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Topic Summary - Displaying 9 post(s).
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Dec 8th, 2003 at 10:36am
  Mark & Quote
Would a question about "undetected crimes" be considered relevant or control? I'm thinking it's a control question since most people could probably answer yes to having committed an undetected crime.

any other opinions?

Your question is addressed at p. 142 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (3rd ed.):

Let us consider the question, "Have you ever committed a crime for which you have not been caught?" Here, the scope of the term "crime" is not clearly defined. Technically speaking, jaywalking, public urination, underage drinking, and unauthorized downloading of copyrighted music from the Internet are illegal. This is a "control" question.

However, this question can be transformed from a "control" to a relevant question with a simple change in wording. "Have you ever committed an undetected serious crime?" is a standard relevant question asked by U.S. Secret Service polygraphers in pre-employment screening. During the "pre-test" interview, the examiner carefully explains exactly what crimes the Secret Service considers to be "serious" for the purposes of this question. This list includes murder, robbery, rape, arson, grand larceny, etc. The examiner may note that the question does not include the possession and use of false identification for purposes of underage alcohol consumption, but that it does include the sale of such counterfeit documents. It is not expected that most applicants have committed a serious undetected crime, and the question is not ambiguous. It is a relevant question.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: Dec 8th, 2003 at 9:08am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Would a question about "undetected crimes" be considered relevant or control? I'm thinking it's a control question since most people could probably answer yes to having committed an undetected crime.

any other opinions?
Posted by: anonymous2
Posted on: Dec 7th, 2003 at 1:02am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
great, thanks a lot
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: Dec 6th, 2003 at 10:31pm
  Mark & Quote

An "acquaintance" test is what embarrassed polygraph operators now call what was previously called a "numbers" or "stim" (stimulation) test.  The goal here is (for you) to produce (via instructions contained in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector) a response to the number you choose (you will be instructed to choose one of 4, 5, or 6 numbers in a series).  The only other thing you need to do is not laugh or chuckle when you sit in apparent awe and amazement at your polygraph operator's pronouncement that he has identified your number or when he demonstrates to you on the charts how obvious it where you have lied (to which number you have lied).  You will have convinced him at this point that you are a good responder, that he has convinced you that what  is to follow (a control question test (CQT)works (NOT!!!), and you will have set him up to believe that your subsequent countermeasures to control questions are true responses.  At this point you will have successfully begun your con of the con man you are facing.  Good luck.
Posted by: anonymous2
Posted on: Dec 6th, 2003 at 10:05pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
George or anyone - What is an "aquaintance" test?  And what do you do on it?

Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Dec 6th, 2003 at 10:48am
  Mark & QuoteQuote

With regard to your first question, while irrelevant questions are not scored, strong and consistent reactions to them may lead a polygraph operator to suspect countermeasures.

As for your second question, while applicants for positions of public trust have an ethical obligation to answer relevant questions truthfully, it would be better not to mention such irrelevant things as the accident you described. As you suggested, mentioning it will only tend to arouse a polygrapher's suspicions and invite pointless interrogation.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: Dec 5th, 2003 at 10:35pm
  Mark & Quote
i have 2 questions:

1. Should (or could) you show a reaction to irrelevant questions in addition to the controls without negatively impacting the outcome of the test? for instance, how would the examiner interpret a chart that showed a reaction to the question "do you live in town x"? if the irrelevant questions don't even get scored, i am assuming it doesn't matter what kind of reaction you show. 

2. during the pre-test phase, would it be in your best interest to disclose any incident that you think may affect the test? for instance, i am asked about domestic abuse. i have never been guilty of verbal, emotional or physical abuse of any kind. however, i did accidentally hit my wife once with my elbow in the middle of the night while rolling over in my sleep. she was definitely injured, but purely by accident. would it make sense to reveal this, so if there is a reaction, i can explain that i was thinking about that one incident? or does it only invite further interrogation and suspicion? better just to keep my mouth shut?

thanks for your opinions!!
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Dec 5th, 2003 at 10:38am
  Mark & Quote

As noted at p. 139 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (3rd ed.), you shouldn't necessarily try to categorize each question asked in a pre-polygraph questionnaire as relevant, "control," or irrelevant.

Answers on such questionnaires typically guide the polygrapher in formulating "control" questions for the polygraph examination, and these will be reviewed with you during the pre-test phase of the examination (on the day of the examination, not a month before).

That said, the questions about drugs, having a criminal record, having started an illegal fire, and having gotten into a physical altercation, if asked in the context of a pre-employment polygraph examination, are likely to be relevant. The questions about stealing from an employer and driving under the influence of alcohol are examples of commonly-used "probable-lie control" questions. Because of its vagueness and relative unimportance, the question about ever having had a conflict of interest with a co-worker is also likely to be a "control" question if asked during a polygraph examination.
Posted by: JON DOE
Posted on: Dec 4th, 2003 at 4:49pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
i already had a pre test and these were the questions asked to me for empolyment.what kind of questions are they? i will do the poly in a month.
did you ever do drugs 
what kinds
do you have a criminal record
have you ever started an illegial fire
have you stole anything from your employer in the last 5 years
define intoxifcation
have you ever drove while under the influance of alcohol
how much
i was honest except for driving under the influnce i had 6-8 beer and i told him 3.
did you ever get in a physical altercation in the last 5 years
did you ever have a conflict of interest with a co worker?