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Topic Summary - Displaying 25 post(s).
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 20th, 2001 at 7:09am
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

From one of your recent postings to George Maschke on the CAAWP listserv:

"Incidentally, I will continue to make occasional posts on various matters on your .org site, but I will be orienting myself toward the average visitor to your site, not seeking to debate the hard core, professional critics.  I think the scientific fora (including CAAWP) are more appropriate for serious discussions."

I presume since you have not responded to my questions/comments, I fall within your categorization of "hard core, professional critics." I am disappointed to see you take this approach. Although clearly a gentleman, this (what appears to be a) cowardly approach is neither becoming of you nor edifying to the reading public. Apparently, not only does the CQT depend upon a naive and gullible populace for counter-countermeasure success, but your responses regarding the same require an audience of only the most unsophisticated and naive of the reading and writing public.

If I have misjudged, a thousand pardons.  If you truly care to address the important issues raised, please do so in any forum you chose, the CAAWP list, or in Sanskrit in the Bangkok Gazette or anywhere else you choose.  Just let me and others know where we might look for answers.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 16th, 2001 at 5:25pm
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

In order to advance our discussion and to summarize outstanding issues (for only those posts/replies placed within your countermeasure thread by me--there are several additional from Mr. Maschke and others), I have prepared this short list of unanswered/unaddressed questions/comments for your consideration. I hope this summary will aid in your full and timely response to these outstanding issues:

(1) Victimization of polygraph screening examinees (replies #4, 18, 28) and how this victimization should be prevented in the future and how these victims should be compensated for past serious injustices,

(2) Any evidence for your claims of robustness of existing CQT counter-countermeasures (replies #4, 19),

(3) An evaluation of the sting scenario I suggested involving leaders of the polygraph world and their susceptibility to polygraph countermeasures (reply # 10),

(4) Reaction to my evaluation of your commentary regarding examinee dissociation (reply # 19),

(5) Reaction to my commentary about the ease of using posted DoDPI chart evaluation criteria to produce responses to control questions and consequently yield effective countermeasures (reply # 19), and

(6) Your apparent abandonment for both practical and theoretical reasons of the CQT (for RI technique) with knowledgeable subjects and your characterization of it as depending upon, for any success obtained, the na•vet* of a gullible populace (replies # 26, 28)

I would suggest/urge your beginning with that contained in point number one for the following reason: your credibility with the audience you are addressing on all other subjects depends upon your realizing and clearly verbalizing the plight that your profession has placed these individuals in. Although you are not personally responsible for these exams and their consequences, anything less than a full and complete statement about the victimization of the majority of those who both created/maintain and contribute to this site will ring empty and will appear to be nothing but idle lip service (to include your claim that those individuals have "your deepest sympathy").
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 13th, 2001 at 1:12pm
  Mark & Quote
False + (5/09/01 at 16:59:14) wrote:

Quote:
I'm curious to get your opinion on the ongoing NAS Polygraph study.

1. Do you have any opinion as to what the study's conclusion will basically be?

2. Will the conclusion of the study bear any impact at all on how you view polygraphy? Would you view polygraphy any differently if the study essentially says the premises of polygraph analysis are scientifically invalid?

3. Do you think those who claim to be victims of incorrect polygraph results all fit into the reported 0.1% of error rate? Or do you think that the vast totality of those claiming to be judged in error are making it up?


1.  I won't second guess what conclusions they will reach or how they express them.  They have world class reputations.  I'm confident they will take a fresh look at the data and the issues within the scientific literature.  I do not know to what extent they will solicit information from the polygraph community, observe real world examinations, etc.  I do not know how they will weigh or resolve the various conflicting data and viewpoints.  I will be rather surprised if they don't contribute some fresh insights to the literature.  Anything new they have to say will benefit society.

2.  Of course it will affect my knowledge of the polygraph.  I strive to be open minded and incorporate all new information into the way I view the polygraph.  Would I reverse my views if they conclude it doesn't work better than chance?  Not unless they make a far more persuasive case than the critics have thus far; there is just too much evidence that it works far better than chance.

3.  The false positive rate varies from one type of exam to another.  It is probably lower in security screening than it is in criminal investigation, and vice versa.  Certainly, some who claim they were false positives, are lying.  Others are not.  I don't pretend to know what the ratio is.  I'm sure there are many variables affect it.  One is how one defines an error.  This is a variable seldom discussed, but I'm convinced it is an important one and worthy of serious discussion.

Peace.
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 11th, 2001 at 4:49pm
  Mark & Quote
Jane Doe III said:

Quote:
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent   (Date posted: 05/05/01 at 23:32:34)  Logged

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,
  It seems to me that Mr. Barland is stating that polygraph examiners are now attempting to detect countermeasures from readings that would normally be considered a "truthful" reading. If that's the case then that would explain the high number of "inconclusive" results as polygraphers are naturally assuming that the examinee is going to employ countermeasures on the test. Thus to justify their suspicions they label the test results at best "inconclusive". I am certainly no expert in this field, but I think that a so-called scientific "truth or lie" machine that was declared to be imperfect and beatable should not be used to judge peoples lives and should be relegated to the circus side-show circuit.....of course, that's just my opinion. I could be right.


Jane,

Federal agencies have specific guidelines about when an examiner must render an "inconclusive" opinion.  I believe that with some agencies, one of the situations requiring that decision would be when the examiner has reason to believe the examinee is engaging in countermeasures or purposeful non-cooperation.

Frankly, I'm glad there is an inconclusive category.  With ambiguous situations, better to render no opinion than to make a mistake.

Peace.
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: May 10th, 2001 at 10:58am
  Mark & Quote
Quote:
There is no longer a real need for foreign intelligence services to spend their resources developing countermeasures, for the techniques are all available on the Internet for a nominal fee or free of charge.  The sad thing about this, in my view, is that it is American citizens who are advising sex offenders, murderers, spies, and rapists how to beat the test.


Gordon,

Earlier in this message thread, you wrote "If you don't mind, I'd like to focus in this thread on the risks of using countermeasures..." Now that you've chosen to venture into commentary on ethics, perhaps you'd care to respond to the following questions I posed in my initial reply, which you had earlier shrugged off. For convenience, I'll re-state them here:

Our discussion of the ethics of polygraph countermeasures [in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector] is short and simple:

Quote:
We believe that it is not unethical for truthful persons--faced with a government that routinely lies to and deceives its employees and prospective employees  through the polygraph screening process--to employ polygraph countermeasures to protect themselves against a false positive outcome.


Do you disagree? If so, why? Is it ethical for our government to lie to and deceive employees and applicants for employment through the polygraph process? If so, why? (The  deceptions involved are discussed in Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector).
Posted by: False +
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 11:59pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Mr. Barland,

I'm curious to get your opinion on the ongoing NAS Polygraph study.

1. Do you have any opinion as to what the study's conclusion will basically be?

2. Will the conclusion of the study bear any impact at all on how you view polygraphy? Would you view polygraphy any differently if the study essentially says the premises of polygraph analysis are scientifically invalid?

3. Do you think those who claim to be victims of incorrect polygraph results all fit into the reported 0.1% of error rate? Or do you think that the vast totality of those claiming to be judged in error are making it up?
Posted by: Jane_Doe_III
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 6:58pm
  Mark & Quote
 Mr.G.Barland states;
"The sad thing about this, in my view, is that it is American citizens who are advising sex offenders, murderers, spies, and rapists how to beat the test."
 Well sir, if it wasn't for the fact that Law Enforcement agencies were completly abusing this machine as a do-or-die hiring device the world probably would still be left in the dark about this atrocious beast that you call a "lie detector". This information that is being distributed is the direct result of numerous people being denied employment for false, baseless accusations made by people like yourself. Sure we don't want to see the type of people that you mentioned above get over on the system. But we all now know that your machine that has incriminated so many people in the past is full of flaws and not based on any proven scientific theory, infact it's been admonished by the scientific community.
  So don't go blaming anyone but yourself and your constituents for this valuable information posted for all of the world to see.
  Thank god we still use "beyond a reasonable doubt" in our criminal justice system. There is nothing but "reasonable doubt" in your instrument you blindly see as a lie detector.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 6:57pm
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

Although you somewhat place your admission in perspective, it in no way changes its overall nature as simply that--an admission that CQT counter-countermeasures are for all practical purposes a functional myth. Although you suggest keeping the CQT in the present polygrapher's armamentarium, you give no compelling reason for doing so. In fact, your own subsequent commentary relegates the CQT to ancient history dependent upon the widespread naïveté of a gullible populace. In fact, Gordon, under cross-examination, you would make an excellent expert witness for why the national security should no longer rest with CQT polygraphy. You should be congratulated on your honesty, even though it clearly runs counter to the sort of wild claims of invincibility normally put forth by the polygraph community, e.g., numerous such posts on polygraphplace.com.

If you believe what you suggest about information-based tests, then we do have some common ground.

You still need to answer to those victimized by the CQT regarding how they should be compensated (following up on your "doctors bury their mistakes" observation). And you should very clearly understand that the reason for Americans providing the world with polygraph countermeasures is that the American population is that which has been most heavily victimized by polygraphy (American polygraphers representing a majority of the world's population of polygraphers). Although Great Britain has had spies as has the U.S., British subjects have not played a role in disseminating polygraph countermeasure information, not because they are more patriotic than U.S. citizens, but because their relatively enlightened government has protected its subjects from the victimization of polygraphy.......
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 5:33pm
  Mark & Quote
Anonymous said:

Quote:
 When asked how you would handle the subject, instead of saying “I would proceed as planned with the CQT polygraph screening because no problem exists, i.e., I can rely on my DoD-developed countermeasure detection algorithm to sort out any countermeasure attempts…” you have done quite something else.


You seem to have misunderstood what I’ve been saying.  I have never said, nor implied, that no countermeasure problem exists.  On the contrary, it has expanded dramatically.  During the Cold War, the government’s main concern about countermeasures was what hostile intelligence services were doing.  That involved a miniscule number of examinations out of all that were conducted.  Today, the testing environment is completely different.  Detailed countermeasure instructions are available on the Internet to everyone.  The incidence of easy-to-detect low level CMs is diminishing, and the incidence of the more sophisticated mid-level CMs has increased dramatically.  There is no longer a real need for foreign intelligence services to spend their resources developing countermeasures, for the techniques are all available on the Internet for a nominal fee or free of charge.  The sad thing about this, in my view, is that it is American citizens who are advising sex offenders, murderers, spies, and rapists how to beat the test.

What I have said is that we have learned a lot about detecting mid-level countermeasures.  There are a number of factors which influence the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of countermeasures.  Some are under the complete or partial control of the person being examined, others by the examiner.  I have also said that we are increasingly able to detect mid-level countermeasures, and that innocent/truthful persons should be aware of that and the associated consequences when they are deciding whether to try them.  Finally, I have said that I do not know what percentage of mid-level countermeasures we are detecting in real world examinations, for I don’t know the base rate for countermeasures.  I know that an increasing number of Federal examiners have received formal training in how to detect them, and that we are in fact detecting more of them.  Whether this is due to the training, or because more people are trying countermeasures, is hard to say.  I suspect it is a combination of the two.

Anonymous’ final point was that I appear to be willing to quickly abandon the CQT.  That misconstrues my position.  I think it is important to keep all forms of the CQT in the examiners’ armamentarium.  But this does not mean that in today’s testing environment we can conduct business as usual.

The CQT was developed more than half a century ago.  As it was modified and numerical scoring systems were developed, it was all on the premise that persons taking the test were generally naïve about how the test was structured and scored.  That is no longer the case, though I’m not sure the polygraph profession fully realizes the implications of that.  There are short term fixes and long range solutions that must be developed.  I would certainly hope that the CQT is not the end point in the evolution of credibility assessment technology.

One of the short term fixes, in my opinion, is to decrease the emphasis on the CQT.  The majority of examiners today probably consider it the technique of preference in virtually every situation.  I have long advocated a greater role for other formats, such as peak of tension, guilty knowledge, and relevant-irrelevant tests.  Every testing technique has an inherent set of strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and limitations.  In a situation where the person being tested is using or is likely to use point countermeasures, it makes good sense to switch to a test which is less susceptible to them.

Peace.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 2:13am
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

     You gave the following reply to George Maschke when queried about how to deal with a potential polygraph examinee knowledgeable about (1) the examiner deception involved in CQT polygraphy and (2) publicly disseminated countermeasures to this technique.

______________________________________________________________________

As for how I would deal with the situation, I would have no qualms about conducting an examination.  My personal outlook is “when in doubt, give it a try and see what happens.”  I would go into the situation with my eyes open, aware of the pitfalls, and make sure that the person receiving my report was also aware of the need for caution in relying upon the results.  When I was an examiner in private practice, I tested several polygraph examiners on real world matters.  The only thing I did differently from testing a naïve subject was to use a relevant/irrelevant (RI) test format, which is less susceptible to point countermeasures.  The RI test is far more sophisticated in design and interpretation than most critics give it credit for.  To be used successfully, I believe it requires formal training followed by an internship under experienced practitioners, so this option is not realistic for many examiners.
_______________________________________________________________________

     Mr. Maschke then characterized the RI technique as “thoroughly discredited” and “hardly reassuring” to a knowledgeable person facing the prospect of taking such an exam.  He is correct on both counts, but because this audience is likely largely unfamiliar with the RI technique, I would like to spend some time with it---its theory of practice, suggested shortcomings (even in comparison to CQT polygraphy), its scoring, and ready methods for countermeasuring this type of exam or one with any number of single-stimulus (relevant) questions.  All of that is a bit beyond this post, though, and the time I have available to devote to it this evening, but I would like to comment on what I believe is a critical juncture in the dialogue we are now having.

     If this were a criminal interrogation, you were a criminal suspect (hopefully having been read your rights by now), and the alleged crime was fabricating the existence of a viable polygraph counter-countermeasure program for CQT polygraph screening applications, at this juncture I would stop the interview and take a signed-sworn statement.

     Although you have continually (in this thread) suggested to the contrary, through your quoted commentary to Mr. Maschke what you have done is implicitly admit that no such program exists.  When asked how you would handle the subject, instead of saying “I would proceed as planned with the CQT polygraph screening because no problem exists, i.e., I can rely on my DoD-developed countermeasure detection algorithm to sort out any countermeasure attempts…” you have done quite something else.  What you have done is to abandon CQT polygraphy as a sinking ship under the conditions Mr. Maschke presented you and to strike out with another format (again, even a more problematic one to be discussed at a later time).  The issue here is not the comparison between CQT and RI polygraph techniques, but that you would so quickly abandon CQT polygraphy.  This ready betrayal of the present mainstay of government polygraph screening programs (CQT polygraphy) plus your unwillingness (and I suspect inability) to answer my questions about counter-countermeasures can only lead a reasonable person to conclude what I have said all along----counter-countermeasures to CQT polygraphy are but a bluff and a wish of a dying industry…
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 12:38am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Anonymous,

The root cause of our different views lies in whether the polygraph works better than chance or not.  That is a discussion I look forward to on a different thread.  It's a complex issue with many aspects, enough to keep everybody involved for months to come.

Peace.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 9th, 2001 at 12:30am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
________________________________________________
Surely you jest!  Countermeasures and counter-countermeasures are a high stakes battle which directly impacts the criminal justice system and national security. 
_________________________________________________

No, my friend, surely you jest!  Although you wrap yourself, your former profession, and its practices in the American flag and give it the solemnity due national security, this will not continue for long.  Once stripped of this artificial association to national security (national security and criminal justice will be furthered through the elimination of polygraphy), polygraph counter-countermeasures and the like will properly be relegated to the likes and gravitas of Boris and Natasha or spy vs. spy of Mad Magazine.  The only remaining interest and purpose left standing will be the long-term employment prospects of your former associates...
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 7:15pm
  Mark & Quote
Gordon Barland wrote:

Quote:
There may be a problem with semantics here. I did not mean confirm in the sense of absolute ground truth. That is extremely difficult to do in any real world situation. Therein lies the big advantage of laboratory research, where we made our initial breakthroughs in detecting mid- and high level countermeasures. What I did mean was confirm to the satisfaction of the individual agency. The steps that must be accomplished to reach that level of confirmation vary from one agency to another. The key point is that in the Federal government, most examiners do not make such a decision arbitrarily. They must follow their agency's guidelines, which may require concurrence from their quality control office.


Gordon, confirmation "to the satisfaction of the individual agency" is no real confirmation at all, is it? In your first post, which started this message thread, you wrote:

Quote:
Each Federal agency has a quality control office which reviews every examination. I know of a number of cases where the examiner cleared the person taking the test, but the quality control office detected apparent countermeasures. The persons were re-examined, and the use of countermeasures was confirmed.


All you really meant to say then, is that some federal agencies will decide (based on undisclosed criteria that vary from agency to agency) that a subject employed countermeasures, whether or not the subject admits to it?

What evidence exists that DoDPI-trained polygraphers (or, indeed, any polygraphers) can detect the countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector at better than chance levels?

Lastly, if you would use the relevant/irrelevant format with sophisticated subjects (i.e., those who understand the polygraph procedure), then on what scientific basis do you expect to be able to distinguish truth from deception using this (thoroughly discredited) technique? For the informed, truthful subject who heeds your advice and does not employ countermeasures but instead admits to his/her knowledge of the trickery on which "control" question "test" polygraphy depends, the promise of being treated to a relevant/irrelevant "test" instead is hardly reassuring.
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 5:38pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Gordon,

In this message thread, you've referred to three categories of polygraph countermeasures: low-level, mid-level, and high-level. Could you explain the distinction between the three?
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 5:17pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
So many questions, so little time!

The reason I retired was to free up my time to pursue other interests and pleasures.  I am deliberately limiting the time I spend on polygraph matters.  I will get to all of your questions in time; typically one post per day.  See you tomorrow!

Peace
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 5:14pm
  Mark & Quote
George Maschke wrote:

Quote:
Absent an admission from the subject that he/she used countermeasures, how can a polygraph examiner "confirm" that any of the various countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector were employed?

There may be a problem with semantics here.  I did not mean confirm in the sense of absolute ground truth.  That is extremely difficult to do in any real world situation.  Therein lies the big advantage of laboratory research, where we made our initial breakthroughs in detecting mid- and high level countermeasures.  What I did mean was confirm to the satisfaction of the individual agency.  The steps that must be accomplished to reach that level of confirmation vary from one agency to another.  The key point is that in the Federal government, most examiners do not make such a decision arbitrarily.  They must follow their agency’s guidelines, which may require concurrence from their quality control office.

Quote:
What would you say to the earnest employee or applicant for employment who wants a straightforward answer to this simple question: what will the polygrapher do if I admit to him/her that I understand "the lie behind the lie detector" (i.e., the trickery on which polygraph "testing" depends)?


This approach is so new the field has not developed any uniform response, not in the federal community and certainly not in the police and private arenas.  The only research bearing on this has been done by Honts and his colleagues.  They have published a couple of studies which found, among other things, that subjects who are aware of the purpose of control/comparison questions are at greater risk of a false positive error.  This is another down side to making polygraph information available to the public.  In their understandable desire to help innocent people avoid false positive errors, the authors may be inadvertently increasing the risk for some people.

As for how I would deal with the situation, I would have no qualms about conducting an examination.  My personal outlook is “when in doubt, give it a try and see what happens.”  I would go into the situation with my eyes open, aware of the pitfalls, and make sure that the person receiving my report was also aware of the need for caution in relying upon the results.  When I was an examiner in private practice, I tested several polygraph examiners on real world matters.  The only thing I did differently from testing a naïve subject was to use a relevant/irrelevant (RI) test format, which is less susceptible to point countermeasures.  The RI test is far more sophisticated in design and interpretation than most critics give it credit for.  To be used successfully, I believe it requires formal training followed by an internship under experienced practitioners, so this option is not realistic for many examiners.

Peace
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 5:06pm
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

Should you care to FULLY respond to my previous three posts and the other unfinished business (others' unanswered questions) before you, I thought I'd add just another thought or two for your commentary. In your next to last posted response (5/5/01 largely addressed to George Maschke, although not answering his questions), you raise the notion of examinee dissociation (by starring at a spot on a wall). Although you correctly characterize this as something that would not work, via the sin of omission, you may well give the wrong impression to the readers of this site. You know well that this would never have any theoretical possibility of working, but yet, by implication, suggest that this is just one more countermeasure tried and failed by the antipolygraph crowd. In fact, as you well know, such an effort would come under the category of trying to prevent a response (presumably to relevant questions). You further know that even those few (Buddhist monks, etc.) who can reliably manipulate the output of their own autonomic nervous system (heart rate, etc.) cannot do so within the time frame of a polygraph exam (questions being asked, separated in time by 15-20 seconds). Because you know that this clearly would not work and confuse it with meaningful activity to produce (not inhibit) reactions to control questions, one has to wonder if this is not intentional disinformation, simply a straw man, and/or a red herring to mislead those who would apply countermeasures down a wrong trail to begin with and secondarily suggesting that they will be caught if they do such a thing. If not, I fail to understand why you did not explain what, no doubt, is obvious to you.

But getting back to that which is meaningful, on the home page of this web site is an item entitled DoDPI Test Data Analysis. Within that document are the specific scoring criteria DoDPI uses for scoring the individual polygraph channels. Why would you have this audience believe that it would not be relatively simple to learn how to produce these responses within a timely manner (independent of which of several possible mid-line physical or mental countermeasure methods is employed) to control questions? The notion you raise of a separate system of scoring criteria for countermeasures is quite dubious. Examiners don't really know how to use the original scoring system in a particularly effective manner. The notion of another system on top of or in replacement appears to be nonsensical and again, in any real meaningful application, little more than a bluff.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 4:05pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Gordon,

You mention that ...."Errors in the medical system have given rise to the saying "doctors bury their mistakes"........"  These doctors, when shown in a court of law to have done so, are subject to multi-million dollar damage awards/assessments against them.  We are all aware of routine reports of such awards.   You, "....having the deepest sympathy...." for these victims, I assume would approve of similar civil liability for federal polygraph examiners (and others) who have ruined the careers and lives of applicants and employees through polygraph screening, yes?? Smiley
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 3:36pm
  Mark & Quote
Gordon,

I take it from your non-responsive reply to Anonymous regarding polygraph counter-countermeasures that you won't be replying (at least not responsively) to the following question I put to you:

  • Absent an admission from the subject that he/she used countermeasures, how can a polygraph examiner "confirm" that any of the various countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector were employed?


If such is the case, then you leave truthful persons who face a polygraph interrogation to compare the well-documented information provided in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector with your vague and unsupported warnings about the abilities of polygraphers to detect countermeasures. Why should those truthful persons you are trying to reach believe you?

I hope you will yet provide an answer to the other question I put to you:

  • What would you say to the earnest employee or applicant for employment who wants a straightforward answer to this simple question: what will the polygrapher do if I admit to him/her that I understand "the lie behind the lie detector" (i.e., the trickery on which polygraph "testing" depends)?


Those whom you urge not to employ countermeasures deserve an answer.
Posted by: Gordon H. Barland
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 2:26pm
  Mark & Quote
Anonymous (5/5, 6:14:50) wrote: 

Quote:
A substantial percentage of those who contribute to this message board (including those who manage the antipolygraph.org web site) are individuals whose initial experience with polygraphy was not in the role of a polygraph critic or as an advocate of the use of polygraph countermeasures.  They simply began as innocent examinees who trusted their federal government and its tools for applicant evaluation.  Only after having found themselves VICTIMIZED THROUGH POLYGRAPHY (having done precisely what you suggest), did they then wish that they knew then (before the polygraph exam) what they now know regarding this pseudoscience. It is with this experience in mind that they now with unwavering purpose and clear conscience make the information and advice available that you openly question and most assuredly privately fear.


I’m well aware of the effect of false positives, and the victims have my deepest sympathy.  We humans live in an imperfect world, doing the best we can with what is available.  Without wishing to trivialize the experience of those who have suffered polygraph false positives, I must point out that no diagnostic test is perfectly accurate.  Some errors have more grievous effects than others.  Errors in the medical system have given rise to the saying “doctors bury their mistakes.”

Quote:
… there is every reason to believe that both innocent and guilty examinees who make no admissions regarding the use of countermeasures will likewise be successful in their efforts to employ them.  If this is not true, i.e., polygraph counter-countermeasures are not simply a bluff requiring an admission on the part of an examinee and can only be perpetrated with a cloak of secrecy, please explain.


You seem to be suggesting that nobody who keeps mum about using countermeasures will ever “fail” the polygraph.  That is simply not true.  Although each agency has considerable latitude in developing its own policies, those whose policies I am aware of allow examiners to report suspected countermeasures as such.  When handled and verified according to the guidelines of those agencies, they are reported to the adjudicators and are grounds for denial of employment for the reasons I stated in my original post in this thread.

Quote:
Furthermore, if polygraph counter-countermeasures are truly effectively in place, you should be able to describe how they work in such a manner as to convince this audience that (1) this is how they (counter-countermeasures) reliably work, (2) this is how we can unquestionably demonstrate them (responses to countermeasures) not to be reflective of normal physiological response (independent of an examinee making such an admission), and (3) there is no way that they (examinees) can foil polygraphers by simply being aware of  these counter-countermeasures and thereby force a non-deceptive result.


Surely you jest!  Countermeasures and counter-countermeasures are a high stakes battle which directly impacts the criminal justice system and national security.  Those who teach people how to beat the polygraph and those whose job is to detect and prevent that, are in an adversarial relationship.  Both sides are learning how to be more effective.  If I detail how we are detecting countermeasures (i.e., the mistakes the advisors are making), that would boost you considerably higher along your learning curve, hurting the criminal justice system and national security.  With time, experience, and feedback, countermeasure advisors will improve their advice.  In the meantime, the federal polygraph community needs the time to develop long range solutions to the countermeasure problem by developing a more robust test using, say, brain imaging.

Peace
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 1:39pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Quote:
...if this is done using some of the luminaries in the polygraph field, those who wish to bring up the oft heard "you just ran into a bad/inexperienced examiner" will need themselves a new argument.


Suitable marks for such a polygraph countermeasures sting operation would include past and current presidents, directors, and officers of the American Polygraph Association, the American Association of Police Polygraphists, and the National Polygraph Association.

Grin
Posted by: G Scalabr
Posted on: May 8th, 2001 at 11:31am
  Mark & Quote
Quote:
The examiner then accused me of countermeasures and demanded that I change the way I breathe.


Mark, yours is a good point in and of itself.  We constantly hear of polygraphers telling examinees that they are "breathing too slowly."  If the polygraph is an accurate, valid, and reliable technique for determining truth from deception, why do polygraphers constantly order examinees to change their breathing patterns?  

One would think that this would not be necessary if the technique were reliable.  Also, it seems kind of hard to accept that results are not skewed when an examiner essentially orders the person taking the "test" to manipulate one of the three channels on the instrument.  

"Anonymous" hit the nail on the head when he/she analogized the polygraph industry to a  house of cards ready to collapse.  I will extend the comparison further.  We at AntiPolygraph.org take pride in playing the role of "The Big Bad (actually good) Wolf" against these "little pigs."  All I have to say is that we plan to "huff, puff, and blow their house down."

Speaking of blowing the house down, anonymous' idea of doing another sting operation--this time to show the efficacy of countermeasures--is a great idea.  I especially love the part about  "even [having] an innocent subject to be found deceptive by having he/she artificially produce responses to relevant questions."  Furthermore, if this is done using some of the luminaries in the polygraph field, those who wish to bring up the oft heard "you just ran into a bad/inexperienced examiner" will need themselves a new argument.  We at AntiPolygraph.org will be discussing this idea among ourselves and with some of our media contacts.  Thank you, anonymous, whoever you are.  Once again, this is a great idea, and I promise that we will follow up and look into it.
Posted by: Raymond J. Latimer
Posted on: May 7th, 2001 at 11:27pm
  Mark & Quote
Hello Mark
I appreciate the fact that you allow and welcome polygraphists to participate in this very interesting forum.  However please do not mistake my silence as acquiescence.  Sometimes I do not respond because it would be like beating a dead horse.  I do not wish to appear inimical.  Not being from  the world of academia I guess that I am just too diffident to do justice to some of the topics raised by some of your obviously pedantic (sometimes boringly so)writers.  I find it best sometimes to take advise from the "famous" booklet, and just "BITE MY TONGUE".  I enjoy the give and take and I accept it as little more than tendentious exercises by two or more people with different views.  I especially enjoy reading George's responses.  Believe me, if in the future I read something that I feel I can elucidate on I will.  But it seems to me that no matter what I write, I will not be able to convince the non-believers.  By the way---- ahhh!! forget it!
Ray Latimer   Wink
Posted by: Mark Mallah
Posted on: May 7th, 2001 at 8:18pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Gordon,

I am very pleased to have your participation in this forum.  I think it's important that you directly address the questions posed.  Since you and Ray Latimer appear to be the only "posters" from the polygraph community, and we know you to be qualified to speak on these issues, your silence on the issues you have not addressed will justifiably be interpreted as you having no credible answer.

Additionally, Gino raises an excellent point- the new "false positive" will be a false accusation of countermeasures.  This actually happened to me already.  The interrogation already several hours old, me getting increasingly agitated and apprehensive about the Kafkaesque experience unfolding, surprise, surprise, my breathing patterns changed.  The examiner then accused me of countermeasures and demanded that I change the way I breathe.
Posted by: Nate
Posted on: May 7th, 2001 at 5:35pm
  Mark & Quote
GORDON: They also claim there is no ethical problem because it's okay to "con the con man."  Whether you follow their advice is up to you, but you should be aware of the risks involved.


NATE: Before I begin Gordon, read my past experience with the polygraph in the "share your experience" part of this message board.  As you read, I did not attempt to use counter-measures on my third test despite the fact that I had previously had a false positive.  My basis was not on the fact that I could not use them.  If I did use counter-measures they would have been ones that would have been undetectable, hence psychological.  I think anyone is justified and ethical to lie to someone in self-defense just as it is moral and ethical to kill in self-defense. The reason why I personally didn't use counter-measures was different from these two reasons. I believe law enforcement "should be" honest and the most pure of all society.  Therefor, I felt unethical trying to "trick" a police department in order to get on.  In other words, I don't want to work for a police department in which you have to trick in order to get on, and more importantly disqualifies qualified HONEST applicants.  I want to work for a police department knowing that my honesty and "purity" is what made me get the job, not trickery.  Although the logically fallacy in the statement could be "then why work a police department that uses the polygraph machine seeing that it based on trickery?"  The answer that helps me most is the one in which I try to believe that the police department truly believes in the machine and tries to be ethical in its usage, although I must say this is hard for me to swallow.

Gordon, you can waive your doctorates degree around all you want, but the reality is that most examiners do not even have masters.  I have simple example for you referring pre-employment testing:

1) If an examinee fails a test do you tell him?
2) Do talk to the examinee if a question shows a reaction?
3) Do you perform post-test interrogation upon the examinee failing a polygraph test?
4) If an examinee fails a test, do you sometimes ask for a re-test on another day?

Gordon if you answered yes to any of these questions then I just proved that the polygraph exam in biased and not consistent with all exams.  In my one false positive the answer to all of the above questions was no.  Not all exams are like the ones you do.

GORDON: So that you may judge where I'm coming from, I'll tell you up front that I've been a polygraph examiner for thirty years.  Both my Master's and doctoral degrees involved research on the accuracy of the polygraph.  

NATE: As you can see, what you say is nice and dandy, but the majority of applicants are not being tested by unbiased polygraph examiners with doctorates degrees, they are being tested by municipal police departments and by examiners that have a  " I do this on the side" mentality.

GORDON:Each Federal agency has a quality control office which reviews every examination.  

NATE: What are you saying? That in order for an exam to be accurate, fair, and unbiased that you need a "quality control office"?  If this is so, then what about the small police departments that don't have these, seeing that the majority of pre-employment exams are not for federal but for local agencies.  Does this mean that all the local applicants are not a getting a fair and unbiased exam?  My we use you as our witness in a lawsuit against a local police department?

PS: How does someone pass a polygraph test, then fail one, then pass another one all with the exact same answers to the questions?  How reliable is that?  Based on this information, it looks like its 66.6% accurate.
Cry
 
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