Have you ever met someone and thought they were a little off? Just by the way someone speaks, we can pick up on social cues and emotional intelligence that give us certain impressions about them.

Communications researchers have taken this hunch to another level. They interviewed convicted murderers whose self-reported tests reveal them to be psychopaths and analyzed the specific language usage of their speech patterns. The research was led by Jeffrey Hancock, a communications professor at Cornell University, whose work focuses on two types of language phenomenon in particular: verbal irony and deception. Hancock and his team observed multiple specific abnormal speech patterns in the psychopaths they interviewed.

Defined by psychologists, a psychopath is someone who does not forge the emotional bonds that normal people do and do not empathize with others. They tend to see people as means to their own ends, rather than as individuals. These emotional abnormalities manifest in their speech patterns in a few interesting ways. The psychopaths who were interviewed tended to use a lot of causal phrases like “so” and “because.” The researchers interpreted this to mean that they were explaining their crimes away as a “logical outcome of a plan (something that ‘had’ to be done to achieve a goal).’” In contrast, other convicted criminals who are not psychopaths tend to use more language around religion and their own guilt when describing their crime. The researchers observed other aberrations in psychopaths’ speech. Psychopaths in the study spoke of basic needs like food and money twice as much as the other subjects in the study, and they also use more disfluencies (phrases like “uh” or “umm”) to break up their speech. Learn more about disfluencies here.

The real world application of these conclusions may seem far fetched, but police departments and investigators hope to use craigslist or facebook posts to determine psychological profiles of suspects or potential criminals.

What do you think about linguistic profiles of criminals?

Swiss Army shows off new Monroe HQ.

Connecticut Post October 2, 2007 Byline: Pam Dawkins Oct. 2–MONROE — On a day meant to recognize green, the red was hard to escape Monday at Victorinox Swiss Army Inc.’s newly opened North American headquarters and distribution center.

From the color of the Victoria Street sign to the scarves many employees wore to the background of the Swiss flag and the company’s logo, the red stood out — and that was before the tours of the “green” building began.

Charles Elsener, president of the Swiss parent Victorinox Group — and great-grandson of Karl Elsener who, in 1897, created the original Swiss Army Knife — even noted the color of the street sign, thanking Monroe officials for cooperating in its creation. The street is named for Charles Elsener’s great-great-grandmother, Victoria.

The company started the 160,000-square-foot building in May 2006. In July, it moved more than 100 administrative workers from 1 Research Drive in Shelton to the 26-acre Monroe site; the 77 distribution center workers moved more recently from 65 Trapp Falls Road. Bic plans to move its North American headquarters to the 1 Research Drive offices in the first quarter of 2008. website victorinox swiss army

Monday’s event attracted numerous elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, state Sen. Bill Finch and Andrew Nunn and Ray Baldwin, the mayors of Monroe and Trumbull, respectively.

In his opening Merrick “Rick” Taggart, president of Victorinox Swiss Army, recognized the “vision, inspiration and investment” of the Elsener family. After the ceremony, Elsener said he toured the area to look at the different options before the company picked Monroe. “We liked the openness” of the Monroe site, as well as its proximity to the former Shelton location. That meant the company could keep its existing workers.

During his remarks, Elsener called the move “an important milestone in the history of our company.” The vision is to build a global brand “where everything we do is inspired by the values and heritage of the Swiss Army Knife,” Elsener said.

The building, he said, also reflects the company’s commitment to the environment. According to company information, the two-story structure is placed to minimize heat gain from the sun, and energy-saving equipment and materials were designed into the structure. The building uses low-energy fluorescent light bulbs and sensors to turn lights off automatically, and the company used recycled — and recyclable — materials inside. “We need more companies in Connecticut to follow Swiss Army Brand’s lead,” Fedele said in talking about the “forward-thinking green” building.

Nunn, meanwhile, referenced the bike trail that will eventually connect the Bridgeport ferry terminal and Newtown. Developer Bob Scinto and Swiss Army worked with the town of Monroe to keep up the path, he said before the building tours.

Developer John Kimball has donated land along the property for a bike trail. He’s also donating the labor, materials and equipment needed to upgrade and maintain the existing trail, which will be part of the connector between Newtown and the Bridgeport ferry landing, said Arthur D. Baker, Monroe’s director of public works. That project, he added, was delayed but is now scheduled to begin in October.

Of the Victorinox building, Baker said, “It’s a very efficient building. There’s no question about that.” Baker was one of dozens of elected officials, business leaders and others invited to tour the building.

On a tour led by Thomas Lupinski, Victorinox Swiss Army’s senior vice president and treasurer, Elsener and his wife, Veronika, and two of their children got an up-close look at the American operations. go to website victorinox swiss army

Most offices, Lupinski said, are toward the center of the building, with the cubicles nearer the windows. This allows as much natural light in as possible.

“I like, very much, the indirect lighting,” Elsener said as the tour moved to the second floor and past informal seating areas where employees can gather.

Throughout, the white walls, black chairs and dark gray carpet are offset by red wall clocks and red cushions on benches in the offices. A fitness center next to the warehouse overlooks about three acres of future expansion space.

The distribution center accounts for 120,000 square feet of the building’s space; its ceilings reach 40 feet but hanging lights shorten the clearance to 36 feet, Lupinski said.

“It’s high-density storage,” he said of the six levels of storage on each rack. A wire buried between the rows takes over guidance of the loaders from the drivers.

And the computer-controlled conveyor system delivers boxes to one of three specific transport stations, for pickup by UPS, FedEx or another carrier. Watches, Lupinski said, are shipped by air; knives and cutlery make the trip via surface transportation.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


  1. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 11, 2013 - 3:21 am

    I have mixed opinions about this. On the one hand, if this will help police find criminals, I say, go for it! (And it’ll help me find out whether people are stalking me. I’m paranoid about online stalkers. Lol) On the other hand, I wouldn’t want people making snap judgments about my sanity (I almost typed “sainty” :) ) just because I say “because” or “um.” I mean, everyone says “uh” and “so” all the time.

    And now, a funny (and true) story: A little girl was getting ready for bed, and she said to her mom, “Too bad we’re not going anywhere tomorrow.” Her mom answered, “You don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow.” The girl said, “Yes I do. I’m a psycho.” :D (If you don’t get it, she meant “psychic.”)

  2. kim -  October 12, 2013 - 2:29 am

    You will never get a truthful answer out of a psychopath EVER!!! they cheat and believe they deserve way better treatment than they can and do ever give to anyone else. If they are doing for you they are really doing something else that you don’t see at the moment. something to better their life not yours. You will go through one legal or bank breaking thing after another with them. Charming liars they don’t know how to not go there. They blame others even when they can’t. The study your kindness and guilt you when you finally can’t take them anymore. Their goal is to wear you down and break you then cast you aside after they have sucked the very life right out of you. The only thing about the article I didn’t like was this “but police departments and investigators hope to use craigslist or facebook posts to determine psychological profiles of suspects or potential criminals.” the truth about that is that you’ll find many psycho[paths carry a gun and a badge. Look up the careers psychopaths best hide themselves in. That’s really good reading.

  3. Raymond -  July 8, 2013 - 5:49 am

    Lets be honest. It is a raging mental disease of the mind. It could be caused by brainwaves, stress breakdown, continued rejection, lack of empathy and copping knowledge etc. We aren t all experts and people shouldn t make assumptions about other people even if you think you know them or not. Everybody in this world is different and everybody in this world is treated different, well some of the selected few. Even while others strive there is also failure and learning or lack of getting back up and doing the right thing for your own sake. I think it is unfair to judge others based on looks although a psychopath is probably a phenomenon thing probably caused by past experiences etc. I Think it is more of a research thing which can be Analized-anayalized. Patterns are a way to hide or even try to conceal evidence or put forward a certain attitude such as get away from me or else. I think honest is good and truthful is even better and loyal is going the mile, I guess it depends mostly on viewpoints and getting that research to a point where that is understood and what people can do ! That’s my best answer,

    ( I am from Canada, Eh ! )

  4. Keri -  January 4, 2013 - 11:54 pm

    Interesting. I was hoping to find this type of information. I’ve always wanted to have certain ongoing text conversations “analyzed” or read by a psychologist, out of curiosity. If be happy to offer them to a study if anyone is interested. After years of interactions, I know something is very wrong and see many interesting patterns.

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