Friday, February 19, 2010

First Person Simple Past Tense

The formula First Person Simple Past Tense indicates truthfulness. Truthful people retrieve information from their memory and commit to that information by using the Personal Identifier “I.” Liars, on the other hand, create information in the present tense and translate the action to the past tense to give the illusion that the information was retrieved from memory. Liars often cannot commit to the false information and omit the Personal Identifier “I” because they know the information is false. In many instances, liars will blend the truth with deception resulting in the mixed use of the Personal Identifier “I.” Each sentence should be examined for the use of the First Person Simple Past Tense to determine if the speaker or writer is committed to the activities in that sentence. The lack of the First Person Simple Past Tense does not always signal deception but does identify areas in the spoken or written communication that require further inquiry, especially if the omission of the First Person Simple Past Tense deviates from the speaker or writer’s baseline.

The following statement was written by a truck driver who mysteriously lost a pallet of three airplane tires off the back of his truck while he was driving from Los Angeles to Lancaster, California. The use of the Personal Identifier “I” deviates from the writer’s baseline and suggests deception.

(1)Arrived LA dock 18:45 loaded 3 pallets to rental truck stack bed, 2 pallets airplane tires –1 pallet with 2 boxes. (2) Departed LA dock 19:30 for Lancaster. (3) About 21:00 between top of truck ramp from I-5 to the 14 Freeway and camper pulls along side of me and tell me that a pallet had fallen out of the back of my truck. (4) And just before that when I got to the top of the truck ramp had pulled over to check straps (strike) on trucks – all 3 pallets were still aboard. (5) So when I got to Sand Canyon Rd pulled off to check load and both straps + chain was loose or off of pallets and there was only 2 pallets on truck, 1 pallet of 2 boxes + 1 pallet of 3 airplane tires. (6) So I (strikeout) turned around (strikeout) and went back toward LA looking for the missing pallet. (7) Found nothing. (8) Went onto Lancaster office. (9) Unloaded truck.

The driver omitted Personal Identifiers in Sentences 1 and 2. He used the Personal Identifier “me” and “I” in Sentences 3 through 6. The driver again omitted Personal Identifiers in Sentences 7 through 9. In this statement, the omission of Personal Identifiers is the baseline and the use of Personal Identifiers deviates from the baseline. Any deviation from the baseline signals deception. Additionally, in Sentence 3 the driver used the Present Tense “pulls” and “tell,” which also signals deception.

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