Although at a popular level the concept of “psychology” is very much associated with psychotherapeutic processes, the work of psychologists is not reduced, even less, to the accompaniment of patients.
For example, one of the branches of psychology is based on the realization of psychological expert reports that provide relevant information in the context of legal proceedings of all typeswhether in the criminal, social, civil or family context.
This discipline uses a large number of tests and assessment tools to explore situations such as the possible emotional sequelae generated by an accident at work, the appearance of psychopathologies triggered by mobbing, harassment or domestic violence, the a person’s accountability for their mental health and the degree to which one is able to correctly perceive reality, etc.
Sometimes this information is used to prove the presence or absence of a crime in a particular case, and other times it is simply used to make a judicial decision that harms people as little as possible (for example, before litigation concerning the custody of a son). Ultimately, even if what we say is not an accurate reflection of our internal mental states, they do provide clues which, if followed and put together to get the big picture of what happened past, help so much to understand what is happening. in an individual person as well as in a relationship. These expert reports can be conversations, audios, emails, calls, voice messages… In this article we will talk specifically about how valuable information can be collected and analyzed from a forensic perspective based on conversation analysis.
Characteristics of the psychological expertise of conversations
The psychological expertise of conversations is a detailed study of the communicative exchanges carried out between two or more people, with the aim of clarify any aspect relevant to resolving the matter that has been brought to trialwhether or not there is a commission of a crime of harassment or any other nature, whether a person was aware of his actions in violating the law, whether a work-related event or a violent attack caused psychological harm to a person, etc.
Expert psychology professionals carry out work that is nourished by various ways of obtaining information, which help to understand the relational dynamics between people, the emotional management skills on the part of individuals or possible cases of disorders. psychotics generating delusions and hallucinations, psychological sequelae produced by the action of third parties…
In this sense, the tools used to draw up an expert report on conversations help to shed light on this type of situation, and constitute one of the pillars of the psychologist’s activity. This information analysis work is carried out without the psychologists positioning themselves on anyone’s side, and without moral evaluation; we simply contribute our experience and knowledge so that the judicial process can be developed with all the wealth of nuances that must be taken into account.
Psychological expertise in itself should not be seen as proof of anything or as an artefact created to strengthen the defense or the accusation, even if its content may favor one of the parties; in the end, it is only part of the material used to pronounce a sentence.
The methodology of semantic analysis, forensic psychology
Semantic and psychological forensic analysis is an exhaustive study of all such verbal evidence which helps to clarify what is judgedand is based on the analysis of textual information emitted in a spoken or written way (by breaking down its parts and interpreting the subtext) to, from there, provide additional information based on a process of synthesis of the evaluated .
This forensic psychological semantic analysis methodology uses all types of conversations on any digital platform to, based on various protocols and criteria, perform a detailed analysis of the type of language used in the messages, and the states cognitive and emotional that remain expressed through the words, sentences and the whole of the said. Aspects such as the frequency of occurrence of keywords, the dates on which the conversations took place, the context in which the messages are sent, the intentions that are embodied throughout the conversations, the degree of situational awareness which is reflected in what is said, and more.
It is one of the most useful tools available to forensic psychologists and psychology experts in general, and based on a combination of technical knowledge and new technologies, helps to better understand what happened in the commission of crimes, divorce proceedings, workplace harassment, parenting patterns, etc.
It should be noted in this regard that the conversations most analyzed by the forensic psychological semantic analysis methodology are WhatsApp messages, information to which are added psychological interviews and psychometric tests.
Uses of Forensic Psychological Semantic Analysis
Forensic psychological semantic analysis and all the technical methodologies included in it can be used to demonstrate the existence of events or to clarify information contained in previous expert reports. Let’s see what their main functions are.
1. Cases of school harassment
School bullying is one of the most common problems in schoolsa phenomenon capable of leaving scars in boys and girls at a very early age.
To identify, verify and quantify the damage caused by a case of bullying, we can use the methodology of forensic semantic analysis, using WhatsApp messages, recordings, messages posted on social networks and forums, etc. .
2. Harassment at work
Since harassment at work occurs between adults, it is generally more difficult to demonstrate and identify it, but it is still possible to understand what happened by analyzing the verbal exchanges, especially since these types of violent situations tend to generate rumors and rarefy the work environment.
3. Cases of sexual abuse
With the support of specialized professionals and the technology enabled for this purpose, this type of abuse of sexual freedom can be identified and proven in a legal process and before a judge. However, the main function of forensic psychological semantic analysis is not so much to prove the existence of physical assaults, but to provide information that helps learn about the dynamics of dominance and submission, psychological manipulation and the consequences left by abuse.
4. Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence
Gender-based violence is based on beliefs based on sexism and motivations based on misogyny, therefore understanding the psychological processes of the aggressor is essential, and for this it is useful to analyze the way in which it is expressed. .
In the same way, as we have seen, the analysis of conversations makes it possible to detect both the consequences of the dynamics of violence and the dynamics of maintaining this violence.
5. Personality analysis
Personality analyzes necessary to grant incapacities, guardianships, guardianships, or public assistance can also be performed through the application of forensic psychological semantic analysis.
6. Confirmation of specific communication
Although a little-known facet, forensic psychological semantic analysis can also be used to demonstrate that a communication has taken place, that is, that one or more people have been informed of something relevant, even if indirectly.
7. Parenting Skills
Divorces are one of the most common lawsuits in the field of forensic psychology, and one of the areas in which more problems need to be solved that need to be demonstrated.
That is why, through the use of forensic psychological semantic analysis, it is possible to provide relevant information about the parenting skills of each partykey element when it comes to making a decision regarding child custody.
MáS-PF: a fundamental resource in the analysis of conversations
MáS-PF is a methodology developed by Azor & Associates which performs several high-value functions in any forensic process in which there is parsable textual material.
In addition to incorporating tools to extract valuable information from chat and WhatsApp messages, emails, audios and videos, it allows everything to be evaluated while having a digital certificate that guarantees that the conversations have not been altered. If you want to know more about this methodology, contact us.