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The Defensive Demeanor Profile

by Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”


All our individual behaviors are learned through the trial and error process from our life experiences.  If a behavior is successful during a stress period, it ís likely it will be used again.  If it fails, we adapt our behaviors to overcome the failed attempt to relive stress. This unique cluster of stress response is what we call the “Defensive Demeanor Profile” or DDP.

The term “Defensive Demeanor Profile” was coined by Dr. Martha Davis and this author during our in depth research project on micro behaviors conducted at John Jay College. (See the Martha’s article from December 2002).  We noticed that subjects we observed had some form of general stress behavior during their interrogation.  Buried in the middle of the of all the DDP information we would find the subject’s deception signals.

Most observers of deception fail to spot deception because they tend to be distracted by a subject’s DDP and define those behaviors as signs of deception when in fact that are nothing more than general stress behaviors.  We made the observation in our study that these DDP behaviors where most likely the product of years of stress response reactions and where more the “noise” or “static” of human behavior and were significantly responsible for distracting the observer from any reliable credibility cues.

The fact that all interviewed subjects including victims, witnesses, prospective employees, informants as well as suspects all generate their own DDP make the establishment of each person’s “constant” of behavior that much more critical when assessing the person’s credibility.  Without a firm grasp of each subject’s DDP as demonstrated under stress you are not going to able to recognize and correctly identify his or her signs of deception.

Accurate analysis of deception cannot be made without establishing s subject’s “constant” or baseline.  Take a few moments to make note mentally of your subject’s “constant” then look for changes from that pattern which will most likely be your subject’s DDP.  Buried in the middle of the DDP signals your subject generates you will find subject’s lies signs if there are any.  Remember that deception signals are a form of stress but not all stress signs indicate that the person is lying.

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