www.ted.com is a place that I often turn to for fresh ideas. Hearing the thoughts from experts in their field is a great way to learn. As you are seeing in the content here in The CP Journal, we are not unique. We don’t take credit for doing the scientific research behind what we teach in Tactical Analysis and we also weren’t the ones to put these 6 domains together for the first time. We just want to find ways of applying that information to help our military, law enforcement and security personnel stay left of bang.
When I first watched the TED video on this post, I was reminded of the importance of never forgetting that fact. Since we aren’t the originators of the information, there is the possibility that we can fall victim to the Bad Science that Ben Goldacre talks about. (To learn more about Ben Goldacre’s research, visit: http://www.badscience.net). The study of kinesics (body language) has only been seriously studied since Presidential candidates John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon debated in 1960. That means that the science of kinesics has only been around for about 50 years, which is barely a blip in the history of science. Because of that, there is a lot of B.S, out there regarding what gestures could mean and ways to use the understanding of body language.
We are users of the conclusions that scientists come to, which means that we have to be careful where we pull information. Is the information backed up by science? In the books we recommend for body language development, both Joe Navarro and Allan Pease have lists of resources and references in their books. Navarro’s is a little lighter in references, but he followed up by writing another book on the Psychology of Body Language.
In order to maximize our use of science, we also can’t be afraid to test it out. Test out your own hypothesis and build the empirical data to let you honestly assess what works and what doesn’t. One test or skewing the results is not the answer, but you also don’t need a PhD to develop innovative ways to apply the skills.
There are opportunities to grow behavioral analysis, but it requires innovation from the users. We just maintain our vigilance for that bad science, always ensuring our innovation is sound.