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Author Topic: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...  (Read 2798 times)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2016, 05:10:29 PM »
Bear with me, I haven't done this in a long time, and never in this forum which is very funky.
I can't talk about the indicators, or I will teach others how to lie (or how to improve).

no worries at all, friend.  you're kind of at a disadvantage attempting the exercise with a bunch of people trying their damndest to become professional liars.  but, you're incredibly right -- this is fun!


my responses!

melissa and i and her boyfriend
Spoiler for Hiden:

This text suggests you knew or know M. well, and felt positively for her.

mostly.  she was one of the data entry girls at the place in interned over the summer between my sophmore and junior year.  i totally thought she was hot, tho.


Beginning with "some dude", numerous issues point to deception here.

omg -- it was crazy.  i ignored him.  she ignored him.  we just kept at it.  he was knocking on windows, ringing the doorbell.  ten or so minutes he kept that up.  in.  sane.

yup, quality girlfriend right there.


There are so many issues in the last 3/4 of the text that my diagram looks like a box of highlights made sweet love all over my desk.

quite apropos, i would say.


My analysis:
- You consistently indicate a positive mentality toward Melissa. The rest seems very deceptive, particularly the sequences featuring the angry man.
- I assess the overall text to be significantly false, particularly the sequences featuring the angry man and chase. The initial section seemed true, with the delta between the content of the initial section and the rest being the chief indicator of deception.
-Gem Cutter

100% absolutely true.

being my first time "hanging out", this night was SEARED into my memory.  i had to leave out a ton of details just to make weight -- i suspect that was what you were sensing after the first section.  there was a talking parrot, my bluffing a waitress about my age, vanilla ice, my first experience with a front clasping bra . . .

mercy!



mark and i and the knife
Spoiler for Hiden:
The text above featured few indications of deception. The lengthy set-up (for an account) is consistent with a writer framing a story. There is a logical flow and consistent level of detail.

indeed!  the layout of the bar is crucial to the story.  you needed to know where the knife would hit.


From the outset, indications of negativity between you and Mark.

oh boy, yes.  and not just me.  we had three primary bartenders -- kirsten (our resident hot, barbie-working-on-her-masters, tip-making-tornado) wouldn't even talk to him.  chuck and i had to put up with his crap.


Further indications of negativity: name calling, expansion of those distant from Mark. Distancing of you from his statement (its absence, replacement with "it" the shortest possible word). Failing to clearly even call it a statement or recall the "statement" indicates strong negativity and/or possibility it was not a statement, without suggestion of what it might have been. Inconsistencies suggest possibility of deception.

damn.  that makes me wish i could remember what he'd said.


Further, strong indications of negativity between you and Mark (besides the knife act). Some indications of deception.

oh, i had other acts too.  i had earned the nickname "crazy" from the other bartenders.  i juggled knives, flipped bottles, all the things.

i used to do this trick with a book of matches where i could snap-light a match, and slide the book down the bar so it would stop right in front of the cutest girl lighting a cigarette, single lit match point up.  all she had to do was lean down and light her cigarette.

that trick got me soooooo many "dates".


Significant but limited indications of deception.

. . .

Continued indications of negativity between you and Mark.

srsly.  he never talked to me again.  was great.  but, kirsten and i felt bad that chuck had to deal with him.  tho, he stopped coming in shortly after that.

nobody was sad.


- My analysis indicates much of this text is true.
- Consistent indications of negativity between you and Mark suggest he is a real person whom you do not like or trust.
- Absence of Mark's statement and other signs indicate he may not have made a statement as described. There might have been non-verbal communication, for example.
- Areas of deception seem centered around your responses to Mark's statement, and/or his reaction to your response, if there was a statement made.

again -- 100% true.

tho, i suspect my "cold as ice" may have been a bit of an embellish.  that's what i was desperately trying for, but in my head i was like, "holy shit!  that worked?!?  wait . . . did i just throw a knife at him?  omg!  i'm so gonna get fired!!"



amy and i and the clowns
Spoiler for Hiden:

Strong indications of positivity between you and Amy. Some issues exist here but I am too rusty to analyze them reliably. Seems some sensitivity around the project, might not be deceptive, just sensitive issues below the surface.

on the one hand, this is the most right you've been!

yup, i adore amy.

yup, i was not a fan of the project.

on the other hand, those were purposefully laid clues about true elements.


My analysis:
- Consistently positive signals indicate you know Amy and like her.
- Absence of any indications of deception beyond the opening paragraph, which were inconsistent and unclear.
- Overall, I asses this text to be true, with potential for some deception (probably via incompleteness) in the first para.

this is my liar-liar-pants-on-fire one.  all the stuff that's fake:
- amy and i never had a one-on-one strategy meeting.
- we've never walked down the back stairs.
- since, she's moved to the second floor, but back then, she was on the third.
- she never told me about an ex-girlfriend.
- i've never seen a pink vw bus that i recall.
- much less one with a giant blue flower on it.
- much less one filled with clowns.
- there was no clown running out of any house anywhere.
- because i don't think there are even any houses near campus. (totally going to look next time)

all the stuff that's real:
- yes, we were co-tech leads until i bowed out because you can't have two leaders.  duh.
- yes, the patio is run by lasseter's hand-picked chef and is delicious.
- yes, she's a lesbian, former-rocket scientist from nasa.
- yes, you have to go out our gate and back into pixar's.




Let me know how I did!
-Gem Cutter

lookit me!  m3mnoch, the amazing liar!

however . . .

were this in-person?  boy, i'd fail miserably.  i'm one of the worst liars on the planet -- so bad, that i can't even "white lie" because i still look like a fibbing, babbling porky pig.  just ask mrs. m3mnoch.


speaking of interrogation techniques, tho, have i got a book for you!  it's called "spy the lie" by a bunch of former cia agents and it's fab.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071NOJ9W/

my infosec friend (high school buddy, best man at my wedding, don't let him touch any of your computers) recently recommended it to me.  he re-reads it every year to stay sharp.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2016, 05:39:10 PM »
I'm lucky I didn't do worse - you were tough to analyze - all your incongruities in the text (incomplete sentences/fragments, etc.) made it tough to process. And I am insanely rusty at this. Even when done perfectly, the techniques do not yield clarity - the intent is to identify areas and issues that should be focused on in subsequent questions.

And being writer is to be a liar - to state things that are not true. Very, very rarely do people actually lie. They dodge the question, lead to false conclusions, play with terms (I did not have sexual relations with that girl), and then there are the more subtle techniques.
"This administration does not do X" sounds concrete - but if the issue is what happened last month, this is a dodgy statement. Verb tense and time in general are critical.

I'll put together a post on the principals - they work on non-liars :)

The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2016, 06:34:37 AM »
As promised, I will share the analytical techniques. I cannot cover them all, but maybe the simple ones. They do work, and if you attend to emails, press statements, etc., you'll see a whole world open up. I will bold the principals.

Most people do not lie, when we hold to a strict definition of "contradicting reality." It's scary and stressful. So we deceive through omission and things like that. Deception is hard, and leaves traces at many levels.

So, to detect deception we have to get inside the person's head - linguistically, and pay very close attention to details and changes. None of the principals below by themselves mean anything. Together, they paint a picture. We can never complete the thought for the subject or assume anything - we never add or subtract. Letting a sentence trail off without finishing is a form of deception.

0. You know the subject is probably not being deceptive when they use "I + singular past tense." This formula establishes commitment on the part of the subject as to what happened.

0.1 By omitting the pronoun "I" (we, or our group, etc.), a subject violates the formula of "first person singular past tense", so there is no commitment, there is no "Total Belief."

0.2 Slipping verb tense is an easy way to deceive. "The President forbid waterboarding" is concrete.
"This administration does not condone waterboarding" sounds concrete - unless we're talking about last month, or last year. (And who exactly is "This administration", does that include the people accused of waterboarding? Is the subject saying: "The government/military/CIA does this, but the administration doesn't like it"?)

0.3 The biggest indicator of deception is not answering the question.
Our exercise should have included a requirement to answer an important question, but I slipped up. My story of my son on an earlier post highlights this well.

The principals below are used to pursue the theories above. These principals are "multiplied" by several factors that give them more weight, consistency being the biggest. Any changes in language occur for a reason. This is one reason writers are hard to analyze - they tend to avoid repeating the same words. They learn to summarize and cut things out/short. A mess for me!

1. Proximity Matters. There are several ways people subtly tell you their level of comfort, familiarity, etc., with others. The most straightforward is distance. The closer the subject (the writer of the text) is to the person in a sentence, the closer the subject is to the other in spirit (not always the reverse). The inverse of this rule tells the opposite.
"I went to the story to buy milk with my wife" is a good example of negativity. We couldn't be farther apart.
"My wife and I went to the store to buy milk." That's much closer.  Prompt someone you know is angry at someone else and see the distance between them in a sentence. Guys, ask that girl about her boyfriend. If she says "I have been living here for a year and didn't know anyone until he asked me out," you are already in the running because she's looking at the door. If she says "We've been dating for X time", move on. Not happening

1. Names and naming are critical. This is not in the usual sense - but in the inner, psychological sense. In my head, "my wife" = Kristine Hamilton, and there are many Kristines in the world, but only one "my wife" in the world, from my POV. A full introduction is called for when we care deeply about people (and are not angry) "My wife Kristine" "My son Zack" etc. Not making a full introduction indicates negativity, distance, etc.

1.1 This usually gets shorter through the text, but it shouldn't get longer. When someone goes from a short introduction a longer one, it could indicate a bad relationship.

1.2 Skipping intro altotogether indicates a weak, bad, or nonexistent relationship. We don't say "My friend Bart", we say "The mechanic told me it was busted."

1.3 Not "demoting" someone from their full name (relationship tag/title + name/nickname) to a pronoun is a sign of closeness, etc.

2. Pronouns are critically important.

2.1 WE = absence of relationship stress (in the moment), maximum closeness. IT = for people is a obviously telling.
2.1.1 The woman who let her car roll into a lake with her two boys in it never used "WE" when describing driving around town, even though they were with her. She used "I", which eliminates the relationship altogether, a telling detail. She only used "WE" when describing the murder - all her relationship issues were, at that point, resolved.

2.2 Pronoun presence/absence is telling. When someone says a name over and over, there's a reason.
"I love Kristine. I bought a motorcycle for her last year from my sister's husband. I would never hurt her." Umm, which "her" would I never hurt, Kristine or my sister?

3. Articles are important in seeing the world as the subject sees or saw it. "He jumped in the car and left. Then I saw him an hour later in a car in front of the bar." Like all changes in language, the shift from "the" to "a" is an issue. Whose car? Some woman's?

3.1 "A" means one of many. "The" means one and only one. When a man tells his wife "I was talking to the girl at work", it is not the same (internally) as saying "I was talking to a girl at work", even if there's only one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself, what makes the girl at work THE girl? Or, ask your spouse :)

3.1 Shifts from articles to possessives is also an indicator "I drove my car to the beach. Got bored, went home, but the car broke down on the way home." In this case, the way I felt about the car is subtly indicated here. I no longer wanted it to be mine - literally. "She drove the car like an idiot .... On the way home, I drove my car." is another indicator, this time, of my attitude - what I hold I own, in my head.

4. Breaks in time in the narrative are important when someone is deceptive, so noticing them is key (but not easy). They can indicate sensitivity and can be a sign of deception. Indications of a break in time (or blank period the text skips over, if you prefer):

4.1 Disappearing subject: He dropped me off and picked me up an hour later. (where was the subject in that hour? Banging the neighbor?)

4.2 He asked me X. Then he asked me Y, and told me I was fat and stupid." Subject's missing - along with her answers/non-answers. Howwwww convenient...

4.3 The way we describe and break down time emotionally can be important. Consider the parent of a murdered child (true story) who said "This was a safe town before, and it's a safe town now." There's a conceptual crack indicated in that sentence when the town was not safe.

5. Relating the past involves no editing, no creation of new information that must be checked for consistency, etc. That takes time and thought. The longer someone takes/needs to answer, the more likely they're lying or being deceptive.

5.1 Stalling buys time to deceive: "Ummmm, I, uh, we, saw ... umm ... a car" the change in pronoun and the time-buying are clear indications of deception.

5.2 Another way to stall is an irrelevant aside "So I left the bar at ... gosh, it's hard to remember ... ummm ... what was yesterday Thursday? Hmmm, well, I know it was after dark. You know how the traffic gets at the end of the day! No way was I going to fight my way through THAT!"

I hope you found this interesting. There's a ton more of this stuff, but I won't bore you with it unless there's interest.
-Gem Cutter

The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline m3mnoch

Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2016, 02:37:04 PM »
looking through the list, it seems many of those mirror common lessons in writing quality fiction.

which makes sense, i guess.  making up believable stories and all that.

interesting.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2016, 02:38:20 PM »
As promised, I will share the analytical techniques. I cannot cover them all, but maybe the simple ones. They do work, and if you attend to emails, press statements, etc., you'll see a whole world open up. I will bold the principals.

I found this to be a genuinely fascinating read, even though I'm reading it through head cold and Dayquil haze (on day 6 of a nasty cold, now in the recovery phase). I hadn't thought about how these sorts of differences imply deception, but they make sense. I'll probably re-read it later this week when I'm recovered to see how much I retain.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: A potentially fun exercise in deception and truth-seeing...
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2016, 06:17:58 PM »
So I'll continue and this time, focus on a single trait of deception, which I find very interesting, and you should too - because a good story is almost always false. Life doesn't happen in very good stories most of the time - this is why when something happens that IS a "good" story we immediately recognize that it does, and we value these tales for their rarity.

1. So here's the rule: If the emotional arc and the plot arcs align, the narrative is probably deception. Humans are natural story tellers, and we know a good one when we hear one. A good story is one where the emotional peak aligns to the events.  Sadly, real life very rarely aligns this way. In fact, in moments of trauma and drama, it physiologically cannot line up, usually.

When a person is in danger, pain, etc., the capacity for emotion is undermined by the pain and fear. We see this time and again.

Example: Imagine a motorist driving his kid to day care before he goes to work. A huge truck heading the opposite way careens over the median into the motorist's path.  He has few thoughts and or emotions. The human mind can only process a single thing at a time; there isn't enough time; and intensity of the few thoughts and feelings he has makes others temporarily impossible:
      Event - truck hops the median
      Perception / understanding - is that a truck coming head-on into my lane...
      Reactions:   Surprise - OH SHIT! Fear - IS HE GOING TO HIT ME? Horror - My KID IS IN THE CAR
                       *swerves to the side, breaks, drops it a gear, punches gas, and swerves again* (because dad is a bad-ass, sportsman-like driver)
      Response: everything that comes after (if lucky enough to HAVE an after)

Luckily, our motorist swerves and avoids the truck. The danger passed, his thoughts and emotions now bloom. This is when the panic attacks come. Our motorist has to pull over, throws up, and cries. This is a perfectly normal response - and notice the disparity between the emotional arc and the plot.
The world and the subject form a dialogue. One or the other starts things, and they interact through the "plot" of the events.
World: Truck-threat
Subject's Reaction: Limited thought / emotions (in number and complexity, not intensity): fear, pain, relief
Motorist's Response: "peripheral" emotions (not fight/flight): anger, betrayal, regret, sadness, love, gratitude, etc.
Note: response emotions can be "in the moment", but the causes for them should be rooted in the incident itself. "If Margery wasn't such a lazy person, I wouldn't be here, about to die."  This thought is totally legit as a response - it is unlikely as a reaction, because the cause (Margery's work ethic) is absent from the threat.

False claims of sexual assault are renowned for breaking these rules. Someone who has been beaten and bloodied at the hands of strangers, with a knife to the throat and gun to the head does not feel much beyond fear and pain AT THAT MOMENT. Subsequent emotions like hate, betrayal, bitterness, etc. cannot come forward until the pain and fear are gone.

A lie will force the two arcs - emotion and plot - together, which almost never happens. It can, but that would be very exceptional.

Remember to consider this principal together with issues of timing and absent time:
"The truck hopped the median.  Afterward I had to pull over and throw up, I was so shook up." In this case, the missing part is obvious because you remember the story above. But that assumption can be used to manipulate. This line isn't from the motorist, it's from the truck driver ;)
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell