Normal Topic Simple Testing?? (Read 3666 times)
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Simple Testing??
Mar 8th, 2003 at 5:08pm
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I was discussing polygraph testing with my daughter (17), specifically the different types of tests used. She asked a question that I could not answer fully, so I post it here for discussion.
We would first assume that the claims of the polygraph industry that the test is 90% to 99% accurate.
Next, we develop a list of 10 questions that the examiner will know immediately if an answer is deceptive, ie "Is your hair brown?", "Is your name.....", "Is today.....".
Next is a list of questions relevant to the reasons for the examination, ie "Did you steal the money?", "Are you a spy?", "Have you ever smoked marijuana?". Even general questions could be asked. In the case of a maintenance examination for a sex offender, "Do teenage girls excite you?", "Do you have sexual fantasies about little boys?", etc.
All of the questions are then asked, randomly mixed together, and 3 or 4 charts are run.
So, if the examiner asked "Is your name...?", then asked "Did you steal the money?", would he not immediately see a difference in the responses if there was deception. If the examinee answers truthfully to the name question (which the examiner knows) and the response to the money question is identical to that response, then it would hold that the examinee didn't steal the money.
I know it seems simple, but it makes perfect sense. So the question is,  to you polygraphers out there, "Why do you have all of these R/I, CQT, ZCT, ABC and XYZ ad infinitum test formats. If your machine is so infallible and you are so good, why can't you do it this way?" And forget the countermeasures argument. Supposedly you can detect them immediately, if one is to believe what they read on the APA website.
  

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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #1 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 2:22am
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Orolan,

You raise some interesting points... however, [in my opinion] polygraph examiners cannot detect polygraph countermeasures “immediately” or as easily as some polygraphers claim on this board. I have no doubt that some test subjects are caught employing ill-rehearsed and poorly employed polygraph countermeasures.

If polygraphers can detect polygraph countermeasures as they claim, then why all the fuss over detecting polygraph countermeasures. Why not simply remain silent, and catch the test subjects in the act?

I’m confident that polygraphers are trying to better learn how polygraph countermeasures are successfully employed. This will better assist in establishing polygraph countermeasure countermeasures. It does not take a rocket scientist to comprehend and understand the trickery, deceit and unreliable frailties of polygraph testing.

If I were a polygraph examiner, I would be ever watchful of the following during testing:

A test subject that…

1)      Maintains a consistent base-line breathing pattern. [2/4 seconds in/out]
2)      Consistent deviation from base-line breathing pattern on any/all control questions.
3)      Consistent responses to any/all control questions.
4)      Over responding to control questions.


I would assume that anyone with an average IQ could understand the frailties of polygraph testing to include spotting the most common “tale-tale signs” during a polygraph exam.

But tell me this: how could a polygrapher be “certain” that a test subject responses to a common polygraph test question, regardless if the question is control, relevant or irrelevant in nature is:

a)      A normal/natural physiological response to the stimuli.
b)      A false [self-imposed] physiological response by the test subject.

What differentiates a spike on the chart from:

a)      Subtle squeeze of the sphincter muscle.
b)      Fear of the polygraph machine in general.
c)      Surprise, embarrassment.
d)      Shock of the nature relating to the question
e)      Masking or attempting to hide deception, lying.

Is not a spike a spike…?? What detail contained within a spike on a chart, designates [points to] a lie from fear.?


Regards,
Triple x
  
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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #2 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 3:04am
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Triple X

Since I have been delayed in my mining start, I have been researching  a little.

So far I haven't found anyone who will say the polygraph or it's operator can differentiate between the spikes caused by anger, fear, lies etc. The MD's and PHD's that I have talked to say it can't.

My sister-in-law is a nurse and I had her run my BP covering different subjects. For instance, I am deathly afraid of bears (I have come face to face with a griz) and when I think of that face off my BP rises substantually and I start sweating. If I wanted to spike the polygraph all I would have to do is think of that episode. The same goes for anger. I tried telling a lie and my BP rose but not nearly as much. I believe it is impossible that a line on a graph could assign a cause, in any way, to that spike. So far, I am told it is impossible. Having not studied countermeasures extensively, I probably wouldn't know where to apply the fear factor.

I hope the delay in my mine startup isn't long enough to finish my research but, if it is, I will post it here.
  
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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #3 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 4:44am
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Triple X and Twoblock, you both raise interesting points. I anxiously await a post from one of the polygraphers that frequent this site.
  

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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #4 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 6:45am
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Two Block,

I find your study interesting. I too have toyed around with a high quality heart monitor placed around my chest and wrist to monitor my heartbeat. While sitting down relaxed, I experimented with varying thoughts, as compared to “puckering” simply to see if my pulse rate would fluctuate between the two methods. My elementary case study, while sitting relaxed in a chair, my resting heart rate is around 38 - 40 beats per minute. [I’m a marathoner]

When puckering very slightly, my pulse rate would increase from 38/40 to around 45/50 without much effort on my pucker factor… of course, the tighter pucker factor applied, the higher my heart rate would climb. I could actually spike the heart monitor into the 60 beats per minute range.

When thinking of something that angered me, [I don’t anger easily] my heart rate would only increase from 38/40 to around 45 beats per minute.

When thinking of fear of being bitten by a snake/spider, etc, my heart rate would increase from 38/40 to around 45/50.

In addition, I experimented with various mental visualization scenarios, and could also spike my heart rate into the 45/50 beats per minute range.

That being said, I can’t help but wonder how a polygrapher can view a heart rate monitor, and differentiate between a pulse rate increase and determine the exact cause, such as a "pucker", fear, embarrassment, shock, anger, deception, lying, etc...

I think the galvanic skin response [palm sweating] is mirrored by your pulse rate.  

My normal [natural] breathing rate is between 10 and 12 breaths per minute. I simply do not breath as many times per minute as most sedentary people. I suspect this is due to my running. I run on average 90 to 120 miles per week. For me to sustain a higher breathing rate consisting of 2/4 seconds per breath in/out is not a normal breathing pattern for me. However, if I was to breath my normal rate of 10/12 breaths while being subjected to a polygraph exam, I feel certain the polygrapher would suspect me of controlling my breathing by taking deeper slower breaths. No so in my case.

Orolan,

I'm certain if/when the pro-polygraphers such as Batman, Torpedo, etc return to the board, they will respond to some of the questions posed to them on this thread.

Batman is quick to personally attack and insult others via "flaming" when debating polygraph frailties. However, I do feel he is capable of answering the questions we raise.  

Torpedo on the other hand, if not provoked by insult or sarcasm, will engage you in fair and reasonable debate on these very issues. I personally find him interesting to debate with.


Respectfully,
triple x
  
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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #5 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 8:12am
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GSR can be monitored easily using a resistance meter (ohmmeter or multimeter) and a couple of wires.  I experimented with this, using a slightly more complex setup: I made a pair of "electrodes" by soldering wires to some spade terminals, and attached them to fingers using double-sided velcro plastic straps available from the local hardware store.

Measured this way, GSR definitely responds to thought countermeasures, as well as "pucker factor".

Skeptic
  
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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #6 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 11:45pm
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Triple X

I don't think you will get a debate on the subject from the polygraph community on these boards. I don't think, so far anyway, that it's technically debatable. I asked these questions a number of days ago and didn't receive a response from them or the anti-poly people. Maybe Dr. Drew Richardson could offer his thoughts.

One polygrapher was kind enough to send me a private email. When and if I publish my findings, I will ask his permission to use his info. If the answer is to the negative, then his material and name will stay with me. I will say this, he is an extremely intelligent man.

  
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Re: Simple Testing??
Reply #7 - Mar 11th, 2003 at 3:21am
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Guys:
well, I haven't had the opportunity to sit around and play with myself to see what results I can get, but I am very positive that I can toy with the machine if I could just get one of those poly people to give me a chance. 

Any takers, Parham Road boys?  Come on, induldge me.  It would be fun, and I will even remove those conditions off of you if you allow me to agree to a subject matter to test.

You know my number.  Give me a call.

Regards,
Thorn in your side - Seeker
  
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