Think for a minute about what you did yesterday. If a friend asks you what you did yesterday, you would easily be able to recount your activities. You remember many details. If someone asks a detail about a part of it or asks you to tell your day's events backwards, it's no problem.
Say you went to lunch at Chipotle yesterday with some colleagues from your firm. You have been worried lately that something complicit is happening at your firm. You don't know exactly what is going on and you want absolutely no part of it. While you were out with your co-workers, you overheard them talking about their fraudulent behavior. You were very upset and weren'tsure exactly what to do. You decided to just pretend you never heard anything at all. After all, you don't want to be involved.
Say FBI agents visit you at home and ask you about your day yesterday. You ask why they are asking questions and they only tell you they have a routine investigation ongoing. You feel immediate stress and guilt by association. You tell them you want to be as helpful and cooperative as possible.
Then, without even consciously thinking about it, you begin to minimize and fabricate a story about your day.
They ask if you spent time with your colleagues and you tell them, “No, not really. I might have bumped into a couple of them but didn't really spend any time with them.” They ask if you know about or suspect anything improper or illegal going on at your firm. You try to sound shocked saying, “No, of course not.”
They ask you to tell them what you did yesterday. Uh oh! Now, you may not know it, but your pulse is increasing and your brain is going into high gear to make sure you sound truthful.
You say you went out shopping in the morning, then out to lunch, and then home to do some paperwork. You leave out that the lunch you had was with the colleagues you already said you hadn't really seen yesterday.
You are then asked by the Agents about where you went shopping, You provide great detail about what stores you went to and what you bought. Now they ask you about lunch. Uh oh. Now what? You have watched enough episodes of CSI to know that they will be able to get surveillance video from the Chipotle where you and your colleagues had lunch. Despite rationalizing this, you blurt out that you had a quick lunch at McDonald's so you could get to your paperwork. Clever!
To be continued...