Sunday, May 11, 2008

Human Auditory System: Voice Risk Analysis

The Economist (UK, center-left economics and news magazine) has a short article in the May 8th, 2008 edition on Voice Risk Analysis, which is another name for Voice Stress Analysis or Micro-Stress Analysis. You might recall from my previous posts (here and here) on this topic that I believe voice stress analysis to be a workable interrogation tool, when correctly administered, but then, so again can the copy machine in the hallway - it all depends on whether the subject is, or can be made to be, concerned about it. It is not, however, a lie detector. This author of the Economist's article seems to have come to a similar conclusion.

An interesting point in the article is that, at least in one real-world deployment of a commercial system, the biggest benefit was gained from simply telling the claimants that such a system would be used on them - which caused many to drop their claims prior to being "analyzed" by the system.


Allison said...

Wouldn't anyone who is being interrogated be nervous about possibly being wrongly put in jail or something? I know I would be.

Keith said...

Hi Allison,
yes, you are correct - having a credible negative consequence would cause nervousness in many people, perhaps regardless of whether deception is intended or not.

Consequently, it makes sense that if the subject under test is aware of the test, then it would bias the results of this type of measurement (voice stress). I'd be curious to know how the manufacturers deal with this aspect, if they do at all.