What is the Scientific Method as specific to Behavioral Evidence Analysis?
In the USA, defendants are deemed innocent until proven guilty. Herein rests the null hypothesis (H0) of the defense. The "presumption of innocence" is the described null hypothesis of which all criminal investigations should begin if the scientific method is employed.
The alternative hypothesis (HA) states that the defendant/suspect is guilty, and therefore is not one within that population of innocent. One fallacy in logic includes the idea that a failure to reject the null hypothesis leads to its acceptance. Not so -- the failure to reject the null hypothesis implies insufficient evidence for its rejection, often due to missing behavioral and physical collaborated evidence. Failure to be thorough in this process leads to an increased risk of the false-positive or false-negative result.
Defense attorneys can avoid the embarassment from a last minute surprise when a jury accepts a false-negative finding from untested physical evidence or questionable witness statements. Likewise, a false-positive conclusion has sometimes been reached by the prosecution, especially when material has been acquired from witnesses who are psychiatric or cognitively challenged. MN-BIA has the clinical background to recognize these potential problems.
Do all licensed private investigators have similar background qualifications?
No. While most private investigators have prior experience in police work and corporate security and fraud, few have advanced formal education and training in the variety of human sciences. Some may lack training in the application of logic and the scientific method. Knowledge in human science is necessary to rule out false confessions. The capacity for metacognition is necessary for the investigator to realize and check his own bias during discovery.
Which areas of human science can prevent a false positive finding?
- Human Physiology : Understanding the mechanisms of the autonomic nervous system, sensory perception, and recognizing physiologic symptoms masquerading as psychiatric diagnosis (e.g., hypoglycemia vs. anxiety)
- Cognitive Psychology : Understanding the reasoning process as affected by factors such as intellectual ability, memory, motivation, and empathy, and the interplay of emotional response in the decision making process
- Abnormal Psychology : Differential diagnostics within the DSM of Mental Disorders -- e.g, Autism Spectrum, Schizophrenia, Bi-polar, or Schizo-affective disorder vs. the Personality disorders such Antisocial, Paranoia, Narcissistic, Obsessive/Compulsive, or Sadistic.
- Ethology : The biology of behavior. How some behaviors, which are not learned but are encoded in our DNA, arise from innate patterns of stimulus-response.
What is "stimulus-response" evidence?
A subject's speech, facial gestures, and the numerous physical responses of breathing rate, pupil dilation, and heart rate are affected by the autonomic nervous system. These are observable responses to stress, seen immediately after being presented with a stressor. These automatic reactions of nonverbal cues signal a subject's level of comfort or distress occurring within the moment of a presented stimulus. The stimulus can be the implication of one's involvement or a specific topic.
What is the difference between traditional interviewing and the Forensic Elicitation Interview (FEI) ?
Some investigators, including some that work under a city attorney office, are expected to follow a script of questions having an over-reliance on Yes-No responding. Forensic elicitation interviewing is a non-coercive method of comprehensive intelligence gathering that employs the detection of deception in the verifying process.
What are the benefits of MN-BIA litigation support services?
Litigation Support Services allow us to become your aid and supportive partner for any case. Each process is designed to maintain and improve your reputation while enhancing solid outcomes. Because your opponent is always hoping to catch you off guard, MN-BIA believes there is no such thing as being over-prepared. Your most valued reputation depends on how you use accurate and thorough information to show your honesty and confidence. Staff and witness coaching helps insure your reputation and lessens your day-to-day stress.
Litigation Support Services are designed to reduce the unknown by several ways:
- Act as your deposition witness
- Profile the witness status; moral, cognitive, and psychological development levels.
- Identify the potential negative juror bias within the selected panel
- Develop a "high-risk juror" profile specifically addressing the psychological perceptions, moral development attitudes, related personal and family life experiences, and demographic characteristics that could be detrimental to your case.
- In-court -- systematically assess juror response. Monitoring of jurors for stimulus-response patterns is the observation of physical reactions and connected non-verbal gestures that indicate a juror's level of emotional comfort or distress during testimony and opening and closing arguments. This frees you, the attorney, to focus on tracking and building rapport with your panel.
- Reduce the typical 10 worries of attorneys and witnesses. Staff and witness coaching includes teaching congruency of verbal and nonverbal presentations and teaching specific cognitive coping skills to reduce anxiousness and improve confidence.
Does MN-BIA serve private clients or only attorneys?
The primary goal and vision of MN-BIA services are foremost to the find the facts, verify the facts, and analyze the results into a cohesive logical conclusion. Services are blind in that a client's desired outcome of findings do not limit the scope and final results of investigations. This focus improves objectivity, reduces the likelihood of bias affecting the process, and preserves the integrity of all. Private citizens are urged to seek MN-BIA services through their attorney.