Truth verification is similar to fact checking in that both seek to uncover the truth. The main difference between fact checking and truth verification is that fact checking focuses on whether the facts are true while truth verification seeks to establish whether a person is being truthful or honest. While they might seem the same, they’re not. For example, whether or not the underlying facts are true, the person claiming those facts as true may genuinely believe that they are true. Simply establishing that the facts are not true doesn’t imply that the person wasn’t telling the truth.
A polygraph is what most people think of as a lie detector. The truth is, the polygraph cannot detect lies. What it does is measure and record physiological characteristics of the person being tested, commonly their blood pressure, heart-rate, respiration, and skin conductivity. These physiological characteristics change under certain conditions, such as when a person is caught out in a lie. The polygraph is only effective when used by an experienced and knowledgeable examiner, who will ask a series of carefully crafted questions so as to elicit measurable reactions.
Voice Stress Analysis
As with a polygraph, the Voice Stress Analyzer measures characteristics of the person being examined. With voice stress analysis, however, the focus is on aspects of the person’s voice during questioning. When we speak, the frequency of our vocal signal (voice) is slowly modulated to create a natural trembling. In response to stressors (such as being caught in a lie) the striated muscles surrounding the vocal cords contract and cause acoustic modifications in the frequency of that person’s voice. These changes are not noticeable by the human ear but are detectable by a Voice Stress Analyzer.
Statement analysis is a method of detecting concealed, missing, exaggerated and fabricated information in a person’s statement of facts – essentially, reading between the lines. When we knowingly make a false statement, we very often (and usually subconsciously) make adjustments in our choice of words and how those words are used. By studying the linguistic and other properties of a person’s statement (including things like grammar, syntax, semantics, meaning, structure, tone, rhythm, punctuation) a trained statement analyst can identify known indicators of deception, concealment, deflection and can highlight specific areas of interest for further investigation.
Communication analysis involves an examination of cues in a person’s communications, particularly in their responses to targeted questions concerning a specific issue. Communication analysis records both verbal characteristics (rate, pitch, volume, rhythm, intonation, and stress) and non-verbal cues (facial expressions, gestures, postures, glances, patterns of fixation, blink rate, etc) which when examined in the context of the content of the communication, can reveal deceptive and untruthful statements.
No, interrogation is not torture. It also isn’t threatening or coercive (as is typically depicted in the movies). Interrogation is about listening carefully to exactly what a person is saying, reading their body language, understanding their psychological and emotional state, and asking the right types of questions at the right time. An interrogator will use a variety of techniques to build rapport, gather information, expose discrepancies and elicit confessions.