Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Newbie Has a Question (Read 13968 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Nicole_Chevallier
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Newbie Has a Question
Jun 28th, 2002 at 12:41am
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Hi everyone - I'm new here - I've read many of the posts here and I'm wondering why there is such a dichotomy of views.  The "pro" people here (Eastwood, Polycop, etc) have such diametrically different opinions of the polygraph than the others (Maschke, "beachtrees", etc)...there must be a reason.  Obviously the "pros" are polygraphers or proponents of the use of polygraph, but why are the detractors so negative?  Did you take polygraphs and fail, and if so, what was so negative about your experiences.  I'm curious on both ends. Smiley
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #1 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 1:14am
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Nicole,

Although the history of the "polygraph wars" and backgrounds and motivations of some of the players/combatants may be of interest, if you are a newbie, I'd suggest you start with the substance of the debate, not with the process or a biosketch of various individuals.  With that in mind, I'd suggest you spend a couple of hours (perhaps a few) with the on-line publication The Lie Behind the Lie Detector that is free and down loadable from this site's home page.  Little else you can do will give you as much expertise and background in a relatively short period of time.  Two additional points: (1) As an added benefit of your reading, you will pick up on some of that which you seek, i.e., the history and a perspective of the debate, and (2) Because all of the people that you mention (with the exception of Mr. Maschke) post anonymously, very little can be said about their backgrounds, motivations, and experience making any answer to your original question speculative at best.  Good luck with this undertaking…
« Last Edit: Jun 28th, 2002 at 1:48am by Drew Richardson »  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #2 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 1:51am
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Nicole,

Welcome to the forum. It is always good to see an impartial observer join the discussion.

As you have already noticed, discussion on this board is extremely polarized.
The debate here essentially pits those who have researched polygraphy (this group includes scientists and those who have been victimized by polygraph “tests”) against the ever vociferous peddlers and consumers of polygraph goods and services

You are indeed correct when you speculate that a good number of polygraph critics have been wrongly accused because of these "tests." When I was first branded as “deceptive” by a polygrapher, I figured that I was the victim of random error during a slightly imperfect but nonetheless scientific procedure. After having a number of friends also "fail," I decided to research polygraphy. I was shocked to learn that polygraphy is not science at all, but actually codified conjecture similar to astrology or phrenology. It has never been shown to operate at better than chance levels under field conditions in a peer-reviewed scientific study. In addition to not being a valid psychometric test, polygraphy actually depends on the examiner lying to and deceiving the examinee. Lastly, these “tests” are easily beaten by deceptive individuals using the countermeasures described in detail on this site.

Many of the anti-polygraph posters are motivated by the fact that they have been subjected to behavior that would be considered unprofessional in any other field. In addition to being lied to (deception on the part of the polygrapher is vital to the polygraph technique), those who submit to polygraph “tests” are frequently subjected to screaming, profanity, and even veiled physical threats. Complaints are rarely entertained.

You also are correct when you posit that the vast majority of posters who support polygraphy are polygraphers. AntiPolygraph.org is dedicated to exposing the trickery behind their fraudulent means of income. As you may know, polygraphers—who often have no college education and as little as 8 weeks of training—often earn in excess of $200/hr. Needless to say, some of them are less than happy with us for exposing their sweet little scam.

Perhaps a better question would be to ask why the pro-polygraph participants you name spend the bulk of their time making personal attacks against those who disparage polygraphy instead of bringing forth facts. As always, we encourage the examiners who frequent this board to point out any information  they feel is false. Still, the vast majority of the posts made by polygraph supporters come in the form of ad hominem attacks.
  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #3 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 8:07am
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Nicole,

Much of the problems you see in the ‘dichotomy’ are in fact a conflagration of individuals experiences with or in the polygraph.  The debates you see here are new by no means.  Polygraph has been a heavily debated topic long before this or any Internet site existed.  I would also suggest, as did Drew, that you read "The Lie Behind The Lie Detector".  I would further suggest that you visit various other pro and anti polygraph sites.  

The main stay for the debates on the antipolygraph side of this site revolve around the use of polygraph as a pre-employment screening test.  The majority of available and favorable scientific research on polygraph tests are focused on the Control/Comparison Question Test (CQT) used in a specific criminal issue setting.  Thus, those who choose to argue the validity of the polygraph for use as a pre-employment screening tool have a very logical and valid argument.  No matter if polygraph is considered a soft science,  forensic science, or whatever term of science one may use, properly conducted research on a specific use of any scientific test is critical in its establishment as a valid test.  

The proponents of polygraph inversely argue on this site that the CQT and Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT) are based on scientific theory and have shown high validity when used in a specific criminal issue setting.  Again, the scientific research that has been conducted over the past decade supports these claims.  Thus, the pro-polygraph side has a logical and valid argument as well.

In knowing the above, one might ask why there is much to do about nothing of a differing view?  In here lies the problem.  Both sides are plagued with those who suffer from near sided visions.  Those suffering don’t want to change or alter their views on mitigating issues for fear that such an act may give the appearance they are relinquishing their views on the issue they know to be true and valid.  

The logical facts are that both sides can be of great strength and wisdom to each other, can reach common grounds, and can become of one view.  However, for any of this can be to become reality, those of an intellectual and influential stature on the two directly opposing sides of view must agree to work at a common goal.  Some are already of this view and those who are not may well suffer from the disease they refused to remedy.
  

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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #4 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 3:11pm
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J.B.,

    I would agree with several of the points that you made.  With regard to one, I believe some clarification is needed.  Although I believe inquiring people should see differing and well-articulated opposing perspectives (e.g., pro and anti-polygraph sites in theory), I believe only those sites that are non-censored (and therefore allowing other than some propaganda position of the webmasters) should be recommended.  This site is an excellent example.  Are there any pro-polygraph sites that you believe meet this criterion and that you would recommend to the novice reader?  As you no doubt are aware there do exist completely censored pro-polygraph sites that are little more than advertisement at best and narrowly controlled propaganda in the main.
  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #5 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 3:12pm
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JB,

Your post reeks of 'compromise'. The gist of it seems to say that because of the stance many of us take here (simply put, that polygraphy is a psuedo-scientific fraud with no more validity than phrenology, tarot-card reading, or the gazing at entrails), we are somehow allowing our emotions to carry us away, leaving us immovable or closed to reasonable debate from the other side (of which they, curiously, have a two-pronged interest in furthering their own agenda-- money and power).

My stance, as noted above, is grounded in the LACK of scientific evidence coming from your side as well as a knowledge of the basis of true sciences. When asked to produce scientific evidence, your side castigates the questioner, invokes specious, crass retorts, employs character assasination, simply clams up and says words to the effect, "I can't tell you, it's a secret", or perhaps worst of all, wrap themselves in a mantle of self-righteous piety because they are involved in the enforcement of laws-- as if such an occupation makes them above reproach and unanswerable to the rest of the populace.

Open debate has yet to occur here, but should it somehow begin one day, it could continue from that point until our Sun becomes a Red Giant and envelopes our planet in its Chromosphere. Such debates will never alter the incontravertible fact that polygraphy is not science, is not based on sound scientific principles, and will never be so. Even the suggestion that an astoundingly complex human being could be mind-read through the monitoring of four physiological output (three of which are trifling easy to control) is outrageous in premise. The fact that such suggestions have evolved into a lucrative, powerful industry-within-an-industry resulting in the ruination of careers, families, reputations, and the waste of millions of dollars should anger and motivate anyone with a brain and a heart to speak out against such a travesty.

Your soothing tones of compromise, acquiescence, and moderation strike me as sophmoric. Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice.-- Barry Goldwater

If you don't like the tone of the discourse here, speak to the likes of 'PDD Fed', 'Batman', Polycop', et.al.
« Last Edit: Jun 29th, 2002 at 3:26am by beech trees »  

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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #6 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 9:07pm
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Newbie, what I see is that the information being provided does't help anyone, it can only hurt those who try to beat an exam, particularly if they get caught trying, which makes wonder what they did they want to hide from.  I sure see people who have failed their tests for whatever reason and are trying to make themselves self proclaimed experts in a profession that the only experience they seem to have in it is failing their test.  Then I see this guy Richardson proclaimed to be the FBI's top examiner but every FBI Examiner I know and I know them all claim he never even ran an exam for the FBI cause they wouldn't let him.  I must question the credibility of this entire web site.  The poor folks who ask these guys are getting really bad advice.  It is amusing to watch this though.
  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #7 - Jun 28th, 2002 at 10:22pm
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Anonymous_Observer,

I’m glad to see we can rely on the polygraph community to continue the litany of grammatically deficient and substantively vacuous posts.
  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #8 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 5:40am
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Wow, quite a statement to make about Drew Richardson.  The resident "expert" in the FBI and he never conducted a test?  Is that really true?  Even I find this difficult to believe, after all, he's frequently quoted as the "chief of the FBI research program".
I'll be fair and let Drew respond. Shocked
  
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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #9 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 6:03am
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Eastwood wrote on Jun 29th, 2002 at 5:40am:
Wow, quite a statement to make about Drew Richardson.  The resident "expert" in the FBI and he never conducted a test?  Is that really true?  Even I find this difficult to believe, after all, he's frequently quoted as the "chief of the FBI research program".
I'll be fair and let Drew respond.


Dr. Richardson has already responded to the above repeated lie in another thread, but I will briefly quote it in part here for those with short attention spans:

Although not so, I truly do wish that what you have stated were correct.  To my chagrin, I must shamefully admit that I did conduct a handful of CQT polygraph exams in connection with Bureau field cases following the completion of DoDPI's basic examiner course.   I must further admit that I did this knowingly and willingly and did so fully aware (as a result of my DoDPI training and experience) of polygraphy’s theoretical shortcomings...

More lies, damnable lies..... have you no sense of decency, polygraphers?
  

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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #10 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 10:22am
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Anonymous_Observer wrote on Jun 28th, 2002 at 9:07pm:
Newbie, what I see is that the information being provided does't help anyone, it can only hurt those who try to beat an exam, particularly if they get caught trying, which makes wonder what they did they want to hide from.  I sure see people who have failed their tests for whatever reason and are trying to make themselves self proclaimed experts in a profession that the only experience they seem to have in it is failing their test.  Then I see this guy Richardson proclaimed to be the FBI's top examiner but every FBI Examiner I know and I know them all claim he never even ran an exam for the FBI cause they wouldn't let him.  I must question the credibility of this entire web site.  The poor folks who ask these guys are getting really bad advice.  It is amusing to watch this though.


Dear Anonymous (but apparently not disinterested) Observer,

If you truly believe that the information being provided here doesn't help, but can only hurt, individuals who read it and employ countermeasures, then why don't you accept Dr. Richardson's Polygraph Countermeasure Challenge?

What are you polygraph chart rollers afraid of? Your reluctance to accept Dr. Richardson's challenge is strong evidence that:

1) Despite your public representations to the contrary, you privately believe that countermeasures of the kind described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector do work, and...

2) You do not truly believe that you can detect these countermeasures at better than chance levels of accuracy.
« Last Edit: Jun 29th, 2002 at 11:34am by George W. Maschke »  

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Interesting Observation
Reply #11 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 7:31pm
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As a group, the malcontents all answer for each other - I ask Drew Richardson to give us some info about his background, and what makes him the "expert" he claims to be, and "beachtrees" answers for him.  He's a big boy, BT, sit down and be quiet please.
  
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Re: Interesting Observation
Reply #12 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 7:50pm
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Eastwood wrote on Jun 29th, 2002 at 7:31pm:
As a group, the malcontents all answer for each other - I ask Drew Richardson to give us some info about his background, and what makes him the "expert" he claims to be, and "beachtrees" answers for him.  He's a big boy, BT, sit down and be quiet please.


Eastwood,

Beech Trees merely pointed out that Dr. Richardson has already answered your question (whether he had ever administered a polygraph examination) elsewhere on this message board, and he pointed you to that response. What more do you expect to hear from Dr. Richardson?

If you're curious about his credentials, you might take a look at his 1997 opening statement before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts and his 2001 presentation before the National Academy of Sciences' polygraph review committee. Dr. Richardson's credentials as a polygraph expert are unassailable.
  

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Re: Interesting Observation
Reply #13 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 8:34pm
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Eastwood wrote on Jun 29th, 2002 at 7:31pm:
As a group, the malcontents all answer for each other - I ask Drew Richardson to give us some info about his background, and what makes him the "expert" he claims to be, and "beachtrees" answers for him.


A correction, "eestwood": Dr. Richardson has never claimed to be an 'expert'. When asked, he has given a brief overview of his CV and then simply answers whatever question is posed to him in a factual, unassailable manner. Had you taken even a moment to read Dr. Richardson's credentials you would realize just how moronic your attacks are. Take a look at my personal quote below, you could learn a great deal from the message.

Quote:
He's a big boy, BT, sit down and be quiet please.


At least it's a polite request, but for the moment I decline.

Kisses,

dave
  

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Re: Newbie Has a Question
Reply #14 - Jun 29th, 2002 at 9:46pm
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Eastwood,

A number of years ago, David Lykken shared a bit of wisdom with me that he had come to realize over many years.  He told me that as a critic of polygraphy and one who neither sought clientele (victims of polygraph abuse and error) and one who did not receive recompense for any services provided, that I would only be able to measure any degree of short term success from two sources: the thanks received from those whom I have helped and the bluster of those I oppose.  I do thank you for contributing in a small way to my sense of self worth.   Although probability would indicate that my general academic and specific scientific background (basis for examining the diagnostic value of various polygraph applications and formats) would match or exceed yours, for a variety of reasons to include poor taste and a lack of relevance, I have not insisted upon you revealing your identity or providing a curriculum vitae in order to merit further discussion with me.  The overriding consideration is that any of the dozen or so topics that I have discussed in my roughly forty posts can be further discussed or debated based on the merits of the topics themselves independent of our individual pedigrees.  I would appreciate the same consideration and courtesy from you and be quite happy to continue to engage you and others on such terms.  Perhaps you might care to begin with one of the posts I made yesterday.  Regards,

Drew Richardson
  
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