The SAVE Metaprotocol for Behavior Analysis. An integrative proposal


  • Rafael M. López Pérez



Behavioral analysis, testimony credibility, non-verbal behavior, deception detection, , indirect personality profiling


We present the System of Analysis of Validity in Evaluation (SAVE), as a potentially useful method for professionals in the field of Legal Psychology and other Forensic Sciences, understood as any discipline that integrates formal aspects from the forensic, behavioral and legal sciences, with a purely applied orientation.

According to Muñoz, et al. (2011), "The great challenge of current Forensic Psychology, from a technical point of view, is in two areas: a) the creation of assessment instruments and methods appropriate to the context of forensic exploration (that are able to circumvent the defensive and manipulative attitude of the examinees while maintaining high parameters of reliability and validity and the object of the same (that allow psycho-legal inferences); and b) consolidate technical criteria based on empirical evidence to support their expert considerations."

"Method" comes from the Latin methodus and this from the Greek, μέθοδος, meaning, "the way to follow", the steps to be taken to carry out something, the procedure or protocol. It refers both to a properly structured, organized, and systematic way to reach a purpose or result and to the way of proceeding, thinking, acting or behaving, expertise or habit that each one has and observes. Also, the work of art, specialty, or science; for example, in philosophy, the method is the process followed in a study to find the truth and teach it. The interview and other diverse research techniques would not be - in this sense - a method, but only devices, tools of the method, and this, a process used in a theoretical framework (Nateras González, 2005), as occurs with the clinical method (Ilizástegui & Rodríguez, 1990).

That is the objective of SAVE, to be the method for an orderly, flexible, logical, and adapted to each area application of the most appropriate techniques and tools for the evaluation to be performed. Combining different points of view and structuring what, in many cases, is performed today individually and intuitively (Domínguez-Muñoz, et al., 2017a; Muñoz, 2013). As a Metaprotocol, it integrates and locates various tools previously based on empirical evidence and validated for independent use, from VAS to TOMM to indirect personality profiling.  

Its application is being initiated in diverse but related fields such as forensic (Domínguez-Muñoz, et al., 2018) or evaluative medicine (Domínguez-Muñoz, et al., 2017b), criminal behavior analysis, expert psychology, insurance fraud, etc. They have in common with Forensic Psychology the high frequency of deception "phenomena that take on special relevance in the forensic context" (Muñoz, 2013).

Therefore, we present SAVE in this area where professionals and experts from many fields of knowledge can access, review, question and criticize the proposed method, to make it as useful as possible in the daily practice of those who consider its use in some of the areas of Forensic Sciences; specifically, in Legal Psychology, especially in our understanding, Forensic Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Testimony and Criminal Psychology (Muñoz, et al., 2011).