I have conducted and supervised a lot of investigations and have seen each of these techniques raised by advocates for opposing sides. Although these games will always be with us it is important to know when either side is playing them.
Arguing the case against your position can help to understand the other side's perspective and to note weaknesses in your own. [Be very wary of quickly labeling people because once you do so, your brain shuts down any further search for the truth.]
What an advocate says if a witness or adversary:
- Shows emotion: "Aggressive. Temperamental. Manipulative. Rude. Distracting. Lacks objectivity."
- Doesn't show emotion: "Cold. Robotic. Inhuman. Arrogant. Detached. Smug."
- Has a detailed memory of events: "Rehearsed. Glib. Plotting. A little too clever."
- Has a hazy memory of events: "Confused. Unreliable. Unstable. Lying."
- Kept careful notes: "Plotting. Odd. Conniving. Manipulative."
- Kept few or no notes: "Sloppy. Unaffected by events. Indifferent. Unreliable."
- Seems naive: "A tool. A puppet. Unrealistic. Being directed by others."
- Seems worldly: "Too smooth. Privileged. Should have known better. Not capable of mere mistakes."