Word Cues as Truth Clues: Inductive Interviewing for Investigators

Word Cues as Truth Clues: Inductive Interviewing for Investigators
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-05-24
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Word Cues as Truth Clues
Unit 2Transcript: Word Cues as Truth Clues
Unit 3Workbook: Word Cues as Truth Clues
Unit 4Recording: Word Cues as Truth Clues

Various innovations assist law enforcement in the investigative process today. However, there will always be instances where good old-fashioned detective work and interviewing people is what is required to crack a case. This webinar explores the Inductive Interview System and how close attention to specific word cues, patterns and deviations can effectively facilitate the legal process without resorting to coercion and false confessions.

Leading the discussion is Ray Nash, the CEO and founder of the Police Dynamics Institute. Ray has had a prolific 40-year law enforcement career in different roles starting as a dispatcher in his teens, a police chief by age 23, a training specialist, an elected sheriff, and in an overseas mission for the international police reform efforts in Afghanistan.

Specifics of this webinar are about:

  • The shortcomings and adverse consequences of existing forensic interview training made available to law enforcement and developing the Inductive Interview System to specifically address these.
  • The difference between deductive reasoning and the inductive approach in terms of the format and sequence of the process.
  • The flexible, non-linear, and progressive framework and phases of the Inductive Interview System.
  • The importance of paying close attention to word cues – what was said, how it is said, and what is not being said – during interviews to recognize indications of guilt or attempts to deceive.
  • Balance: What it pertains to in investigative narratives, the common ratio in a truthful narrative, and indicators of guilt based on the balance ratio alone.
  • The difference between how truthful people and liars tend to narrate stories in terms of chronology.
  • What missing times in a narrative may indicate.
  • How misuse of personal pronouns, particularly leaving out the pronoun “I” in statements demonstrates a lack of commitment and an attempt to distance from an action or event.
  • Liars’ tendency to add extra words to add credibility to their account or stall the pace of the interview to have time to think of what to say.
  • Shifting to the passive voice to create ambiguity and distance one’s self from something.
  • Using the words “then” and “left” to skip over critical details in a narrative’s timeline.
  • Using the word “never” as a substitute to “no”, and why it actually doesn’t make sense.
  • The correct and incorrect use of the word “actually” vis-à-vis close-ended and open-ended questions and how using it may suggest deception.
  • Using distancing words to evoke emotional distance from a referent.
  • People’s tendency to recount past events truthfully in the past tense and how shifting to the present tense may denote fabricating an event.
  • How verbal leakages occur as a result of cognitive load while someone lying or fabricating a story is trying to cognitively process everything.
  • Use of non-committal qualifiers in interviews to show a lack of commitment to a story.
  • The significance of establishing a baseline norm to effectively identify deviations and tactics used.
  • The inductive interviewer’s responsibility to pay close attention to such deviations – particularly in groupings – and drill down to uncover fabrications or omissions in statements.
  • Examples were provided to illustrate how these word cues are employed in real cases and helped law enforcement recognize attempts at deception, distancing one’s self from an action or event and relieving one’s self from accountability, and uncover incriminating details.

Topics covered during the Q&A are about:

  • How factors like educational attainment and culture influence people’s tendency to use word cues and deception “red flags” as part of their baseline norm.
  • Qualifying whether certain phrases or expressions are actual verbal leakages or part of an individual’s baseline norm.
  • Non-verbal cues and body language training as part of the Inductive Interview System.


Audience Comments

  • “The specific verbal cues to listen out for when interviewing our probationers. In speaking with my probationers, I have heard many of the things described in this video. This training provides a way to think about and structure interviews so as to promote honesty. Thank you.” — Andrew
  • “Everything was so interesting and useful! Please bring him back for more.”  🙂 — Carrie
  • “There were many things that I felt were valuable. I am a probation officer and really get a good amount of time to talk with offenders. This topic is very informative to me and I enjoyed it. Look forward to more in the future. Would also be interested in non-verbal cues. Thanks.” — Justine
  • “New tools to put in the toolbox when dealing with interrogations.” — Joseph
  • “Excellent session – the audio/video excerpts were extremely helpful to see the principals in practice vs just listening to Ray tell us about it. I wanted the session to be longer. Thank you!” — Kelley
  • “I learned many indicators of a liar and I think this information will be greatly useful for me in my career and life. I also enjoyed the presenter very much, he did a great job today!” — Elisabeth
  • “This was FANTASTIC – the best I have viewed in a long time! My only criticism was it was MUCH TOO SHORT!! Please run a part two! Thanks.” — Susan
  • “I found the flexibility in this method of interviewing a relief, as it seems to be a lot more achievable. I would be nice to be able to guide each interview directly down a specific path, but it rarely organically happens. I appreciate being encouraged to adapt quickly, and instead of being given indicators to look for and jump on. I am highly interested in taking the full course.” — Amity
  • “Excellent presenter! The actual videos were very helpful! Thank you!” — Roseann
  • “Outstanding presentation, Ray. Thank you…learned much and will be very helpful when interviewing!” — Barbara
  • “Excellent! Would definitely love to see more webinars on this topic.” — Ebeth
  • “Learned verbal/written cues of guilt. Can’t wait to put some training hours into watching videos of interviews/questioning. It appears this takes a lot of practice to get a good hold of it. Thank you!” — Gregory
  • “THIS WAS A FANTASTIC WEBINAR. I was at work and could not focus until I logged off.” — Jodene
  • “It was very informational and I loved seeing video clips where we could observe first-hand how a person speaks in an interview and pay attention to specific word cues and transitions. This has been my favorite webinar so far and I would like to see more represented by this speaker also.” — Brittany
  • “All the minor language nuances that are signs of guilt and how easily they are passed over. Also, that a lot of the identifiers can also be signs of lack of education or cultural background.” — Diana
  • “I really enjoyed the psychology of this webinar relating to words and interviewing techniques. Really fascinating.” — Marceline




Additional Resources
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Online Course: Introduction to the Inductive Interview System
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