On Tuesday, 10 April 2007, polygraph examiner Jack Trimarco was a guest on Los Angeles radio station KNX 1070’s “Money 101 with Bob McCormick” program. A half-hour, 27 mb MP3 podcast is available for download.
Mr. Trimarco uttered a glaring falsehood about human physiology that stands in need of correction. About seven minutes into the program, he states:
We know that when a person tells a lie their breathing changes in a predictable way. We know that their sweat glands innervate, and we know that their cardio changes, perhaps the blood pressure will go up and come back down in a timely manner.
The truth of the matter is that there is no known physiological reaction (or combination of reactions) uniquely associated with deception. Neither breathing, sweat gland activity, nor cardiovascular activity change in predictable ways when a person tells a lie. It is for this reason that polygraph “testing” is inherently unreliable.
Trimarco also repeated the falsehood that he told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly in February of this year: that polygraph testing has been scientifically shown to have a 93% accuracy rate (with a qualified examiner). On the contrary, the consensus scientific opinion is that polygraphy has no scientific basis at all, let alone a proven accuracy rate in the 90th percentile.
Also appearing on the show was KNX traffic anchor Megan Reyes, who described her polygraph experience with the Los Angeles Police Department, with which she applied for employment about a year and a half ago. Her polygrapher accused her of deception regarding violent crime, drug usage, and drug dealing, though she maintains she told the complete truth and never did any of these things. When host Bob McCormick prompted Trimarco regarding what questions he would ask Ms. Reyes in order to assess the situation, he chose instead to expound upon the proper nomenclature and purpose of polygraph instrument attachments.
Mr. Trimarco also stated that the FBI conducts pre-employment polygraph examinations of applicants after a background investigation is completed. This policy is news to AntiPolygraph.org, and any information on it, such as when and why it was implemented, would be welcome. If you have relevant information, please leave a comment either here on the blog or on the message board, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.