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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A Response to Paul M. Menges (Read 50152 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #45 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 7:33am
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Marty,

In the directed-lie CQT, the polygrapher attempts to convince the subject that any physiological responses to the directed-lie "control" questions are somehow associated with deception. This is, however, utter nonsense.
  

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #46 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 7:52am
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Marty,

I genuinely agree that George catches undue blame and harsh criticism as a result of his quest to educate the public on the frailties of polygraph testing. 

Regards,
triple x
  
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #47 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 8:36am
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Marty,

In the directed-lie CQT, the polygrapher attempts to convince the subject that any physiological responses to the directed-lie "control" questions are somehow associated with deception. This is, however, utter nonsense.


I think they would like to create that impression, no doubt, and it is misleading. However, let's look at what Honts has said (from your article)

The examiner also tells the subject that it is critical that he or she respond appropriately when lying. However, the nature of appropriate responding is not defined for the subject.

And indeed, it is critical!  The purpose is to focus the subject on the control question and create sufficient concern about their response that they will produce a stronger reaction than the relevant question creates. Implicit in this is the suggestion that the subject just might not react "appropriately" and in fact, were the subject to really believe the instrument detected all lies, they might show no anxiety at all on the question, assuming it would magically pick up their lie.  So unlike the PL-CQT where the subject is simply told the polygraph is nearly infallible, that is not the case with the DLT. It's a fine line though because if the subject inteprets the examiners instructions as suggesting they might be found deceptive on the relevant Q then it might well produce a false positive.  You are right that the whole practice is suffused with examiner bias and lack of controls.  Even in the better CIT, I have yet to see it suggested that the examiner should have no knowledge of the facts being tested (a proper double blind approach which avoids bias). Unintentional bias is a big factor as Facilitated Communication has shown where facilitator bias is THE ONLY factor.

It is, however, a considerable improvement over the PL CQT where, if the examiner chooses a control question that the subject is telling the truth on, they will be almost certain to produce a false positive or inconclusive at best. It is this gross bias against honest examinees that especially condemns the PL CQT.

-Marty
« Last Edit: Mar 9th, 2003 at 9:04am by Marty »  

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #48 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 8:45am
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XXX,

Quote:

Marty,

I genuinely agree that George catches undue blame and harsh criticism as a result of his quest to educate the public on the frailties of polygraph testing. 

Regards,
triple x



I quite agree. I have found Georges information pretty reliable. Polygraphers can easily hide under the fig leaf of secrecy by saying that it is important that people believe the polygraph is highly reliable and that people not know how they are done. There is reason to believe that this ignorance does reduce false positives. For that matter deception to the point of getting the examinee to lie is the premise of the PL-CQT so widespread understanding of it would gut the PL-CQT.

-Marty
  

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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #49 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 9:11am
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Marty,

I agree with you that the deceptions inherent in the directed-lie CQT are less repugnant than those of the probable-lie variety. But this deception is not limited to the polygrapher's failure to define what is meant by "appropriate respsonding" to the "control" questions.

DoDPI's administ ration guidelines for the directed-lie "Test for Espionage and Sabotage" include additional misinformation to be provided to the subject:

Quote:
I am now going to discuss the second type of question, the diagnostic questions. As I explained earlier, when you lie your body responds and I will be able to see the response, just as I did during the demonstration. If, however, you were given a test and I saw no responses to any of the questions, it would look like you were telling the truth. For various reasons (sick, tired, using some medication) some people lose their capability to respond. Consequently, I must ask some questions that demonstrate you continue to have the capability to respond when you are lying and that you do not respond when you are telling the truth.

First I will review those questions used to determine if you are capable of responding when you lie. I already know the answer to these questions because we all have done these things at one time or another. When I ask the question I want you to think of an occasion when you did this--don't tell me about it, just think of a specific time. Then lie to me and say no.

Before each question preface it with--we have all (e.g. violated traffic laws)--you have haven't you (they should answer yes)--of course. Now think of a specific incident (don't tell me). When I ask you 'Did you ever violate a traffic law' I want you to lie to me and say "NO." When I ask you this question on the test--I want you to think of that incident when you lie to me.


The deceptions inherent in the above instructions are explained in Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (at pp. 85-87 of the 2nd edition).

In any event, polygrapher deception aside, I believe that the need to protect oneself against the random error associated with an invalid test provides ample reason -- and ethical justification -- for truthful persons to employ polygraph countermeasures as a safeguard.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #50 - Mar 9th, 2003 at 9:53am
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“…I will review those questions used to determine if you are
capable of responding when you lie.”

When you answer a question falsely as instructed, you are not
“lying.” Any responses measured by the polygraph when you
answer the directed-lie “control” questions have nothing to do
with deception.
--------

In a way, the examinee is being asked to use a sort of weak version of mental countermeasures. By thinking about the time one violated this or that law one is expected to produce a weak reaction, milder than that of deception on a relevant, but stronger than a "is your name John Smith" sort of question.

I don't disagree on the question of whether it is ethical to use CM's to prevent a false positve, I just wouldn't use them. I would also be quite resistant to the compliance psychology used to condition examinees.

A suggestion for your next edition George. There is considerable discussion in Kleiner on conditioning examinees in the prep and stim phases with background on so called "compliance psychology". You might want to look at adding some references to that.

-Marty
  

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #51 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 8:33am
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THE_BREEZE: 

Specifically, many applicants under report certain issues.  We all can accept that this happens, obviously applicants want to look good- and since local law enforcement does not publish arbitrary standards (around here anyway) they dont know what the agency thinks is acceptable or desirable.  So the application if filled out, and events are under reported.  If the test was given immediately, many would fail (like the FBI) because time is not spent in clarifying responses. In contrast to what you wrote, such admissions given before a polygraph are treated by my agency as a part of the application process.  It is not considered deception to modify an original answer on hiring paperwork.  When the test is given, applicants should not have hidden issues or concerns and have been treated fairly. Some honest souls take advantage of this, others do not and routinely fail.  They also routinely admit what they were hiding.


I find your suggestion that not making any admissions is detrimental to the application process very self-serving, least of all with your apparent polygraph background. 

As an apparent police investigator you know very well that admissions are the lifeblood of any investigation. 

In the applicant arena, admissions are very important on the part of the polygraph examiner to explain. As you review the questionnaire, some minor changes and clarifications are acceptable to agencies. An example would be if you give some extraneous information regarding an admission already listed on the questionnaire. An example would be a clarification of stating you might have been 18 instead of 17 when you were caught drinking in a parking lot by the police. However, never listing an arrest, true amount of drug usage or any item directly asked for on the questionnaire will call for disqualification under the pretense if they lie about a direct question asked and they only give it up before they are administered a polygraph test, how can we trust them as an employee. 

Most agencies I am aware of will bounce the applicant right out of the applicant pool when additional information is divulged and neglected to be placed on the questionnaire. Even if the divulged information was not in and of itself a disqualification, the fact it was attempted to be concealed becomes an “integrity issue” for the agency and the applicant is bounced. 

My estimation of your written responses is your frustration as an examiner that this site has in its few short years dealt a decisive blow to the polygraph community, not only in the use of countermeasures (even if in your view they produce an inconclusive result), but also through counter-interrogation tactics.

Often times I am sure the behavior displayed during the pre-test does not really sway you one way or the other. You administer the test and you call the chart inconclusive. You make the decision to make a “come clean” statement. Maybe you re-enter the polygraph exam room carrying the results, and while standing over the seated applicant, state something similar to, “The polygraph results clearly show that you are withholding information about your [enter subject], while placing the chart on the desk in front of the applicant.  You stare directly at the applicant looking for his/her reaction. Hoping that they will hang their head, sigh, look away, or give a pathetically weak denial.  You continue with some type of a pre-formatted out for the subject so they can make an admission. An example would be, your not a drug dealer are you, you just used drugs for recreational purposes right, its not because you’re a drug dealer (while shaking your head no). 

There is no greater frustration when the applicant makes a quick and affirmative denial, maintains consistency, and rebuffs all the scripted Reid Technique phrases. 

Are those denials based on true innocence, or are they based on effective counter-interrogation tactics. Maybe they purchased the Interrogations and Confessions Handbook from the Reid Web site at www.reid.com. If a person who has read this or similar books and hears the phrases repeated almost verbatim to him during the examination, the credibility of the examiner is greatly reduced as is stated in the Confessions and Interrogation Handbook, “… once an interrogator is caught in a lie, further effectiveness is lost.” (Interesting thought, I guess the entire Reid group would be subject to a “Paul M. Menges book ban prosecution” based on potential that information they provide could be used by the criminal/applicant community.) 

I have no doubt that you can cite plenty of examples that during your tenure you have solicited damaging admissions from applicant and criminals alike. And, for many years the black arts of polygraph and interrogation tactics were a secret for law enforcement with only advanced illicit clicks having the counter information. 

Now the information is mainstream. The probability of a criminal and applicant lying and being passed by a polygraph is a very real problem for your community. Your personal ethic fears the dreaded call from the detective saying you were wrong on your polygraph, the call from the Chief wondering how this applicant passed his exam and the press is all over him about how he got hired and exposed the agency to ridicule and liability. 

Where once you were the star of the agency walking out with a confession, you will be now be its scorn. It’s to bad. Your intention was noble, but as they say, “the path to hell is paved with good intentions.” 

So I don’t blame you wanting to have this information kept secret and it is my opinion that is the basis of your sarcastic and cryptic postings, but, because innocent lives are negatively impacted, it is time for it to go. The cats out of the bag. 

I concur with others that Menges response is validation of the overwhelming stress felt by the polygraph community that countermeasures and counter interrogation tactics are negatively impacting the effectiveness of their mission. However, when innocent people are literally destroyed and considered acceptable collateral damage, that is un-American and goes against the grain of society.  
  
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #52 - Mar 19th, 2003 at 7:03pm
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Blade Runner and others
Good movie, by the way, I always wondered how long the battery lasted...
I enjoy coming back here from time to time for the penetrating insight and clarity.  Why am I sarcastic? because that is the tone that was set with me early, and most of those posting here do not generate respect.  This could change.
Lets see now, Im self serving because my agency has made a decision to accept human nature, and give an applicant one final chance to properly fill out the applicant paperwork? No problem.  You see, since we still believe that a person could leave off a minor detail in the application, and make a good cop, its allowed. You seem to be speaking from some kind of experience base, so do you think that if an applicant calls a recruiter with additional information one week after filling out the paperwork that new information should be allowed? or are they past redemption? The arguement that your making about integrity makes sense to me, we are giving applicants every opportunity to be honest after all, its just not my agencies  policy or practice to automatically exclude those that volunteer additional information.
I guess the thought is that management would like to know and evaluate any additional information rather than just accept another dismissal without comment.
Your insights into my frusturation are way off.  In fact, the only thing I am frusturated with on this site are those that do not understand what it is they are protesting, in any real detail.  Kind of like the way I feel about the WTO demonstrators...how many of them could make a persuasive arguement on world trade?
I think polygraph will continue much as it has for decades.  Giving this site credit for gathering information and urban legend that previously existed in print is fine and serves to validate the mission for some.  My perspective is, and always has been, that these things are not helpful to law enforcement.  Thats it. Weights in prision dont help either.
I am not part of the mythical polygraph empire, and any suggestions that there is panic or despair coming through my keyboard is wishfull thinking.  I believe polygraph is nothing more than an adjunct police technique, which like other imperfect techniques (such as interrogation skills) serves our goals.  I say our goals because it should be everyone's goal that law enforcement is effective.
So as information is published that serves no public good, some like me may make comment.  I dont accept the idea that because something has become "mainstream" in your words, that this automatically denotes some kind of respectability.(violent rap music, exctasy raves etc)
Many people would share the spotlight if an applicant or criminal gets through a process with a bad call.  Any thinking person knows that flaws exist from background to psychological.  If you think that is my motivation for posting here, re-read my posts without the anti polygraph bias this time.

  
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #53 - Mar 20th, 2003 at 7:37pm
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Let me start by apologizing for the direction this thread may lead and suggest that I would be happy to re-post elsewhere if necessary, but I recently read information that has me somewhat confused.

blade-runner states: However, never listing an arrest, true amount of drug usage or any item directly asked for on the questionnaire will call for disqualification under the pretense if they lie about a direct question asked and they only give it up before they are administered a polygraph test, how can we trust them as an employee. Most agencies I am aware of will bounce the applicant right out of the applicant pool when additional information is divulged and neglected to be placed on the questionnaire. Even if the divulged information was not in and of itself a disqualification, the fact it was attempted to be concealed becomes an “integrity issue” for the agency and the applicant is bounced.

The Breeze states: You see, since we still believe that a person could leave off a minor detail in the application, and make a good cop, its allowed. You seem to be speaking from some kind of experience base, so do you think that if an applicant calls a recruiter with additional information one week after filling out the paperwork that new information should be allowed? or are they past redemption? The arguement that your making about integrity makes sense to me, we are giving applicants every opportunity to be honest after all, its just not my agencies  policy or practice to automatically exclude those that volunteer additional information.

My dilemma: Several months ago I completed an exhaustive PHQ (Personal History Questionnaire) for a municipal police department application process. Recently, I recalled a minor infraction I failed to list at the time b/c it did not come to mind. It was a juvenile incident in which I believe the charges were finalized as a minor misdemeanor - I can't clearly recall as its been over 15 years ago. Either way, the charge was minor and there was no restitution, probation, etc considered. 

My concern: The polygraph portion of the test is rapidly approaching. Over the past few days I have really toiled over whether I should contact the background investigator and "come clean" in hopes that he does not consider that I was attempting to hide some aspect of my past. Or, allow them to discover the indiscretion through their investigatory process and answer any future questions pertaining to it as honest as possible? At this point however, I do not know whether the background investigation occurs after the poly or not, and therefore, they may not have the info at their disposal to even ask about at the poly - which would probably prove derogatory to my application process. If the info is uncovered after the poly, I highly doubt they would provide the opportunity for further explanation...???

Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated. And as I mentioned, I would gladly re-post, I just noticed that two previous posts emphasized this point...
  
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #54 - Mar 20th, 2003 at 8:53pm
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Dear Mindmaster,

My experience with the polygraph involved three sessions with the FBI.  The first one inconclusive, the second accused of countermeasures, and the third one found non-deceptive.

My perception of the process was that after my security interview concerning a word by word, sentence by sentence confirmation of background questionaire information, new "information" concerning my background would be considered "not showing candor" and disqualify me.

The letter of conditional employment was detailed and specific about disqualifications and  how it would be in the FBI's and applicant's best interest to discuss any situations causing concern or worry in the applicant's mind.  This letter was presented previous to the first polygraph.

The Breeze's agency does do many things completely different from my experience and it is highly probable that the "mindset" concerning additional information at a later time is considered acceptable.

The whole process is full of too many variables and I often refer to the polygraph pre-screening procedure as a "crapshoot".

In my situation, I believe any additional information presented after the start of the polygraph exam would be considered detrimental and damaging unless previously disclosed sometime in the application process.

I do not know how smaller enforcement agencies will look at your problem.

Regards.
  
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