MN-BIA
Behavioral Intelligence Agency

 

Methods

Human Intelligence (HUMINT) is the collection of information to determine who, what, where, when, and how people have acted. The methods of HUMINT develop the facts necessary for each case. Those facts are then applied in Behavioral Evidence Analysis where they are sorted by relevance, chronology, and relationships in order to answer the sixth question of "why" this behavior occurred. Further verification leads to developing logical and relevant conclusions.

According to the Department of Justice, the majority of cases are not solved solely from physical evidence but are solved using human intelligence. Investigations with human intelligence begins by gathering and assessing patterns of the individual's behavioural acts.

Behavioral intelligence can also be gleaned from physical evidence. For example: Footprints may indicate running or walking. Toxicology may suggest whether a drug was forced or voluntarily ingested; Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) identifies the likelihood that a specific person is identified as coming from a specific maternal relative and was present at a scene; Paper receipts and credit card transactions can help develop the subject's behavioral routines and/or case specific evidence.

MN-BIA uses four core methods in the collection of behavioral intelligence. MN-BIA investigation service will usually start with a review of current data. This guides the following methods necessary to gain all relevant facts for finding the truth.

1. Threshold Assessment (TA)

The Threshold Assessment (TA) is an initial investigative report that reviews the current evidence. It weighs specifics of the case as to what is known and not known of the events as provided from multiple sources.

This process lends an overview of relevant established case facts. It provides an initial hypothesis of motivational behaviors and offers suggestions for the investigative means to improve fact finding evidence. The TA contains a "to-do list" with priorities suggesting the direction of further fact finding strategies.

2. Statement Analysis (SA)

The SA method discovers clues from previously unrecognized content as contained within a variety of documents and transcripts. It is most valuable in the detection of deception within written word documents; e.g., available depositions, handwritten accounts, and police statements.

Documentary clues of possible deception within written statements are exhibited in particular patterns. Clusters of likely deception are seen in the specific editing, atypical grammar, atypical choice of verb-subject and unusual phrases that are not idiosyncratic to the individual. These clues can provide direction to the next step of forensic elicitation interviewing.

3. Forensic Elicitation Interview (FEI)

Forensic elicitation interviewing (FEI) seeks to verify the data gathered from human intelligence.

The Forensic Interviewer has an understanding of the legal aspects of the interview in order to prevent valuable case information from becoming inadmissible. It is an ethical, legal, and non-coercive fact-finding method.

This method serves three goals: Additional fact finding; Determining the likelihood of a false-positive witness; Identifying the likelihood that the witness could be affected by a mental impairment or is merely reluctant, resistive, or disruptive.

For most people, the act of deception is a stressful event. The capacity for observing sensory changes is required to simultaneously process the visual and auditory material occurring during the interview. The investigator must be able to recognize the nuances within the subject's response to presented stimuli. They must be able to note the degree and importance of qualitative changes in prosody of speech (affective tone, cadence, rate, and volume) from the subject's baseline. An interviewer must be able to observe the autonomic nervous system's reaction to increasing stress in response to a stimuli.

Effective elicitation interviewing requires a working knowledge in psychology, psychopathology of organic and personality disorders, cognitive, and intellectual status.

A valid investigative interview requires experience with people from all walks of life. Remaining unbiased and maintaining a non-accusatory, positive rapport with subjects is necessary. One must not have any biases toward the nature of the allegations. Failing this leads to falling prey to confirmation bias; i.e., when some of the facts are ignored or minimized in the analysis because they don't support one's preconceived notion.

4. Behavioral Evidence Analysis (BEA)

Behavioral Evidence Analysis (BEA) confirms and deduces the relationships and motivation for acting in a given event. This procedure is also useful in differentiating the four types of mens rea and the degree of culpability.

BEA is a process of critical deductive analysis using all available evidence. It is based upon an idiographic study of the uniqueness of individuals and their relationship to the facts. It does not rely upon the nomothetic basis, one that simply attempts to predict particular attributes found within a statistical group. BEA conclusions are made from critical deductive reasoning. Every case begins with a hypothesis which is tested by the scientific method beginning with the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) model. ACH is based on insights acquired from research in decision analysis, cognitive psychology, and the scientific method. Reducing the potential for avoidable error is the foundation of our Behavioral Evidence Analysis.

The BEA yields a summary report of high credibility and may include a visual map - a graphical flow chart of the evidence and its relationships -- helping the viewer understand the developed conclusion.