of the questions suggested what they were interested in was the truth– wrongdoing or otherwise).

    Although I’m not sure the same thing isn’t also true at times over there. I think it’s a problem that likely crosses into all cultures. We’re just a much larger country with many more people of widely varied training involved in the mix, so it’s a lot easier to find examples of us dropping the ball and looking for proof of someone’s own pet theory rather than the truth. I suspect that’s a problem everywhere, because there’s no reason to believe that imaginary lines drawn on maps somehow alter human nature.

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