Saturday, July 16, 2011

Humintell Evaluating Truthfulness

Humintell is offering a complete set of workshops covering the most important topics in regard to understanding emotions, analyzing verbal and non-verbal, detecting deception, and so forth. This in-depth review covers the workshop entitled Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar, a two-hours online webinar and an introduction to detecting deception.

Workshop Outline
  • Who are We?
  • Our Trainer
  • Introduction and Overview
    • How Well can you Detect a Liar?
    • Truth or Lie?
    • How did you Do?
    • Discussion
    • Our Approach
    • Characteristics of Our Research on Credibility Assessments and Deception
    • What Cues Should you Focus On?
    • Training Goals
  • The Psychology of Truth Telling and Lying
    • Decisions about Truths and Lies
    • The Psychology of Truth Telling
    • The Psychology of Lie Telling
    • What's a Hot Spot?
    • How lies are betrayed through Hot Spots Lie
  • Hot Spotting
    • Revisit: Truth or Lie?
    • Leakage in facial Emotions
    • Leakage in Body Language
  • Practice
    • Practice
    • Remember the Alphabet
    • Truth exists...
  • Thank you for your kind attendance and participation!

Webinar Host
Joe Francis is the host for Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar. The first question coming out of my mind was “Who is Joe Francis?” The short description provided by Humintell is less than satisfactory and fails to establish Mr. Francis' credentials. Googling the name didn't help either.

Fortunately, listening to Joe Francis during the webinar makes it clear that he is knowledgeable in the field of detecting deception and his 34 years extensive background in law enforcement is entirely sound. He is also a remarkably articulate and likeable speaker.

It seems to me that Humintell is short-selling their webinar by not providing an extensive biography of Joe Francis with high profile cases he had worked on. It's important to capitalize on one's reputation but it's also reassuring to potential buyers by establishing the proper credentials. In short, Joe Francis is amazing and they should proudly shout it over anybody willing to listen.

The content is up-to-date in many ways — it is based on latest research, techniques, tools and presented in a trendy manner with some current events. The videos are dated but it does not affect their learning value and most of them are issued from research where the ground truth is known. The techniques and tips are well established and based on research and experience.

The basics are very well covered in Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar. You will not find any single reference that covers as much in as little time than this webinar. It may feel somehow overwhelming at times but the recording is accessible after the webinar finished, which is a big plus.

One of the first skills to be developed in detecting deception is observation and active listening and it is appropriately reflected in the content. Eliciting the truth is proven to be challenging and asking the right questions at the right time is another skill to be developed. Mr. Francis acknowledge the importance of interviewing and mentioned few tips but without concrete examples, which could possibly be more suitable in a second and more advanced workshop.

The content is based on research, books, experience and so on and what's missing is a list of references for those who would like to continue expanding their knowledge from what they've learned in the webinar.

The webinar is two hours in length, which is long enough to cover the important and short enough to avoid being overwhelming to its attendees.

Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar comes with a classic teaching approach where the teacher is lecturing and students are listening. The level of interaction is very low and neglected. It's only fair to mention that the content is extremely condensed and it makes interaction much more difficult, because interaction takes time.

There were some opportunities to give feedback and ask questions but only few things were mentioned. The rest were given a paternal auditory nod, a form of approbation that those feedback and questions were in the right direction. It could be a missed opportunity but it would be excellent to provide more room for interaction in an advanced webinar.

We were briefly shown a scoring sheet early in the webinar to score some upcoming videos but it was difficult copying the scoring sheet within the short time it was displayed. The attendees were invited to score five videos as whether the person on that video was truthful or lying. The right answers were given by Mr. Francis later on. The problem with this approach is that the test is relying on the person who takes it to correct his or her own test, favouring cognitive biases and rationalizations of all sorts such as: “Ah, you know, I first thought he was truthful but I've second guessed myself.”

Adobe Connect
offers many classroom friendly features such as quizzes and surveys, which could greatly enhance the webinar. The quizzes are automatically corrected upon completion according to the scoring attributed when they were created. How to create a quiz in Adobe Connect is presented here and here.

Quizzes may become important to know whether or not attendees have retained information. This is also an invaluable feedback to know how effective the webinar is and what is to be improved. Moreover, a notification sent through email for a web quiz a month later would tell more about how much attendees have retained from the webinar and help them to bring back to memory what they've learn.


Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar is offered at $125 USD (regular price) and $100 USD for the early birds. The recording of the webinar I have attended is available at $99 USD. These are by all means excellent prices where you get plenty for your money.

Summary: Pros & Cons

  • Excellent price
  • Quality and up-to-date content
  • Knowledgeable lecturer
  • Recording available
  • Two hours lecture
  • No interviewing techniques
  • Lack of references
  • Lack of interaction
Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar is a complete introductory workshop that successfully raises awareness about what is required to detect deception. It summarizes in a comprehensive and coherent manner what we—detecting deception experts—have learned through years of experience, research, reading books, and so forth in an amazing and nearly flawless workshop that is offered at an inexpensive price.

I highly recommend Humintell's Evaluating Truthfulness Webinar.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent review! I am impressed by your ability to convey information, truthfully, but with finesse. I read a few of your other blog posts, and saw that you care about consumer rights, for individuals and business customers. You don't use the ploy of playing to emotions. That is rare!

    Thank you for your Twitter update of 19 November 2013 regarding the Chrome team's decision. I think you are correct about that as well.