Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies) When polygraphers go home at night.... (Read 13327 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Onesimus
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When polygraphers go home at night....
Mar 7th, 2006 at 9:09am
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Do they think,

"Boy, I hope that guy that failed his polygraph today and I subsequently harassed really was guilty of something"?

or

"Boy I hope that guy that failed his polygraph today and I subsequently harassed was not guilty of anything and I feel bad for harassing him"?

or

"Boy I hope that guy that failed the polygraph today and I subsequently harassed was not guilty of anything, but I am proud that I harassed him on the chance that he was guilty and I might have gotten a confession"?

or

"Boy I can't believe I couldn't get a confession out of that guilty guy who failed his polygraph test today"?

I'm guessing for most it's closest to #3 or #4, next largest group in #1, and the group in #2 smallest and looking for another job soon.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #1 - Mar 7th, 2006 at 2:04pm
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Onesimus,

   Since they are so interested in our sex lives, I'm
sure they go home and cruise the Internet for porn,
looking for a release, after getting all worked up...
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #2 - Mar 7th, 2006 at 4:18pm
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Onesimus:

The answer is all of the above, especially if they are like you.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #3 - Mar 8th, 2006 at 3:16am
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Onesimus wrote on Mar 7th, 2006 at 9:09am:
Do they think,

"Boy, I hope that guy that failed his polygraph today and I subsequently harassed really was guilty of something"?

or

"Boy I hope that guy that failed his polygraph today and I subsequently harassed was not guilty of anything and I feel bad for harassing him"?

or

"Boy I hope that guy that failed the polygraph today and I subsequently harassed was not guilty of anything, but I am proud that I harassed him on the chance that he was guilty and I might have gotten a confession"?

or

"Boy I can't believe I couldn't get a confession out of that guilty guy who failed his polygraph test today"?

I'm guessing for most it's closest to #3 or #4, next largest group in #1, and the group in #2 smallest and looking for another job soon.


Onesimus,

If you really want to know what polygraphers think when they go home at night, all you have to do is ask one...

Pick one of the choices below.  All actually happened and are are each less than a month old...

"Boy am I tired.  It took me over three hours to get that thief to confess to taking that T.V.  Now I am afraid I have pulled every muscle in my back loading the recovered TV into the evidence van."

or

"Boy, I sure am glad I got such good NDI charts on that woman who was accused of selling drugs by her former employee.  I guess I am even happier her former worker failed her polygraph and confessed to planting the drugs in the woman's car."

or

"Boy, I never believed that accused child molester would actually pass his polygraph exam.  I really thought he was guilty.  Who knew his daughter would involve a friend in a conspiracy to set him up because he made her break up with her dirtbag boyfriend.  I guess the letter we later found in boyfriend's room will be good cooberation for dropping the sexual assault case against my examinee."

or

"Boy, am I glad that police applicant finally fessed-up to doing all that stupid stuff he learned on that anti-polygraph web site, cooperated, and FINALLY passed his polygraph exam.  He is going to make a fine officer I believe.  I am happy I gave him another chance.  Really happy."

Yes Mr. Onesimus.  Those are the sorts of things I think of as I drive home, dead tired from another day on the job as a police polygraph examiner...

What have you done for society today? 

Regards,

Nonombre
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #4 - Mar 8th, 2006 at 4:12am
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My experience with polygraph examiners begins and ends with those who have chosen to do pre-employment polygraph screenings.  I accept that the actions of polygraphers using their trade for other means may (or may not) be justified.

I have been accused of being a child molester, someone who views child pornography, a spy, someone who has secret meetings with foreign nationals, and of controlling my breathing during a test, among other things.  I have been cursed at, yelled at, and called a jerk.  I have been told that the Junior High students that I worked with at my Church were sluts who were trying to have sex with older men.  I have been forced to guess bra sizes of girls in order to obtain security clearances.  I have been told by government quality control that such lines of questioning are appropriate.  I have seen many other very good people abused and rejected by polygraphers in a similar manner.  Over 7 polygraphs with 3 different agencies, I have both passed and failed many of the questions multiple times.  Nonombre, if you don't want people like me on here badmouthing polygraphers, I suggest you tell your colleagues over in the pre-employment arena to get their act together.  This is just a very short list of what I've dealt with.

My question should be viewed in the context of a pre-employment polygrapher who has failed an examinee and subsequently harassed them during the interrogation without obtaining a confession -- these are the people who I have an issue with.  I don't think any of your responses apply to them.

  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #5 - Mar 8th, 2006 at 7:50am
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nonombre wrote on Mar 8th, 2006 at 3:16am:
Onesimus,

If you really want to know what polygraphers think when they go home at night, all you have to do is ask one...

Pick one of the choices below.  All actually happened and are are each less than a month old...

"Boy am I tired.  It took me over three hours to get that thief to confess to taking that T.V.  Now I am afraid I have pulled every muscle in my back loading the recovered TV into the evidence van."

or

"Boy, I sure am glad I got such good NDI charts on that woman who was accused of selling drugs by her former employee.  I guess I am even happier her former worker failed her polygraph and confessed to planting the drugs in the woman's car."

or

"Boy, I never believed that accused child molester would actually pass his polygraph exam.  I really thought he was guilty.  Who knew his daughter would involve a friend in a conspiracy to set him up because he made her break up with her dirtbag boyfriend.  I guess the letter we later found in boyfriend's room will be good cooberation for dropping the sexual assault case against my examinee."

or

"Boy, am I glad that police applicant finally fessed-up to doing all that stupid stuff he learned on that anti-polygraph web site, cooperated, and FINALLY passed his polygraph exam.  He is going to make a fine officer I believe.  I am happy I gave him another chance.  Really happy."

Yes Mr. Onesimus.  Those are the sorts of things I think of as I drive home, dead tired from another day on the job as a police polygraph examiner...

What have you done for society today?  

Regards,

Nonombre



You may have forgotten one or at least conveniently not listed it:

What if I was wrong?  My opinion of the results may have just cost that person a legitimate shot at obtaining a job.  Oh, well, as long as those that don't deserve police employment are kept out, I guess we can keep a few out that do deserve police employment.  It's a small cost really.  Yep, that's the ticket I'll just rationalize the hell out of this.  That applicant didn't fail because I sensitized the hell out of him, he was guilty.  Rationalize, rationalize.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #6 - Mar 11th, 2006 at 9:56pm
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"Boy, I like playing God..."
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #7 - Mar 12th, 2006 at 5:04pm
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sternfanatick wrote on Mar 11th, 2006 at 9:56pm:
"Boy, I like playing God..."


Geez, I gave a few examples of where I righted a few terrible wrongs and now I am "playing God."

You guys are truly pathetic... Cry
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #8 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 7:44am
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Nonombre,

Good post…they don’t want to hear it, if they keep repeating the same things to themselves it makes it “all better.”  I can tell you one thing that isn’t said…”lets go logon and play checkers with the preteens…or I hope I don’t end up in that big sting from D.C. I saw on Dateline TV with those guys going to that boy’s house…..then again, if I do, I will blame it on the injustices of the world and say the TV crew entrapped me.”    Then I can create a "website" and invite all my other checker playing minions to join and we can all talk about the last time we saw Elvis and UFO’s.  It will be great. 

~Spark
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #9 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 10:08am
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Onesimus,

Nonombre's replies provide what I think is a good example of why polygraphers seemingly are not terribly bothered by their consciences. They tend to focus on their successes and not spend time worrying about mistakes they may have made. In most false positive cases, the polygrapher will never know for sure that the examinee was in fact truthful regarding the relevant questions. For the CIA and FBI polygraphers whose accusations of deception drove State Department employee James Schneider to suicide, the thought that "maybe he really was a spy" must have been comforting.

In A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector (2nd ed., New York, Plenum Trade, 1998), psychologist David T. Lykken makes some cogent observations that help to explain why polygraphers may not be ethically troubled as they make accusations based on pseudoscience (pp. 68-71):

Quote:
The Limitations of Expert Opinion


In the standard textbook of polygraphic interrogation, Reid and Inbau assert:

"Our actual case experiences over the years have involved the polygraph examination (either personally or under our direct supervision) of over 100,000 persons suspected or accused of criminal offenses or involved in personnel investigations initiated by their employers. On the basis of that experience, we are confident that the technique, when properly applied by a trained, competent examiner, is very accurate in its indications. The percentage of known errors with the technique used in the laboratories of John E. Reid and Associates is less than 1 percent. [endnote omitted]"

Another highly regarded polygrapher of wide experience, R.O. Arther, similarly claims an accuracy of 99%. [endnote omitted] In 1939, the chairman of the psychology department at Fordham University, the Reverend Walter G. Summers, claimed 100% accuracy on more than 200 criminal cases. [endnote omitted] Tesifying before a committee of the Minnesota state legislature in 1975, a polygrapher from Texas stated that he had given more than 20,000 lie tests in his career and had "never been shown to have made a mistake." David Raskin, a former professor of psychology and primarily responsible for the marriage of the polygraph to the personal computer, reported in 1983 to a federal judge in California that the computer indicated a probability of 100%(!) that John DeLorean was truthful in denying his guilt on a drug charge. Paul Minor, then head of the FBI's polygraph unit, subsequently tested DeLorean and found him to be deceptive. Mr. Minor recently asserted on national television that the lie detector's error rate is only "one to two percent." [endnote omitted]

These are not selected examples. Nearly every experienced polygraphic examiner who has recorded an opinion about the accuracy of tests he has himself administered has chosen an estimate in this range, where 95% is "conservative" and 99% is perhaps typical. And most of these polygraphers are honorable people; it would be absurd to accuse all of them of venal misrepresentation. In many seemingly parallel situations, both in the courtroom and in everyday life, the opinions of such experts, based on their long experience, are taken very seriously.

One must realize, first, that someone who has devoted a career to lie detection, who has given thousands of tests the results of which have seriously affected for good or ill the lives of many people, must inevitably be strongly motivated to believe that these tests have been accurate. Experienced polygraphers would be less than human if they were not quicker to perceive positive than negative evidence of the value of their work. Second, the utility of polygraph testing does not depend solely on the accuracy of the lie test. The polygraph examination acts as a powerful inducer of admissions or confessions and, because of the mystique of the procedure, would do so even if the polygraph were just a stage prop. Examiners who are frequently abel to elicit admissions of misconduct or, in criminal cases, admissions of guilty may therefore feel that they control a powerful technique--and "powerful" is easily transmuted into "valid." Moreover, like everyone else, polygraphers are more inclined to remember the good cases than the bad ones and to have a clearer recollection of those instances where their efforts solved some mystery than the ones where they remained in doubt.

These considerations are especially important because, in the vast majority of examinations, polygraphers never know if they were right or wrong. In criminal cases, many crimes are never solved, most suspects never go to trial. How then do we account for the claims of 95% and 100% accuracy? We must attribute them to the inevitable distortion that results when true believers attempt to evaluate the soundness of their own beliefs using "noisy" and inadequate data. [endnote omitted]


How Polygraph-Induced Confessions Mislead Polygraphers


It is standard practice for police polygraphers to interrogate a suspect who has falied the lie test. They tell him that the impartial, scientific polygraph has demonstrated his guilt, that no one now will believe his denials, and that his most sensible action at this  point would be to confess and try to negotiate the best terms that he can. This is strong stuff, and what the examiner says to the suspect is especially convincing and effective because the examiner genuinely believes it himself. Police experience in the United States suggests that as many as 40% of interrogated suspects do actually confess in this situation. And these confessions provide virtually the only feedback of "ground truth" or criterion data that is ever available to a polygraph examiner.

If a suspect passes the polygraph test, he will not be interrogated because the examiner firmly believes he has been truthful. Suspects who are not interrogated do not confess, of course. This means that the only criterion data that are systematically sought--and occasionally obtained--are confessions by people who have failed the polygraph, confessions that are guaranteed to corroborate the tests that elicited those confessions. The examiner almost never discovers that a suspect he diagnosed as truthful was in fact deceptive, because that bad news is excluded by his dependence on immediate confessions for verification. Moreover, these periodic confessions provide a diet of consistently good news that confirms the examiner's belief that the lie test is nearly infallible. Note that the examiner's client or employer also hears about these same confessions and is also protected from learning about most of the polygrapher's mistakes.

Sometimes a confession can verify, not only the test that produced it, but also a previous test that resulted in a diagnosis of truthful. This can happen when there is more than one suspect in the same crime, so that the confession of one person reveals that the alternative suspect must be innocent. Once again, however, the examiner is usually protected from learning when he has made an error. If the suspect who was tested first is diagnosed as deceptive, then the alternative suspect--who might be the guilty one--is seldom tested at all because the examiner believes that the case was solved by that first failed test. This means that only rarely does a confession prove that someone who has already failed his test is actually innocent.

Therefore, when a confession allows us to evaluate the accuracy of the test given to a person cleared by that confession, then once again the news will almost always be good news; that innocent suspect will be found to have passed his lie test, because if the first suspect had not passed the test, the second person would not have been tested and would not have confessed. [endnote omitted]

  

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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #10 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 8:36pm
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Dr. Lykken was a polygraph examiner/psychologist that was disinchanted with polygraph because the industry would not accept his method of testing and could not replicate his studies.  Bening offended he went on the offensive and, much the same as you, decided polygraph had no validity or reliability.  I discount most of his findings due to his motivation.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #11 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 8:42pm
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detector1012000 wrote on Mar 14th, 2006 at 8:36pm:
Dr. Lykken was a polygraph examiner/psychologist that was disinchanted with polygraph because the industry would not accept his method of testing and could not replicate his studies.  Bening offended he went on the offensive and, much the same as you, decided polygraph had no validity or reliability.  I discount most of his findings due to his motivation.


Respectfully, you are wildly mistaken. Dr. Lykken was never a polygraph examiner. Your attack on his motivation (rather than his arguments) is based on a false premise.
  

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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #12 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 8:50pm
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detector1012000 wrote on Mar 14th, 2006 at 8:36pm:
Dr. Lykken was a polygraph examiner/psychologist that was disinchanted with polygraph because the industry would not accept his method of testing and could not replicate his studies.  Bening offended he went on the offensive and, much the same as you, decided polygraph had no validity or reliability.  I discount most of his findings due to his motivation.


NSA polygraph division's technical director also preferred Ad Hominem “arguments” over arguments based on substance.  He specifically attacked Drew Richardson, George Maschke, and NSAReject from this site.  He gave various reasons why I should not listen to any of these people, but did not refute anything any of them stated on this website.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #13 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 9:15pm
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spark wrote on Mar 14th, 2006 at 7:44am:
Nonombre,

Good post…they don’t want to hear it, if they keep repeating the same things to themselves it makes it “all better.”  I can tell you one thing that isn’t said…”lets go logon and play checkers with the preteens…or I hope I don’t end up in that big sting from D.C. I saw on Dateline TV with those guys going to that boy’s house…..then again, if I do, I will blame it on the injustices of the world and say the TV crew entrapped me.”    Then I can create a "website" and invite all my other checker playing minions to join and we can all talk about the last time we saw Elvis and UFO’s.  It will be great.  

~Spark



Nice, checkers are now a conduit for pedophilia?  And while I do not believe polygraphy equates to pedophilia, the latter being much more abhorent, neither is a "good" thing.


Detector1012000 wrote:
Quote:
Dr. Lykken was a polygraph examiner/psychologist that was disinchanted with polygraph because the industry would not accept his method of testing and could not replicate his studies.  Bening offended he went on the offensive and, much the same as you, decided polygraph had no validity or reliability.  I discount most of his findings due to his motivation. 


According to Dr. Lykken, with whom I have briefly conversed, he has never been a polygraph examiner, rather a lifetime academic.  Also, the polygraph community has not rejected his preferred method of testing - Guilty Knowledge Testing.  According to examiners I have spoken with this method is utilized.
  
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Re: When polygraphers go home at night....
Reply #14 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 9:28pm
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Quote:
NSA polygraph division's technical director also preferred Ad Hominem “arguments” over arguments based on substance.  He specifically attacked Drew Richardson, George Maschke, and NSAReject from this site.  He gave various reasons why I should not listen to any of these people, but did not refute anything any of them stated on this website.


I guess this means, I am on NSA's list of disgruntled IC employees !   Smiley
  
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