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Capstone health and rehab of easley capstone simulation india degen de1128 review of literature Translator: Xin Yue Koh Reviewer: Maria K. Truth and deception. Lying and telling the truth and knowing the difference between the two. It's something that I think about a lot. And it's not that I'm sort of a cynical, morbid, old guy who thinks a lot about lying, but I do, and I do because it's important. (Laughter) It's important for us in an interpersonal level. We have conversations with people; we often are concerned whether they're being truthful with us or not. It's important for us as a society. It's important for us as a world. When lies get told to societies, and they're believed, it has a special name; it's called propaganda. And when propaganda happens, some really bad things can happen. And so I want to talk about that topic tonight from a point of view of science. And the science is really interesting because it's got some interesting contradictions and, I think, surprising findings in it. But I'd like to make this real for you with a couple of stories, just to begin with. The first one is about a young man named Jeffrey Deskovic. You can see Jeffrey here; he's about 16 years old, living the life of the average American 15- and 16-year-old. He was in high school, everything was going fairly well, and in the fall of 1989, a tragedy befell his high school and one of his classmates. A classmate named Angela went out on a photographic project and went missing. She was gone for a couple of days. And then her body was found, and she'd been brutally raped and murdered. Jeffrey took this kind of hard. He knew Angela; they were not boyfriend and girlfriend, but they knew each other. Angela had been nice to him; she'd helped him with his homework. And he was deeply affected by her loss. He went to the funeral. He wrote a letter that he put on the casket. He broke down and cried during the funeral. This was in a small town in New York. The police were very interested in solving the crime, and as they often do, they went to the funeral. They thought Jeffrey reacted just too much, and they became interested in Jeffrey. They interviewed Jeffrey a couple of times, but they also interviewed a lot of other people. And for some reason, they just got very interested in Jeffrey. One morning, they came to his school, and unbeknownst to his parents, they took Jeffrey, and they asked him if he'd come and take a polygraph test. He thought he was going to go down to the local police station, but he was taken some distance away. He was introduced to a polygraph examiner. And really, there was no intention of running a real polygraph test that day. They wanted to interrogate him. The interrogation lasted six hours. And at the end of six hours, Jeffrey was reduced to tears. He was on the floor in the fetal position. The polygraph examiner, who had been with him for those six hours, gave up, and two other detectives came in. And they did what you hear call the "good cop." So they were now the helpful police. And they tell Jeffrey, "If you'll just be honest with us, we'll get you some treatment, you won't have to go to jail." And within about an hour, he had confessed to having raped and killed Angela. But they were lying to him. They didn't take him to treatment. They arrested him and charged him with murder. He almost immediately recanted the confession, and said he only did that because he thought that was the only way he was going to get away from the police. He eventually went to trial, was convicted, and spent the next 16 years in jail. The Innocence Project got involved. They discovered that there was still DNA from the victim that the rapist had left behind. They, after a long court battle, got permission to test that against the national database, which now existed, 16 years later. And a hit was found, a positive hit, on the contributor of the semen. And Jeffrey was released as a wrongfully convicted person. He sued and ended up with quite a bit of money. And today, Jeffrey is actually doing quite well. He took some of that money and created a foundation to help wrongfully convicted people. And right now he's in law school, going to become a lawyer to represent wrongfully convicted people. But here's a young man who told the truth to the police, and he wasn't believed. Then he lied to the police because he gave a false confession, and he was believed. Then he went to trial, and 12 people sat in judgment over him, and he said that he was innocent, and they didn't believe him. And he went to jail. That would be tragedy enough if it was just Jeffrey. But it's not just Jeffrey. From the Innocence Project, we know that there have been a quite a number of wrongfully convicted people. About one out of four of them wrongfully confessed to a crime they didn't commit. So this is not an unusual, isolated event. The other event I want to mention is 9/11. And 9/11 is of interest because those 19 terrorists who came to the United States to attack us, every one of them was interviewed by agents of the United States Government. Every one of them, interviewed at least three times. So they were interviewed at the embassy where they applied for a visa - probably interviewed more than once, given where they came from - they were interviewed by Customs when they came to the border of the United States to come inside the United States, and they were also interviewed by Immigration. Each of them lied three times. We didn't catch even one of them. Think what a different world we'd live in today if we'd caught even one of them early on and talked to them. So, that's my interest, and this is what I do. I'm a psychological scientist. I study truthfulness and deception and how you tell the difference. And that science, I think, is really interesting. And I want to give credit to some people because I'm gonna talk - this is not just my work; this is work of a group of people who do research in this area. And I want to just give some of them credit upfront. Charles Bond, Bella DePaulo, Maria Hartwig, David Raskin, Aldert Vrij. And if you're interested, those are names to go look for to read more. And the science has some interesting things in it. One is we have interesting attitudes about lying. If you ask people, "What makes up good character? What do you want to see in people to think that they're a good person and have good character?" And near the top of that list is always "sincere, honest, truthful." And at the bottom of that list - what's bad character? The number one or sort of the numbered last is "liar." We don't like liars. At least we say we don't like liars. But if you go and you look at people's behavior, you find out something really funny, really interesting, that doesn't fit. Because if you look at people's behavior, they lie frequently. If you look at conversations that last at least 10 minutes, the data say we lie in about one out of every four of those. We lie to about one of every three people we have a conversation with. When we talk to our significant others, our spouses, we lie in about one out of ten of those. Hmm. (Laughter) Now, all that lying might not be a problem if we were good at detecting lies. And actually if you ask people, most people think they're pretty good at detecting lies, particularly in people they know well, like their children or their significant others. But again, when you look at the data, that's not true. And I wish I could tell you that there is some magic bullet, some magic finding from researching. Goodness knows there are people out there who will tell you that because they teach seminars, and they sell books, and they train police officers. But what the research says is that if you look at the ability of having a conversation with someone and detecting whether they're telling you the truth or not, your accuracy is about 54 percent. If you flip a coin, it's 50 percent. What terrible it is. And it turns out there just really isn't much to find. You know, I can ask that question, "Why? Why are we so bad at this?" And I think there are two reasons. One has to do with our motivations. And there's a very large psychological literature about how we make decisions, and I think it's appropriate here. And I don't have time to tell you all the details of that research, but I can capture it for you from some literature. There was a fantasy book that was very popular about 10 years ago written by a fellow named Terry Goodkind; it's called The Wizard's First Rule. And the wizard's first rule is this: With a little bit of motivation, almost anybody can be led to believe almost anything, either because: 1) they want to believe it's true, or 2) they're afraid that it's true. I want you to think about that for a little while and just process that. But, you know, that captures an awful lot of psychological research. So that's one problem we have. Our motives get in our way [in] how we interpret the data that we see. The other is that it turns out, it is just really hard to do this. There is very little in the body language, and in the voice, and in the face that gives away liars. And the reason for that is that the very things that make the liar nervous, they're afraid they're going to get caught - it does cause changes; people do get anxious about that; they do alter their behavior. But the truthful person - think about Jeffrey - the truthful person who is talking to people, who he thinks don't believe them, you have fear that you're not going to be believed when you're truthful. And the body language you give off is exactly the same. So, where does that leave us? Well, science hasn't given up. And one approach is technology. I've been involved in one of the technologies for most of my adult life, and that's polygraph testing. I was trained as a polygraph tester and have done that work, and although there's a lot of mythology about polygraph, what the science says is that: Properly conducted polygraph tests can be rather accurate. In the lab, we can easily get test accuracies up around 90 percent, and there are field studies that have replicated that, but there's a problem with polygraph. One is it requires a skilled examiner to run the test. And a test takes two hours. So you need an instrument, an examiner, and two hours. Most of the time, we don't have that; it's really expensive in that regard. The other problem is there are police agencies like the one that Jeffrey Deskovic got involved in, where they used the polygraph as a pretense for interrogation. And the polygraph is very dangerous in that setting. Recent research has just reported that [if] you look at the FBI - and the FBI is an agency that uses polygraph as a pretense to interrogate - if you are actually innocent, and you agree to take a polygraph from the FBI, your chance of not being interrogated is only 20 percent. Four out of five innocent people get interrogated. There are other technologies. There are some new ones that look at the central nervous system. So there's EEG and the fMRI. And again, they involve expensive equipment. They've looked interesting in the laboratory, and they haven't made it out into the field. There's also a new test called an ocular-motor detection of deception test that looks at the eyes. So the pupils of our eyes do get smaller and larger as we are processing. It is harder to lie than it is to tell the truth. And those tests are around. There's some research on them that looks promising. We're waiting for more data to come in on this. And we will need to see if they'll move out into the field and be useable. The final area, though, comes back - the problem with all those technologies is that they're expensive. You're not going to use that if you want to talk to somebody who works for you, or you want to find out whether your spouse is telling you the truth or not. And so, are there ways that we can improve interpersonal detection of deception and reading body language, and face, and all that doesn't work? But there are ways we can go about that because what the research says is that what people say is way more important than how they say it. So, there's an interview technique that's been developed - it's a forensic interview technique - and it's really pretty much common sense. But, of course, common sense often isn't common. And all this technique really does involve is letting the person you're interested in assessing tell their story. It's called a free narrative. So, you literally do just that. "Tell me what happened." And then you have to stop talking. A lot of us find that really hard to do. That's not how we have conversations with people. Conversations usually go back and forth. But in this case, you want to just ask them to tell you their story, and then stop talking, and listen. Listen carefully, take notes. If you have facts, there are things you know to be true, don't tell them about those. If they contradict them, don't confront them. Just listen until they finish. And then when they finish, you strategically use your evidence. It's called "the strategic use of evidence." Isn't that surprising? (Laughter) So the person finishes their story. You've been listening carefully. You know X happened, but they never mentioned X. And so you go, "Well, I'm confused. I know that at this time X happened, but you didn't talk about that. Can you tell me why?" And for the innocent person, most likely it is they just forgot. Because when we tell stories about things we have experienced, and they're true stories, we often forget to tell about the details. We often have to go back and fix it. Think about talking to a friend about something that happened to you just recently. And you'll know that that's true. We do that all the time. For the innocent person, that new evidence is easy to incorporate into their story because it's in fact true. Their story is true. "Oh, I just forgot to tell you that. This is blah blah ..." And they fill it in. For the liar, it's much more difficult. Because the liar - you know, the first rule of lying is you got to keep the lie straight. And so they've now told you their whole story. And now you've given them a new piece of evidence. They've got to work a lot harder to put that back in. And if you have more pieces of evidence, you strategically introduce them one at a time. And what we find is that with people who are outright lying, their stories eventually collapse because they just can't keep up with the influx of new evidence. So, I want to end up with two ideas. One is that you have to talk to somebody and try to make an assessment about whether they're being truthful or not. Listen. Listen carefully to what they have to say and remember that what they say is far more important than how they say it. Because even innocent people can look very nervous. And the other one is: Don't believe anything just because you want to believe that it's true or because you're afraid that it's true. Our relationships, our lives, our country, the world, in fact, may well depend upon that. Thank you very much. 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