SCAN (also referred to as scientific content analysis or statement analysis) is a method that analyses whether words a person has used in a written statement are authentic.  This technique provides a way of detecting missing or hidden information. Highly trained analysts are also able to determine the truth, or lack thereof, in statement.

 Who uses SCAN?

The police, private investigators, security companies and intelligence services among others find SCAN useful.  These industries all have an interest in ensuring that statements made to them are the truth.  More than most, they deal with people who are dishonest or hide vital information from them. SCAN assists them in establishing the facts as well as the fiction.

SCAN is also used when there are a number of statements to be analysed, rather than have people individually take lie detector tests. Many SCAN analysts are fully qualified and experienced polygraph examiners. As new deception detection techniques emerge, it is not unusual for examiners to specialise in one or more of them.

How SCAN Works

The technique relies on analysis of statements as opposed to watching the body language of a subject.  In layman terms through studying the content and its structure it’s possible to derive dishonesty or authenticity. Whereas it’s useful for polygraph examiners to know something of the culture of a subject no such restriction applies to SCAN. No matter from which culture a subject comes, as long as the analyst is conversant in the person’s language, the analysis is possible.

People tend to lie more easily in conversation. In a verbal interview they are able to prevaricate, hide vital information, say they have forgotten something or indeed, feign ignorance. However, committing what they have said to paper is difficult for even the most practiced liars.

In interviews liars often respond to a question with a question and try to steer the conversation away from the topic.

SCAN is also able to study patterns of speech, when the subject has provided a ‘pure’ statement.

What is a Pure Statement?

The likelihood of a detective knowing some facts before interviewing a suspect or witness is high. To obtain a pure statement the detective must not divulge anything that he knows. It’s difficult not to reach conclusions especially when some facts are known.  And equally difficult not to lead a subject into making a statement that just matches the narrative.

Open ended questions are commonly used in polygraph examinations and are by far the best when using the scientific content analysis technique. Straight ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses lay the foundations of a pure statement.

Experts acknowledge that a statement taken from a subject should comprise 95 percent input from the subject and 5 percent from the interviewing detective.

SCAN – scientific content analysis

If you would like to know more about SCAN – scientific content analysis or polygraph services contact Lie Detector Test Ireland today.  SCAN may work in a variety of industries where getting to the truth is imperative.

Keep an eye on our blog for more information about SCAN and its uses.

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