(2 days)

Avoiding Contamination
During acquisition, retention and retrieval there are many factors that delete and distort information beyond the interviewee’s motives and the effects of interviewer’s inquiries. We will explore the twelve elements of contamination, how to maximize retrieval and minimize contaminants.

The Live Interview
A live interview is a highly orchestrated combination of verbal and non-verbal skills, where manipulation by both parties often obscures the purpose of obtaining an undiluted statement. We will outline how to reduce the effects of the interviewer/subject relationship on the statement and how to be alert to red flags of deceptive verbal statements.

Written Statements
Written version of events have many advantages over verbal interviews. They can save the interviewer time with witnesses, suspects, victims, claimants, and employees. The subject must commit to what they are saying. There is less contamination by the interviewer. The statement can better be evaluated for linguistic indicators of validity and deception. You will learn which contexts call for the written version, how to initiate the enquiry, and how to design questionnaires.

Evaluating the Statement
Statements can be evaluated for omissions, consistency, logic, and linguistic indicators of truthfulness and of deception. Interviewees focus on the content of their stories, editing disclosure, but are unaware of their unconscious choices in how they describe events. Their choice of words, how they construct sentences, where they begin and end, the literalness of the statement, (as opposed to intended meaning), provide a wealth of information to the interviewer trained in the art/science of statement analysis.

Detailed Enquiry
Most often it is better for the investigator to follow up the subject’s “pure version” with un-contaminating questions about details and critical issue questions before confronting with evidence. These questions test for consistency and clarity. You will learn precise models of closed questions that test credibility and link interviewees to events.