Normal Topic 2nd cvsa (Read 5799 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box wrona 247

2nd cvsa
Nov 4th, 2001 at 7:49pm
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Here is my situation. I am currently a police officer with a large dept. on the East coast. Due to my girlfriend (fiance) living in another state and having a contract to fufill, I was looking for a good dept in her area. In '99 I found one. I went through the process, including the cvsa and made it to the oral board. I wasn't high enough on the list so I wasn't hired. 

In '00 I applied again to the same agency. I went through the process again and again made it to the cvsa. I was told that I failed this time! I was told that I showed signs of deception. I appealed, they rejected. I researched to find out what the damn cvsa really was and was surprised. I found no relevant research, no one who had substantial knowledge, and no credible findings! Unbelievable! 

Well, now I've got a new situation. I have managed to set myself up with another pre-employment cvsa screening with the same dept. This time I am willing to fight.....and win. I have passed one, and "failed" one with the same agency in two years. With all other factors being equal. I can't wait to see how this turns out! 

Here is my question...I need more research evidence that the vsa doesn't work. I have some research but need more for a possible impending battle. If anyone has any information that could help me, I would appreciate it. 

Oh and I forgot to mention, prior to the cvsa I had taken two in-depth polys. I passed them both with flying colors.

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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: 2nd cvsa
Reply #1 - Nov 6th, 2001 at 9:28pm
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See Chapter 11 of David T. Lykken's book, A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector (2nd ed., Plenum Trade, 1998) and the sources cited there.  Here's an excerpt:


...The CVSA is a modified "notebook" computer with a microphone attachment, and the microtremor content of the subject's spoken answers is displayed directly on the computer screen. When asked about validity studies of the CVSA, Dr. Charles Humble, executive director of NITV [which manufactures and markets the CVSA], replied:

Insofar as "research" that has been conducted on the CVSA, we decided very early on not to follow in the same footsteps as the polygraph only to find ourselves in the same position the polygraph finds itself in today. The CVSA is sold as an investigative tool and nothing more. Our students are taught that it is not to be used in court, to obtain warrants, or to in any way persecute anyone. The system was designed to identify innocent individuals and help remove them as suspects. All of our instructors teach that if a person is not able to "pass" the exam, it simply means that they are not eliminated as suspects--period.

I interpret this statement as meaning that CVSA users are encouraged to use the device as an interrogation tool for eliciting confessions...rather than as a test per se....

Chapter 7 of the CVSA manual with which CVSA examiners are trained is on pre-employment screening. It states (at p. 115 of the 1997 edition) " applicant will not be hired or not hired based exclusively on the VSA results."

Also, before your CVSA "test, " the examiner will shove a waiver form under your nose. At p. 116 the same manual states:


2. Release form: Always make sure that a release form is secured (this not only protects the department, but gives the examiner a psychological edge - use it).

Before signing it, perhaps you should strike out the line(s) by which you agree to hold "forever harmless" the charlatan who's giving you the "test" (and those who employ him). In this regard, you might wish to consult with a lawyer familiar with labor law in the state in which you are applying for employment.

« Last Edit: Nov 7th, 2001 at 9:27am by George W. Maschke »  

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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Fred F.
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Re: 2nd cvsa
Reply #2 - Nov 7th, 2001 at 2:57am
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Wrona 247,

It is always a disheartening to read about police officers that have their integrity questioned by being found "deceptive" by CVSA or polygraphs.

By coming to this site and getting educated, you have increased your chances of success many times over. I hope that you have read The Lie Behind The Lie Detector and A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector . This will give you the knowledge necessary for dealing with the pseudo-scientific CVSA.

I wish you GOOD LUCK

Fred F. Wink
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Fred Gessner

Re: 2nd cvsa
Reply #3 - Nov 14th, 2001 at 9:22pm
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Well, I just finished the cvsa again.  This time they notified me that I had passed.  So I've gone from not a liar, to a liar, back to being honest.  Unbelievable.  All in the same LEO agency, with all of the questions asked being the same.  It's quite a science alright!  NOT.  I would like to thank this board and all of it's members.  If anyone has questions about the cvsa, or polygraph ( I"ve taken several of those as well), I can be reached at Wrona247 at

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2nd cvsa

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