Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts (Read 54848 times)
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How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Nov 16th, 2001 at 7:50am
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Here are a few responses some polygraphers gave me when I confronted them with the question of how polygraphers can determine countermeasures strictly through analyzing the charts.  While they are superficial responses, they may shed some light to those who are polygraph-savvy and can read between the lines (which I have not been able to do).

POLYGRAPHER 1:

NORMAL PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES HAVE A CERTAIN PATTERN TO THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE THE RESULT OF NORMAL REACTION TO STIMULI.

ABNORMAL RESPONES ARE SKEWED FROM THE NORM AND DO NOT FIT THE NORMAL PATTERN BECAUSE THEY ARE DELIBERATELY DISTORTED.

BREATHING IS BY FAR THE EASIEST TO DISTORT AND CONTROL.  YET, ALL DISTORTERS ALSO DISTORT THEIR I/E (INSPIRATION EXPIRATION) RATIOS.

THAT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE TO SPOT

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POLYGRAPHER #2:

I am saying "normal" reactions to stress DIFFER from faked ones.   Faked ones occur OUT OF PROPORTION to the overall reaction capability of the subject.

Fear of detection causes sympathetic arousal.

Faking reactions causes polygraph chart deviations which are
not consistent with the subject's normal physiological reaction
pattern.

A surprise question often evokes sympathetic arousal.

At the end of the test I ask, "How much is 36 + 45?"

This reaction-evoking question causes sympathetic arousal.

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POLYGRAPHER #3

Any countermeasure would show during testing.  Pain from the tac in a shoe for example would show a great reaction which would have to be explained by some body movement

A large change in a reading will give the person away.  GSR  (skin response)   would show as if someone sniffed, squeezed butt checks, etc

It is very hard for a subject to cause pain or movement at the exact time the rest of the body responds to a question.  i.e.  if the skin response showed great change prior to chest/BP readings it would show something is up.
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POLYGRAPHER #4

While I don't have dialogue that I could copy and paste, I will convey what he (or she) said.

The fourth polygrapher said that the fact that the examinee knows that they are going to intentionally hurt themselves (tac in the shoe/bite the tongue) takes away from what would appear as being a normal reaction on the chart because self-inflicted pain is expected and the reaction will not be spontaneous like a normal physiological reaction (kinda like the idea of trying to tickle yourself).
----------------------->

While some of the components of the above responses don't seem to make any sense or even be reasonable, others appear to make some sense and could potentially have some validity to them.  I am not an expert and am far from understanding (in full) the polygraph test.  Anyone out there have some thoughts about the above responses?

Netnin Yahoo

Ps:  I'm working on getting back some more responses to this question--more specifically, trying to get INDEPTH responses.

  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #1 - Nov 16th, 2001 at 9:09am
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Netnin,

I suggest pressing the polygraphers you query for specific OBJECTIVE ways they claim to make these determinations.  The responses you are getting appear to be fancy ways of "I know it when I see it."

Quote:
NORMAL PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES HAVE A CERTAIN PATTERN TO THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE THE RESULT OF NORMAL REACTION TO STIMULI.

ABNORMAL RESPONES ARE SKEWED FROM THE NORM AND DO NOT FIT THE NORMAL PATTERN BECAUSE THEY ARE DELIBERATELY DISTORTED.


I would ask this polygrapher exactly how one make an objective determination of "normal."  Furthermore, we know that countermeasures are used to deliberately "distort" charts.  Nonetheless, this does not answer the question.  HOW does one know that the chart has been intentionally distorted?

Quote:
Fear of detection causes sympathetic arousal.

Faking reactions causes polygraph chart deviations which are
not consistent with the subject's normal physiological reaction
pattern.

A surprise question often evokes sympathetic arousal.

At the end of the test I ask, "How much is 36 + 45?"

This reaction-evoking question causes sympathetic arousal.


If anything, with this response, this polygrapher provides evidence that countermeasures DO work.  He is essentially saying that the stress caused by trying to do difficult arithmetic (one of the countermeasures we recommend) looks the same as fear of detection.  Also, I would ask him how polygraphy can be expected to work on individuals that know the trickery behind it.  Why would anyone who knows that his/her answers to the "control" questions are assumed to be lies have any reason to fear detection?  It makes no sense that a person  would fear detection during a control question if he/she knows that the test is not set up to determine deception during that question.  

Quote:
A large change in a reading will give the person away.  GSR  (skin response)   would show as if someone sniffed, squeezed butt checks, etc


Exactly what is a "large" change?  Press for a specific definition, like 3 times the baseline, etc (I'm just throwing this out for example's sake).  "This looks large to me so he must be using countermeasures" will not cut it.  Request OBJECTIVE scoring standards, not vague generalizations.  This sounds like an astrologer saying "when I see a large blue shape in the crystal ball, I know the thought in my head right know is indicative of your future."

Quote:
The fourth polygrapher said that the fact that the examinee knows that they are going to intentionally hurt themselves (tack in the shoe/bite the tongue) takes away from what would appear as being a normal reaction on the chart because self-inflicted pain is expected and the reaction will not be spontaneous like a normal physiological reaction (kinda like the idea of trying to tickle yourself).


This one sounds like complete BS to me...  Perhaps Dr. Richardson may have some input if he is following this thread.

Once again, press these guys for an objective scoring standard.
« Last Edit: Nov 18th, 2001 at 5:38am by G Scalabr »  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #2 - Nov 19th, 2001 at 10:57pm
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In response to Mr. Scalabrini''s posting.  You comment on (The fourth polygrapher said that the fact that the examinee knows that they are going to intentionally hurt themselves (tack in the shoe/bite the tongue) takes away from what would appear as being a normal reaction on the chart because self-inflicted pain is expected and the reaction will not be spontaneous like a normal physiological reaction (kinda like the idea of trying to tickle yourself) is by replying ".... BS to me..."   Psychology and Physiology will answer differently to your thought.  Contrary to your belief, when the body perceives a threat, processes the threat and possible outcome, and then prepares accordingly the result can be somewhat diminished from the perceived. (ie. Child throws fit or worries about a shot but when it is administered it does not hurt as bad as they had perceived) When this process takes place, the body elevates it's output to prepare for the outcome.  In an elevated state, the bodies increase in output would be far less then that of a non elevated state.  (ie.  Walking up to the child and poking him with a needle by surprise)  You might say this works well as the child does not know it is coming and hence does not react as badly.  The truth is it takes a little longer for that child to process what just happened and then they must deal with both the pain, fear and sudden elevation of physiological responses.

As for the rest of the explanations of countermeasure detection, I will say that many examiners are use to explaining things on a seventh grade comprehension level.  The lay person does not say his uncle had a myocardial infarction the other day.

Since I believe you are a man of intellect, I will give you a scientific explanation of a common scenario evolving invoked and evoked physiological responses. 

Invoked:
A linebacker for a professional American football team is beginning his pre-game preparation.  He begins with rituals such as what clothing or equipment goes on first, putting his favorite undershirt or shoes on, etc.  This is a psychological venture for him.  The known or constant invokes the conditional response of his psyche to his belief that he is invincible or infallible.  The second stage the athlete enters is the preparation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.  He may do this by slapping himself in the face, chest legs, head butting teammates, running wind sprints, so on and so on.  This process increases heart rate, blood pressure, blood volume, respiration, and stimulates perspiration.  With the increase of output invoked, the athletes body is at a higher rate of readiness for the physical contact and exertion to come.  This invoked state decreases the physiological output potential which.  This state is achieved over time.

Evoked:

A kicker for a professional American football team enters the game to kick the game winning field goal.  The snap from the center is high, the kicker drops the ball, and is subsequently hit by a much lager player from the opposing team with great force.  The kicker did not get the chance to prepare for this contact as the linebacker did.  Hence, the physical contact evokes the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.  With the lack of preparation, his body?s output level may be comparable to a linebacker receiving the same blow in measurable terms but the response time, recovery time and the change in state will be  different

How does one discern from the two? 

Invoked physiology is employed when needed and for the perceived necessary amount.

Evoked physiology is summoned by an outside element.   
  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #3 - Nov 19th, 2001 at 11:26pm
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J.B.,

How does one differentiate, by the examination of polygraph charts, between physiological responses measurable by a polygraph instrument that are produced by self-stimulation (e.g., contracting the anal sphincter muscle, biting the side of the tongue, thinking arousing thoughts, or manipulating one's breathing patterns) vs. those that are attributable to other factors (e.g., fear of the consequences of not being believed, anger, embarassment, etc., etc.)?

Please be specific, and support your reply with references that skeptical readers may check.

  

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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #4 - Nov 20th, 2001 at 1:00am
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Here are more responses by polygraph examiners when confronted with the question of how polygraphers are able to distinguish countermeasures via strictly ananlyzing the chart. 
I SPECIFICALLY ASKED THEM, for the SECOND TIME, to be more detailed in their responses and give me the particulars, but none of them did so.  I recently took a polygraph (and have not gotton the results back yet) and used the tac in the shoe trick.  One of the examiners that responded mentions that this tactic/countermeasure creates a "SPIKE" in the test that is easily recognized on the charts.  My question is:  If that spike occurred on ALL of the control questions, and on both runs of the test, how would they determine it to be a forced "Spike" rather than just a significant reaction on the three controls (which were probable-lie controls and they expect people to feel anxiety when reacting to probable lie controls?)?

POLYGRAPHER #1 (Each "---->"Represents new Polygrapher response):


As far as the tracings, although not always conclusive, the distortion caused by active CM, especially when compared to tracings during the response to neutral questions or in between questions relative to the rest of the chart is fairly evident.  The scoring of the charted responses is not done in a vacuum.  The totality of the chart has to be looked at to determine what constitutes a response / reaction or a change in baseline.
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If a person tries to control their breathing, that is rather obvious because it shows right on the chart.  That is easy to spot, the breaths are deep and not natural.  Other countermeasures are more difficult.  Movement is the same, some move an arm, finger, etc. during the test and it makes the cardio pen move up or down violently.  Other than that, I am not sure I have been up against many countermeasures.  I live in Central California and I don't think countermeasures are well known here.  Except for the obvious few, I have either been lucky or fooled. 
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There are other means to also detect counter measurers, but I am not at liberty to go into most of those methods at this time. I can mention some minor tactics.
I don't feel comfortable about discussing how I can determine whether a person is deliberating distorting their polygraph records from the tracings at this time.
---------------->

<<  Could you go more in-depth as to how countermeasures are determined via only analyzing the charts?  What is the requirement that makes a tracing too extreme? 
Would it be something like 3 times the baseline, 4 times (extreme in the sense that it appears on the chart as clearly being a countermeasure)?
Anything out of the norm from the rest of the chart would be an indication of something.  Maybe a movement, sniff, swallow, etc.  You don't need that much of a baseline movement i.e. 3X or 4X.  If you have a great GSR change just prior or after a question that does not match the other responses then there may be a problem (movement or countermeasure). 
------------------->
Let's start w/ breathing: every time you breathe in, the pen goes up; breathe out, down; stop breathing, straight line.  So, a " normal pattern would be a /VVVV.  If a person attempts to control breathing, you get a stair-step effect.           -----
                                ----|       |----
                            ---|                  |-----
This representation is somewhat exaggerated, but I think you get the idea.
Converserly, a "deceptive" reaction might be /VV\__/VV. Imagine you're  having a good day.  When you turn a corner  you see a grizzly bear right in front of you. Do you think you might freeze or gulp! or stop breathing/hold your breath for a moment 'til you could figure this one out?  Same thing as when asked a question that you know you're lying to.
Then there's the so-called "vagus effect" . If one takes a deep breath, it causes the skin response to rise and the heartbeat to increase. Done continually through the test the chart now just rolls in waves -in all the indicators- instead of having clearly definable points of reaction.
In the skin response: If the body's capacitance continues to decline for no readily apparent reason -lack of sleep- then some thing is wrong.
Heartbeat- most normal people don't go through a 3-4 minute exam with a  continuously decreased (60 beats/min) or greatly increased (115/130 b-p-m) rate w/o some explanation. High blood pressure is not one of them. Decreased rate could be a marathon runner -or drugs. Increased rate- guilty feeling about the questions and  trying to beat the test.

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much of the data you need for your research is CLASSIFIED and not available to the public. As a matter of fact, much of the information you need for scholarly research is likewise unavailable to most examiners who have not had the advantage of being compartmentalized.
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It can also be seen in the chart recordings themselves as a false blood pressure arousal because they are too dramatic and occurr after a less subtle real arousal to the same question.

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A successful counter-measure would not be easily spotted on the chart.  This depends on the sophistication of the examinee.  The last person I ran was for child molest.  He gave me a good first exam which he failed cold.  (I could read this one coming off the instrument it was so easy.)  Then I gave him a stim (Stimulus) test to show him how the polygraph worked and what he did when he told a lie.  After these were pointed out to him, the next two test had all kinds of movement which caused reactions on the cardio.  Was this a cooincidence?  I doubt it.  Now that he knew he could not lie and get away with it, he tried twitching his left arm muscle.  The GSR and breathing were deceptive and the cardio skewed due to the movement.
  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #5 - Nov 20th, 2001 at 4:36am
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JB,

I appreciate your anecdote attempting to describe the difference between invoked and evoked physiology.  Unfortunately, as George pointed out, you did not sufficiently address the issue under discussion.  The issue here is whether or not polygraphers can differentiate spontaneous reactions from those that are artificially created. If so, we would like to know EXACTLY HOW DO THEY DO IT? I am aware of no studies whatsoever that have shown polygraphers having any ability whatsoever to detect countermeasures better than chance. As matter of fact, nobody in the polygraph community can even provide an explanation of an objective scoring system that purports to explain how countermeasures are detected (let alone provide studies supporting claims that the system works). I feel that these are reasons for me to be highly skeptical of claims that “countermeasures are easy to detect.”

In your post, you bring up the scientific disciplines of psychology and physiology. A vast majority of those with formal training in these disciplines have little regard for polygraphy in general.  

Dr. Charles Honts (a noted psychologist) and Dr. Drew C. Richardson (a noted physiologist and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent) both stated that polygraphers cannot detect attempts at countermeasures better than chance during recent presentations to the National Academy of Sciences. Both men have extensive experience as polygraphers.

Furthermore, in 1994, Professors William Iacono and David Lykken of the University of Minnesota conducted a survey of opinion of members of the Society of Psychophysiological Research.  Members of this scholarly organization constitute the relevant scientific community for the evaluation of the validity of polygraphic lie detection.  Members of the SPR were asked “Would you say the Control Question Test, the most common polygraph format, is based on scientifically sound psychological principles or theory?”  Of the 84% of the scientists who responded, only 36% agreed with this statement.  Furthermore, the members were asked if they agreed with a second statement.  “Do you agree that the CQT can be beaten by augmenting one’s response to the control questions.”  Of the 96% of the survey respondents with an opinion, 99% agreed that polygraph tests can be beaten.

Netnin,

I suggest that you encourage these polygraphers to post to this forum.  All points of view are welcome.  For the most part, the responses you see to be getting are either "I can't explain" or "I know but I can't tell you."  I find none convincing.
  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #6 - Nov 20th, 2001 at 7:06am
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To anyone who claims that polygraphers can detect countermeasures by gazing at the charts:

The Polygraph is an instrument that traces lines on a sheet of graph paper...(hence, "polygraph" meaning "many lines" in greek).  While I am not in a position to argue with you on an indepth basis, I can truly say--with no fear of criticism--that the science behind analyzing polygraph charts is not a "science" at all.  Regardless of the truth behind voluntary (in the sense that a person is totally aware of what is coming) and involuntary reactions (in the sense of a normal fight or flight responses), the fact is that all that is recorded on a polygraph chart is a series of continuous lines. 

-GSR can go up or down.
-Breathing can change in regards to up and down, pauses, repitions, etc.
-Heart rate can speed up or slow down. 

If the case is that polygraphers are truly able to (as so many claim) determine/distinguish/recognize the use of countermeasures via strictly analyzing the polygraph chart, I then would truly believe that they are Gods.  Please...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, explain the method to the madness. 
How is it possible to conclude that BECAUSE A GSR TRACING WENT UP it was the result of a countermeasure rather than a natural reaction? The fact is that it is a line that goes UP, stays the same, or goes DOWN.  The same for cardio (increased pace, decreased, steady, etc.).  Any person in this entire world that takes part in a polygraph test can have
a moment where they panic while taking the test, and it might SIMPLY BE THE CASE that when this person panics, their natural body reaction will be for the heart rate to quicken and GSR to go out the roof.  Please let me know how you guys play the role of God and decide what is real and what is not.  You aren't staring deep into the soul of people...your looking at lines on a chart. That's it.  A physical countermeasure will make the lines go up, quicken in repetition, etc, the same way they will in a natural reaction.  Polygraph instruments would need to be equipped with other components in order to differentiate between what is self-caused and what is natural...the component would have to be Miss Cleo from the psychic friends network.  There is only SO MUCH you can derive from lines on a piece of paper. I don't believe for a second that you guys can determine countermeasure use by only analyzing the charts.  It is an IMPOSSIBLE TASK.  People vary...people vary in physiology and the way they react to stress, and for you guys to claim that you have UNIFORM METHOD that applies to all charts and can be used to detect countermeasures is totally unbelievable...not even remotely possible. I think this is the case of people being pushed into a wall.  Polygraphers who have lives and families depending on the polygraph test ($) are being pushed into a wall by people like Gino and George who are letting the American public become aware of the fraud behind the polygraph test.  I truly believe that one of the only things left that your careers are hanging by is the false threat that you are able to distinguish countermeasures on the charts.  It's a good idea...especially to claim it is classified information.  What a great scare tactic to deter people from using countermeasures...and more importantly, what a great scare tactic to help save your careers and asses! (It is kinda like the pathological liar who, when confronted about a lie, comes up with more and more lies in order to either save their ass or simply buy some time.  I think you guys have only bought yourselves time with this scare tactic).  It appears as though the bigger guys are keeping an eye out for the little guys...mainly because both your paychecks depend on it.  Let me make something very clear to you:  If there were true and valid information out there that could teach how to distinguish countermeasures by simply gazing into the charts, it would be available to the public by now.  They would make the information available to ALL polygraphers because they would be required to in order to raise the VALIDITY of ALL polygraph testing that takes place in this country...not just a select few.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  The chain that holds the polygraph machine--as well as polygraphers--up high breaks apart well before being able to distinguish an "A" from an "A."  Lines are lines, and polygraphers are liars. 

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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #7 - Nov 21st, 2001 at 12:15am
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I think if one was to read into my former post they could see within an explanation of the difference between invoked and evoked as related to a polygraph and CM.

I suggest you read 'Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology' by Seely, Stephens, and Tate, 'The Machinery of The Body' by Carlson, Johnson, and Cavert, and 'Social Psychology' by Lindesmith, Strauss, and Denzin to start.

As for the comments about polygraph examiners referring to some material as classified, this is true.  I am a polygraph examiner and there is much talk of research that I am not at liberty to view or obtain.  Polygraph has been and is still used for many facets of truth and deception detection.  It was used as far back as W.W. II.  Some areas it is used in fall into the scope of National Security.  I will gladly except this in light of recent events and wait until the material is available for my viewing.

The study you speak of that refers to CM detection being nothing more then chance was conducted in a university setting and not in the real world.  All though I do not know of and have not read or researched the statistics of error ratio of Doctors compared with Medical Students in the proper diagnosis of medical problems, I will go out on a limb and say there is a significant difference.  I am not sure why one would want to score CM.  What purpose would that serve?  If you attempt to distort your tracings, you will be deceptive.  There are flaws in urinalysis but I would never tell anyone to attempt to alter their specimen.

For the questions about "self-stimulation (e.g., contracting the anal sphincter muscle, biting the side of the tongue, thinking arousing thoughts, or manipulating one's breathing patterns) vs. those that are attributable to other factors (e.g., fear of the consequences of not being believed, anger, embarrassment, etc., etc.)?" 

The sphincter contraction causes specific and notable changes in another component tracing. 

Manipulating ones respiration is evident in the inhalation- exhalation ratio factor and tracing appearance. 

Mental imagery is invoked at the examinee's perceived point of implementation.  Invoking a response with mental imagery would then involve one hearing the question, perceiving the question to be one that they should use CM, beginning mental imagery, and then the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system possibly being triggered.  However, a person responding to a question is different.  The question and answer are reviewed prior.  The person already knows if their answer will be truthful or deceptive.  Hence, to process this involves hearing the question and then the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.

I am glad you are pushing for standards.  In my state the standards are as high as they get.  In some states there are none.  I too am angered by this.


  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #8 - Nov 21st, 2001 at 12:57am
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As responses from polygraphers continue to pile up, the reality of the situation is becoming quite clear.  It is becoming more and more evident that the rediculous claim that polygraphers can distinguish the use of countermeasures by strictly analyzing polygraph charts (essentially saying they can differentiate an "A" from an "A") is nothing more than a pathetic threat by polygraphers who sit higher up on the polygrapher tree of superiority. Thousands upon thousands of lives whom depend upon the polygraph for their bread, milk, and butter are taking a last stand by claiming to be able to do the impossible--claiming to be able to read between the lines when there is truly NOTHING there to read.

     And, just for the sake of argument, lets all agree for a second (because that is as long as you will get most to agree on this subject) that there is classified information in existance that provides a method that can be applied uniformly on all polygraph charts, and can be used to determine the use of countermeasures by strictly analyzing the charts.  What good is it?  Truly...what good is it?  After talking to a COUNTLESS number of polygraphers, it is clear that this classified (imaginery) information is only available to the select few.  Every 9 out of 10 polygraphers I have conversed with have made it VERY clear that they do not have access to this (imaginery) information that gives (imaginery) method to the madness we so violently argue over.  So tell me...what good is this information?  Are the Feds afraid that the (supposed) classified information they have will be known to all in a very short time if they begin making it available to the John Doe polygrapher?  Well I have news for them...it SURE AS HELL will be known by all, and in a shorter period of time than they think.  And, ultmately, as soon as this information is let out, we will come up with even more advanced countermeasures to blow the doors off the polygraph test.  And just to let you know what the future holds:  The Feds will be forced to convey their secret information to the John Doe polygraper because the use of (effective) countermeasures are on a rise like never seen before.  And, as I said, then the information will be available to all.  And, again as I said, we will come up with even more effective countermeasures.  Ohh the circle of deception we will see (on all fronts) when that so called "classified information" is let loose!   

Ohhh wait a minute....I got caught up in my couple seconds of agreement that the classified information is for real.  Silly me...I need to keep reminding myself it is nothing more than a scare-tactic.  Those polygraphers are good deceivers!  Especially the ones high up.

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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #9 - Nov 21st, 2001 at 1:08am
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Quote:
Netnin:  And, just for the sake of argument, lets all agree for a second (because that is as long as you will get most to agree on this subject) that there is classified information in existence that provides a method that can be applied uniformly on all polygraph charts, and can be used to determine the use of countermeasures by strictly analyzing the charts.  


Note that many of us feel that no uniform method exists and those at DoDPI are bluffing. If there was an effective, objective method that could not be defeated, one would think that instead of hiding it that it would be publicized as a deterrent. Nonetheless, you still make an excellent point in that there is a large polygraph community operating outside the cloak of secrecy that has not produced one shred of evidence that they can recognize countermeasures.

JB,

I value your participation in this discussion. Open debate can only lead to a greater understanding by all sides. I wish more polygraphers would choose to participate.

Quote:
I think if one was to read into my former post they could see within an explanation of the difference between invoked and evoked as related to a polygraph and CM.

I suggest you read 'Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology' by Seely, Stephens, and Tate, 'The Machinery of The Body' by Carlson, Johnson, and Cavert, and 'Social Psychology' by Lindesmith, Strauss, and Denzin to start.


I will be glad to pick up this title.  Nonetheless, for some reason, I have a feeling I won't find a clear description of how to discern attempts at countermeasures from naturally occurring reactions on a polygraph chart.

Quote:
As for the comments about polygraph examiners referring to some material as classified, this is true.  I am a polygraph examiner and there is much talk of research that I am not at liberty to view or obtain.  Polygraph has been and is still used for many facets of truth and deception detection.  It was used as far back as W.W. II.  Some areas it is used in fall into the scope of National Security.  I will gladly except this in light of recent events and wait until the material is available for my viewing.


There are a large number of polygraph examiners such as yourself that operate outside the cloak of government secrecy--yet no one has provided an explanation of how one makes a determination of "countermeasures used." You have provided a number of generalizations, but not a specific and objective method. The fact that both government polygraphers and private ones are so secretive about how they detect countermeasures appears to be a tacit admission that there is no reliable system for detecting them.

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The study you speak of that refers to CM detection being nothing more then chance was conducted in a university setting and not in the real world.


If we are going to limit ourselves to the discussion of peer-reviewed studies conducted under field conditions, we might as well abandon this discussion all together, considering the fact that polygraphy has never been shown to determine truth from deception better than chance in studies meeting these criteria.

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All though I do not know of and have not read or researched the statistics of error ratio of Doctors compared with Medical Students in the proper diagnosis of medical problems, I will go out on a limb and say there is a significant difference.


The peer reviewed studies showing that polygraphers cannot detect countermeasures better than chance involved EXPERIENCED EXAMINERS, not students. Students were only used as the test subjects.

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I am not sure why one would want to score CM.  What purpose would that serve?  If you attempt to distort your tracings, you will be deceptive.


Once again, how does the examiner make an objective determination that the tracings are "distorted?"  What I am looking for is something besides "its deceptive because I am an examiner and I say so." In other words, a clear objective scoring system that anyone can apply. This is a requirement for standardized tests.

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The sphincter contraction causes specific and notable changes in another component tracing.  


If these changes are specific and notable, characterize them. Giving a generalization that the changes are “specific and notable” and then not saying what characterizes a specific and notable change is a cop out. This is the point I am trying to make. This sounds a lot more like "I can't explain, but I know it when I see it."

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Manipulating ones respiration is evident in the inhalation- exhalation ratio factor and tracing appearance.
 

Maybe when it is done by unsophisticated subjects. When this technique is employed by sophisticated subjects who make a "california stop" between each inhale-exhale-inhale and avoid deep breathing and breath holding, it is undetectable by polygraphers.

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Mental imagery is invoked at the examinee's perceived point of implementation.  Invoking a response with mental imagery would then involve one hearing the question, perceiving the question to be one that they should use CM, beginning mental imagery, and then the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system possibly being triggered.  However, a person responding to a question is different.  The question and answer are reviewed prior.  The person already knows if their answer will be truthful or deceptive.  Hence, to process this involves hearing the question and then the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.


Once again, how do the two reactions appear differently on a polygraph chart?
« Last Edit: Nov 22nd, 2001 at 11:10am by G Scalabr »  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #10 - Nov 22nd, 2001 at 9:03am
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Netnin:  "And, just for the sake of argument, lets all agree for a second (because that is as long as you will get most to agree on this subject) that there is classified information in existence that provides a method that can be applied uniformly on all polygraph charts, and can be used to determine the use of countermeasures by strictly analyzing the charts." 

Gino J. Scalabrini: "Note that many of us feel that no uniform method exists and those at DoDPI are bluffing. If there was an effective, objective method that could not be defeated, one would think that instead of hiding it that it would be publicized as a deterrent. Nonetheless, you still make an excellent point in that there is a large polygraph community operating outside the cloak of secrecy that has not produced one shred of evidence that they can recognize countermeasures."

For both of you, I have seen some of these methods talked about and I have brushed upon them in my speaking of time in relation to response.  Mr. Scalabrini, there are scoring methods for polygraph but not CM.  Also you do not score an anomaly or physiological defect .  You do not affix a score to something that is not a physiologic reaction.  The same goes in any scientific method.  If there is an outside interference that is not consistent with the norm you note it and explain it if possible.  Psychology is scientifically accepted.  There is very little scoring used in this discipline.  If a DNA sample is contaminated, the contamination is not scored.  It is noted and if it can be identified it is.  If a scientific study becomes contaminated by an outside element, it is not scored.  For instance, if an individual has a pre-ventricular contraction in their heart pattern, the examiner notes it and does not score it.  If someone employs countermeasures and this is was used in rendering an opinion of deception indicated, you must be able to explain what you see.  I say if that was used in rendering an opinion because I have conducted exams where countermeasures were used and that was not the reason for the opinion.  In other words, despite the use of countermeasures, they charts scored out deceptive by APA and DODPI standards. 

In the scientific community, the inability to render an opinion is considered a failure of the procedure.  If you have charts that are inconclusive by scoring methods, it counts against the validity percentage of the polygraph.  If Joe Citizen employs crude movement distortion throughout his last chart, the results may be inconclusive.  The reason is not because the examiner cannot identify these crude movements.  The reason is because they must be notable.  You must be able to summon the six great jurors Who, What, Where, When, and Why.  Who did what where when and why.  For some examiners, training is scarce and at great personal financial cost.  Private examiners must pay for their own training and miss income for the time they have off.  Not an excuse in my book but I can sympathize with them for this.  For the most part, private examiners do not conduct pre-employment exams. I never said that I do not work for a  government agency.  I said that certain material is not even available to me for security reasons.  I do not conduct pre-employment either, only specific issue.  I do think polygraphs have a place in pre-employment testing for high security clearance positions and if there is a "one" specific issue in a pre-employment background investigation that warrants a request for the applicant to take one.  However, this is off the subject and I think most here are in the same general ideology that I prescribe to.

Countermeasures you have described in ?The Lie Behind The Lie Detector? are notable.  I will give you a few examples.  In your last post you spoke of rounded breathing.  Rounded breathing is not normal.  It is evident holding or blocking. Normal=/\/\/\/\/\  If you hold or block at all, on the inhalation or exhalation, there will be rounding. The books I listed earlier will not talk about CM.  However, 'The Machinery of The Body' by Carlson, Johnson, and Cavert will show you what normal tracings look like.  The illustrations used in the book are close to that of the tracings produced on a polygraph.  Muscle contractions effect respiration.  This too is described in the above book.  If you can think of a countermeasure, I have probably tried it and documented it in charts.  I then take this and research the physiological explanation for the effector.  My earlier explanations on how to detect CM can be clearly evident to you if you are able to sit down at a polygraph instrument and employ the methods you suggest.  Notable means clear, evident, and explainable tracings. 

My best advise for anyone taking a polygraph is as follows.  First, find out the standards set in your state for polygraph examiner licensing and compare it to the APA standards.  Second, if these standards are the same and you are telling the truth, relax, you will pass your polygraph.  Third, do not use CM.  The only reason one uses these methods is to hide something.  Finally, if you are not telling the truth, don't take a polygraph.
  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #11 - Nov 22nd, 2001 at 10:36am
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J.B.,

You claim to be able to detect countermeasures from the examination of polygraph charts, and yet you still haven't explained how to do it. "I know them when I see them" doesn't cut it. If you were to testify to that as a subject matter expert on polygraphy in court, any competent attorney cross-examining you would tear your credibility to shreds.

A note on the rounding of breathing, which is discussed at p. 75 of the 1st digital edition of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. We wrote, regarding the establishment of a baseline breathing pattern: "Your polygrapher will be happy if your breathing rate is between about 15 and 30 breaths per minute, or 2-4 seconds each. Pick a breathing rate within this range and take shallow -- not deep -- breaths. Each breath should be about the same length and well-rounded, that is, the transition between breathing in and breathing out should be gradual, and not sudden, as with panting. Practice until it becomes second nature."

This is no call to create apneas between inhalation and exhalation.

You appear to be unable to explain how you can detect the kinds of countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, and yet you seemingly would have us believe that you somehow have this ability.

The American Polygraph Association quarterly publication, Polygraph, in its 30-year history has not published a single article outlining a methodology for the detection of such countermeasures from the examination of polygraph charts (or, indeed, by observation of the subject). Nor do any polygraph textbooks offer such a methodology. On the other hand, peer reviewed research by Charles R. Honts and collaborators (see the bibliography of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector for citations and abstracts) has shown that polygraphers cannot detect such countermeasures.

This being the case, perhaps you can understand why skeptical readers might not take at face value the oft-repeated but never substantiated claims of polygraph "professionals" that any experienced examiner can easily detect countermeasures.

With regard to your advice to those facing a polygraph "test," you suggest that if the agency conducting the "test" is following APA standards and they are truthful, that they need merely relax, and they will pass. J.B., many of those who participate in this forum once followed precisely this advice and yet were falsely accused of deception by their polygraphers.

With regard to countermeasures, you wrote, "...do not use CM.  The only reason one uses these methods is to hide something." How can you possibly know this last assertion to be true? I agree with University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus David T. Lykken, who wrote in A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector, "...if I were somehow forced to take a polygraph test in relation to some important matter, I would certainly use these proven countermeasures rather than rely on the truth and my innocence as safeguards..."

« Last Edit: Nov 22nd, 2001 at 5:16pm by George W. Maschke »  

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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #12 - Nov 22nd, 2001 at 10:37am
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J.B.: Thank you for being kind enough to continue through with our discussion.

In your first statements discussing invoked and evoked physiology you write:

"How does one discern from the two? 

Invoked physiology is employed when needed and for the perceived necessary amount.

Evoked physiology is summoned by an outside element."

Later on in another post you write:

" I think if one was to read into my former post they could see within an explanation of the difference between invoked and evoked as related to a polygraph and CM."

Am I correct in saying that when a self-inflicted/self-caused countermeasure is employed, that response tracing potentials are not as great as response potentials when an outside force causes the reaction?

This is what you appear to be suggesting.

If this is the case, then people using countermeasures should not bother using them because even heightened reactions to control questions that are caused by the use of countermeasures will not compare to the even HIGHER responses to relevant questions (natural body reactions) if the person lies on the relevant questions?

Example:
GSR goes up on a control because of use of countermeasure, but GSR goes up even higher on relevant (when lying) because the potential becomes greater as a result of the anxiety stemming from an outside force?

If this is what you are suggesting (though I could be way out in left field when your hitting into the right?), then your explanation completely conflicts with responses that other polygraphers have given on this issue.  The polygraphers I have talked to have suggested that countermeasures cause too "extreme" tracings, almost like a "spike" in the charts (spike usually meaning and understood as being a great impact).

If I am in the ball park, please let me know.  If I am not even close, I RESPECTFULLY ask you to go forth in explaining what you meant in your invoked/evoked discussion.

No one is coming on here to play guessing or "read between the lines" games.  We are trying to further understand the polygraph based on factual information.  Your cooperation will be MORE than appreciated!

Sincerely,
Netnin


  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #13 - Nov 24th, 2001 at 10:33am
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George,

You again have made a grave error in respect to respiration and tracings.  Although your method does fall within a normal ratio, as posted earlier, rounded breathing is not normal.  If someone is in good physical condition, they can regulate as suggested flawlessly.  By saying this, I mean they can maintain a constant regulated breath for an extended period of time.  However, most people in society cannot.  This does not dismiss that it is not normal breathing.  An athlete may regulate their breathing for stamina reasons but not n a normal state.  I have experimented with divers as well.  As you may know, breath regulation is crucial in their line.  However, they too do not breath this way in a normal state. 

I also made very specific reference to what is seen in the event one employs muscle contraction counter measures.  I would be glad to send you examples next week. 

As for court testimony, I have testified on numerous occasions and not once denied to testify or found that the testimony was inadequate.  I have a degree in Sociology, attended an eleven week polygraph school, had to complete 200 supervised tests, a state written, and oral board examination.  My department has used and conducted polygraphs since the 1930's.  The average examiner in my department conducts approximately 200 specific issue examinations a year, along with conducting research on polygraph and its related scientific disciplines.  I do not speak at length or depth with you or Gino when it comes to explaining tracings, because I assume you know in general what I speak of and can read and digress what is said.  After all, if one can write a book on how to so called beat an instrument, one must know the intricates of it.  I have read your book and was unable to find a reference to your qualifications.  The studies you speak of are not as pristine as they are said to be.  I have spoken to people directly connected with them.  Most polygraph examiners do just that.  They conduct polygraph exams.  The federal government does research but it has a rather delayed release.  I am sure you know of the general inquisitions done on subjects during the plague in the 1500's.  People were killed for making rash suggestion that the world was round and that the Earth revolved around the Sun.  There was a crazy man in this time that spoke of the use of herbs as a cure for the plague instead of bleeding one of the poison.  Demonic and crazy those thinkers and scientists were, no?  And how many years did it take for their ideas to be proven and excepted? 

I am not sure why you are so ill contempt for polygraph.  Although I cannot speak for others,  I love what I do and believe in polygraph.  I am a neutral post within the criminal investigation process.  It is most satisfying when someone is truthful and the true criminal is found.  I have seen circumstantial evidence that wrote a person as guilty in an investigation but polygraph said they did not and the results were confirmed.  If there is a way for me to positively prove to you the validity I will. 

Netin,

Anyone who says that countermeasures cause a greater or lessor reaction on the comparison then on the relevant consistently is wrong.  Some can distort higher and some lower.  Some can distort high at the beginning but diminish in the end.  Those who say they base their finding of the use of countermeasures on this preface are wrong.  This is not a sound argument.

The sign of CM is a flatened mark within the repiration.  Crude Example: /\_/  This is not what it looks like exactly but it is as close as I can get with a keyboard.  The area and length of this depends on the amount of contraction, where the muscle contraction is began, and the persons physical condition.
  
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Re: How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts
Reply #14 - Nov 24th, 2001 at 11:58am
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J.B.,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you can detect polygraph countermeasures such as those described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector by examining the pneumo tracings, and that the giveaway is a slight rounding of the tracings during the transition from inhalation to exhalation and vice-versa. Is that a fair characterization of your argument?

With regard to the rounding of pneumo tracings, if you take a look at Figure 9 at p. 41 of John E. Reid and Fred E. Inbau's Truth and Deception: The Polygraph ("Lie-Detector") Technique (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1966), you'll find  illustrations of "Normal (Nondeception) Respiration Patterns." It seems to me that most of these show slight rounding. Do you disagree?

If you could send to me as e-mail attachments scanned images of chart tracings that illustrate your claimed ability to detect polygraph countermeasures (whether by examination of the pneumo tracings or any other tracings), I'd be happy to place them on-line here for the edification of all. My e-mail address is maschke@antipolygraph.org; to protect your anonymity, you may wish to create a free ZipLip e-mail account for this purpose. Alternatively, if you were to put hard copies in the mail to me, I'd be happy to scan them myself. My postal address is G.W. Maschke, Hart Nibbrigkade 22, 2597 XV The Hague, The Netherlands.

Can you direct me (and the others who are following this message thread) to any published article or book describing your technique for detecting polygraph countermeasures from the charts, or to any research studies supporting the validity of your counter-countermeasure technique?

You also wrote, "I have read your book and was unable to find a reference to your qualifications." Gino Scalabrini and I wrote The Lie Behind the Lie Detector after an extensive review of the literature and correspondence with scientific authorities in the field. In the book, we do not base our arguments on any claimed authority, but instead base them on sources that the skeptical reader can check.

You further noted, "The studies you speak of are not as pristine as they are said to be.  I have spoken to people directly connected with them." Specifically, to which studies do you refer? When you assert that they are "not as pristine as they are said to be," precisely what do you mean? And to whom did you speak, and what did they say?

With regard to our contempt for polygraphy, a review of Chapters 1-3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector should make clear the reasons therefor.
  

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