Monday, May 21, 2018

An analysis on Sirul's Confessions.


There are two interpretations in this clip, one is the visible nonverbal indicators, the other is the audible verbal aspects of behaviors. 

The first impression you would get seeing the clip is that it would look as though Sirul was sitting in an ‘electric chair.’ The ambiance or mood of the setting does not make much sense to the viewers, though it is obvious that the purpose of the video was more for the religious ‘kampong’ electoral folks.

When Sirul Azhar Umar swore in God's name that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak was in no way involved “blah, blah, blah’ he did not say what case it was, because the word ‘Altantuya" to him has unhappy connotations of punishment, guilt and fear. 

It is rightly believed he was referring to Altantuya’s murder. The same in an earlier clip the name Altantuya was not mentioned at all, this is to "distance" him from the subject, psychologically to avoid  him thinking about the subject and to distance himself from its content.  Psychologist call this distancing language, a means of self-deception, used orally it indicates that a person is lying. 

Sirul, was not relaxed at all, he was rigid and stiff, his arms were restrained on his lap with his palms subconsciously holding them together. These were indicators of his feelings, he was unwilling to verbalize the truth. Perhaps he could be a schizophrenic or he could be suffering from some sickness that we are not aware off, but they were subconsciously revealing his true emotions. 

Typical of those who want to take a dominant role in their relationship with others. Here in Sirul’s case it was with his apparent viewers which he had in mind and it was also a protective and a defensive stance or moves to get his side of the story across to his selected viewers. 

He was also holding the other palm; a deceptive person may not free his arms, as he is unable to gesture and express freely with his hands since it is not the truth. 

An honest person would have his palms up and the hands and fingers spread. Mainly due to the friendly demeanor that research suggests, that those who are honest usually use an open posture to show they are more truthful and capable of providing the whole story with nothing to hide.

Sirul’s hands pose were therefore an important element of closed posture. Where else an honest person would unconsciously show his palms and his hands signaling an open posture, with the hands relaxed. However, Sirul was showing the back of his tensed hand and clenching it, clearly representing a closed posture, giving the impression he was hiding something or unconsciously showing resistance to closer scrutiny.

You would notice that he had a sudden change in his breathing patterns as he was uttering his script. (The script probably was on top of the camera) 

He was not calm and relaxed, his abdomen was not moving up and down as it should rise upon inhaling, and flatten upon exhaling. But instead you can see that Sirul’s upper chest and shoulder did rise and fall. Sirul was seen clearly indicating anxiety and a visible tension in the upper chest area and his shoulders as he breathed. 

He was actually oxygenating himself. That’s because his autonomic nervous system was working overtime, he had a sudden buildup of carbon dioxide in his system. That’s why at one point he immediately draws a large breath and then blows it out in order to regain equilibrium. This he did to regain his composure by releasing the buildup of tension caused by the encumbrances to recite the scripts.

It is therefore very obvious here that his behavior was bizarre unlike a straightforward person who would be naturally relaxed, breath normally and would gesture as you would expect with his hands to amplify his words what is in his heart, sorry to say he was not. 

His thumbs are seen self comforting his palms to restore self confidence in himself. We don't know if he was under the belief that nobody believes him anymore even if he was now ready to tell the truth. His eye movements showed that he was trying his best to read his script less he misses a line. 

If you counted, he had 20 micro expressions that of a fear smile in the almost 60 seconds clip, an enormous amount, almost one fear smile for every three seconds, that’s a giant fear that can only show that he was afraid of something, maybe he was afraid no one would believe his story. 

In counting, he had 65 blinks or for easier calculation 60 blinks in 60 seconds which is one blink a second, way above the normal rate of 10 -12 winks per minute.

In a study exploring blink frequency, which was an attractive behavioral indicator of deception, because BF (blink frequency) data may be collected using hidden cameras or web camera and analyzed surreptitiously either in real time or post hoc from recorded video during truth telling and deception, liars may display a flurry of compensatory blinks after lying. 

We are not discounting that truth tellers too are known to exhibit an increase in BF during the relevant questioning period. So while BF is correlated with many other physiological reasons like increased camera  lighting and emotional states, its effect may be partially explained by the accusatory subject matter, by the questions that you could have delivered at him during that period. 

Therefore you may not be in a position not to discount or say much on this BF, as it is, you have not interviewed Sirul personally to determine your professional opinion on this aspect of BF here, though he was lying through his teeth.

On his tapping of his foot seen by his jerking knees 12 times in the 60 seconds clip, which is an average of one jolt every 5 seconds, it is likely that it was his desire to bolt or run away from his ‘electric chair.’ 

He also looked away or rather looked down five times during the course of his sixty second presentation either he was too nervous telling the ‘truth’ or a typical liar who can’t face the truth face to face.

If you look closely, in the last 5 seconds of the recording, Sirul does a verbal/nonverbal disconnect, a deceptive behavior in which a person’s verbal and nonverbal behaviors don’t match. It is when Sirul unconsciously and slightly nods his head, revealing YES,’ while in between he says that the Prime Minister, ‘Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is NOT in any way involved and had nothing to do with it.’ 

Since it was Sirul’s 60 seconds presentation or recital, you may have not been in a position to analyze it the way you can scrutinize a question and answer or Q & A session where his answers to your questions can be scrutinized fittingly with your analytical skills to prove his innocence or guilt on the subject matter. 

In fact, Sirul, was only making it difficult by reciting to clear a person’s name that has increasingly been tainted without a way out.

When he said, “I was never brought up or taught to make false accusations” This statement is not convincing at all because it is an irrelevant and childish statement, why? Because, no parent in this world in their right mind, ever brings up or teaches their children to make false accusations. Do you know of people who bring up or teach their children to make false accusations? 

But here is a man who after been convicted of murder is seen talking to us about been well brought up and taught not to make false accusations, this is simply ludicrous and nonsensical.

When he said, “It is a big sin if I falsely accuse someone.” This is called a convincing statement that attempts to influence our perception rather than to convey truthful information, it is powerful because the average person tends not to recognize it, often because the statements seem convincing enough as it seems to relate to the issue at hand namely the honesty of the person who utters that statement.

When he said, “I am going to state that , I promise my God the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is not in any way involved and have anything to do with it, in this case.” By bringing God into the recital, Sirul engaged in what psychologists call “dressing up the lie,” This can be perceptively effective. After all, what else can anyone say that tops God? It is called, dressing up a lie in its Sunday best before presenting it to you.

The ‘confession’ recitals of Sirul may have been analyzed quite revealingly and the ‘confessions’ would have been relatively different if you had used investigative interviewing and strategic questioning techniques on him.