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evi1919
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now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Aug 2nd, 2002 at 9:15pm
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  ???my best friend decided because of her live-in boyfriend's secretive behavior, that he was secretly carrying on a relationship with me. there was absolutely no truth to this--i never talked to him or saw him, never called or met, etc, but when someone is suspicious they can find coincidences and signs everywhere--my poor friend became so anxious that she was nearly psychotic, and to preserve her sanity completely cut me out of her life...btw she is studying forensics at the graduate level. so almost 8 months go by without any communication, and she calls me (i live several hours away) TO DROP THE BOMBSHELL...SHE PAID a poygrapher (with apparently 20+yrs experience) 6oo bucks, he asked the boyfriend a series about me--with baseline queries mixed in--and it was repeated 3 times..at the concluision, he told my friend that the boyfriend had failed completely--any question about me caused the readings to spike --deception? all i know is that this is a kafka-esque nightmare..the poor guy is innocent, since i know that I NEVER had anything to do with him. so--happy ending, he moved out the next day, and my girlfriend is listening to her family and friends tellimg her that i could never do such a thing to betray my oldest friend, so she is tentatively reintegrating me into her life...bottom line, could her months of interrogation and questioning him about me cause his anxiety to be so acute that he wouls "fail" those questions? or, as i suspect, was i a convenient repository for his own guilt about whatever betrayal he was REALLY up to such that it would attach to polygraph questions referencing me? i would love someone to help me out here, because even if my pal allows our friendship to resume, it will always haunt her (a staunch believer in this questionable "science") that he failed. according to the facts, i need to understand what happened with this test, since if this "expert" was right, i really did spend the past year in a steamy relationship with this virtual stranger--maybe I was sleepwalking? Smiley plz help me salvage a really important friendship... evi
  
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George W. Maschke
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #1 - Aug 2nd, 2002 at 9:46pm
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Evi,

All your best friend's boyfriend's having "failed" a polygraph "test" indicates is that he was more concerned about the accusatory relevant questions than about the more general "control" questions. See Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector for more on the specious methodology by which truth versus deception is inferred in this pseudoscientific trail-by-ordeal that is wrongly called a "test."

You might also refer your friend to AntiPolygraph.org. She needs to know about "the lie behind the lie detector."
  

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Broken
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #2 - Aug 27th, 2002 at 5:20pm
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Now I know I am not alone.  A polygraph has devastated my marriage of 16 years... even though I was so willing to take one, thinking that if I just told the truth, a lie detector test would fix everything.  The public needs to know!
  
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #3 - Aug 27th, 2002 at 8:08pm
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evi1919 wrote on Aug 2nd, 2002 at 9:15pm:
bottom line, could her months of interrogation and questioning him about me cause his anxiety to be so acute that he wouls "fail" those questions?


ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

The polygraph as it is commonly used is at best a nervousness detector.  Anyone can psych themselves into failing a polygraph "test", or the process can be a little more subconscious.  OTOH, anyone can psych themselves into passing a polygraph.  It all depends upon what makes you nervous.  Are you afraid of being accused?  Afraid the polygrapher can read your mind (one of the only set of circumstances under which the polygraph might actually detect lies, IMHO)?  Afraid of losing your job or not being hired?  Afraid of actually getting a job?  Too self-critical?  Do you doubt yourself?  Do you tend to think of yourself in a negative light, and look for reasons to fail?  Afraid of reacting?

Any psychologist worth anything would agree that all of the above, and more, can cause someone to react to questions in a polygraph.  The test is voodoo, bunk, quackery.  Belief in it is founded on the same grounds as astrology, and its practicioners are members of a quasi-religion.

I would also be suspicious of any confessions resulting from a polygraph, as well.  As was noted recently in the New York Times, a healthy number of confessions obtained through poor interrogation techniques (the polygraph is essentially an excuse for interrogating someone) turn out later to be false.

Quote:
or, as i suspect, was i a convenient repository for his own guilt about whatever betrayal he was REALLY up to such that it would attach to polygraph questions referencing me?


Another possibility is that he could have reacted to the questions because he was attracted to you at one time or another, etc.  There are innumerable reasons why he might have reacted to the question, and IMHO your interactions with him have given you vastly more information regarding the type of person he is and what he might do than could be read on a polygraph.

Quote:
i would love someone to help me out here, because even if my pal allows our friendship to resume, it will always haunt her (a staunch believer in this questionable "science") that he failed. according to the facts, i need to understand what happened with this test, since if this "expert" was right, i really did spend the past year in a steamy relationship with this virtual stranger--maybe I was sleepwalking? Smiley plz help me salvage a really important friendship... evi


I've heard that "lie detectors" are rapidly supplanting horoscopes as the popular method for determining whether someone is a good person to date, is cheating, etc.  It seems polygraphers have found a new way to mess up people's lives.  Both you and Broken appear to be victims of this nonsense, and I would expect we'll start seeing quite a few more here in the future.

Please refer your friend to this site, and have her read "The Lie Behind the Lie Detector".

Skeptic
  
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deras
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #4 - Feb 13th, 2003 at 8:17pm
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i agree, i bet he wanted to sleep with you... which is probably as disconcerting to your friend as anything...
  
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lotmp21
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #5 - Nov 4th, 2010 at 9:02am
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had 3 tests,failed each and every one.
good to know that i'm not alone.
we should be more vigilant in making a statement.
that polygraph thingy can destroy LIVES.
  
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #6 - Nov 5th, 2010 at 5:22pm
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rail roaded
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #7 - Jan 31st, 2015 at 7:33am
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Polygraph has ruined my life I lost everything my lady my kids and even my place on residence because this examiner told my lady I fails this bullshit ass test I need some one to speak to I need help
  
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George W. Maschke
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #8 - Jan 31st, 2015 at 8:28am
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Quote:
Polygraph has ruined my life I lost everything my lady my kids and even my place on residence because this examiner told my lady I fails this bullshit ass test I need some one to speak to I need help


I would be happy to discuss your situation with you, either here on this forum or privately via any of the options you'll find listed in my signature block.
  

George W. Maschke
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Dan Mangan
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Re: now i know for sure polygraph is bogus
Reply #9 - Jan 31st, 2015 at 4:41pm
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rail roaded,

Polygraph victimization is all too common. I regularly receive similar inquiries from sufferers of false results.

Consider getting a second opinion by having your test reviewed.

If you authorize the examiner to release the complete file of your test to an independent polygraph consultant, there is a very good chance your test can be nullified.

Should the examiner who conducted your polygraph refuse to cooperate, something is wrong and the test result should be considered null and void.

Meanwhile, you should direct your lady to this site's home page so she can begin to better understand the risks, realities and limitations of polygraph testing.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Daniel Mangan, M.A.
Polygraph Examiner
Full Member, American Polygraph Association
Certified PCSOT Examiner
www.polygraphman.com
  
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