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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box orolan
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Test types
Mar 10th, 2003 at 5:00am
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I need some help from you experts out there. In your humble opinion, what type of test would be best for a PSOT? If an honest polygrapher is attempting to find out if a person has been having deviant thoughts, or a child molester has been having unauthorized contact with minors, which of the tests would have the lowest percentage of false-positives, etc? I am trying to determine if a particular polygrapher in Florida is using the best one. TIA.
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #1 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 3:50pm
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Orolan

Since none of the more qualified posters have yet responeded to this post I thought I would. This is my first post but have been reading the message board for some time. I am certainly no expert however I have had experience with taking polygraphs and have an interest in polygraphy. In my opinion the type of test that would yield the least chance of a false positive given by a "honest polygrapher" would be a directed lie test. An unbiased polygrapher could formulate a directed lie that the examine would most likely respond to therefor decreasing the chance of a false positive given the examinee is being truthful.
  

"I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him."&&&& Abe Lincoln
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Re: Test types
Reply #2 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 5:00pm
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Robert,
I agree in principle, buy I wonder just how much it would reduce the false positives? Many people have a very low response level when they lie, primarily because lying just doesn't bother them very much. So if the examiner formulated a question that would evoke a strong response, ie "When I ask you if you are gay, you answer yes", that response would create such a high threshold that every other answer would be scored as "no response". I may be wrong in my assumptions, though. That is the reason for this post. Comments, anyone?
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #3 - Mar 10th, 2003 at 7:20pm
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Orolan

I believe that occurrence of false positives, being deception indicated from a truthful examinee is greatest when an examinee has some emotional tie to the relevant question causing a greater response to it than to the control question. Compounding the problem of the false positive is the truthful answer of the examinee to the control question causing very low physiological response. It makes sense to me that using a directed lie control question would decrease the chances of the false positive happening by giving the examinee something to respond to. On the other side of the coin it would seem that the occurrence of false negatives, that being truthfulness indicated from a deceptive examinee would also increase. Anyway I just thought Id throw that out. Anyone else care to respond?
  

"I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him."&&&& Abe Lincoln
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Test types
Reply #4 - Mar 11th, 2003 at 3:05pm
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orolon,

I believe that there is little point in trying to determine which variation of a completely invalid procedure (CQT polygraphy) is the best one.
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #5 - Mar 11th, 2003 at 5:03pm
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Orolan/Robert,

George is quite correct regarding the lack of validity with CQT polygraph exams.  Any format-related (i.e., which type of “lie test”) problems arising with the original situation/question(s) posed by you, Orolan, are further exacerbated by these exams being "screening exams," exams which have their own separate and additional problems to those associated with the particular polygraph format being utilized.  The notion of screening people with the use of a polygraph for the presence of  "deviant thoughts" is absolutely ridiculous, and so much so, that I would hope most polygraphers would actually frown upon such an application.  Although doing a broad screening exam for unknown but theoretically possible inappropriate/forbidden contacts with minors is equally invalid and inappropriate, a narrower exam based on investigative facts might be possible under certain circumstances.  That is, if a specific minor alleges such contact, the potential examinee denies said contact, then the details surrounding the location of the contact, the attire of the participants, the content of any contact-related conversation or activity, etc. etc. would allow for a meaningful information-based exam using a standard polygraph or other appropriate instrumentation.
« Last Edit: Mar 11th, 2003 at 5:50pm by Drew Richardson »  
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Re: Test types
Reply #6 - Mar 12th, 2003 at 4:02am
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George is entirely correct in that there can be no "best" in a group that is all bad. But is CQT the only option available?
To Dr. Richardson, I am honored to see you responding to my post. The biggest problem is that the PSOT is given to sex offenders in Florida as a part of their treatment program, ostensibly to combat their "denial mechanisms". Their are typically no specific events to test on. So it becomes merely a "fishing expedition" to see if the examinee will admit to some transgression or thought relevant to his or her offense. I don't know if "most" polygraphers frown on this, but I do know that business is booming in Florida for polygraphers that are "certified" to perform PSOT's. And I'm sure they are all using the same test format. I have asked the Florida Polygraph Association several times if that is the case, but they refuse to talk to me. If there are polgraphers using methods that may be more reliable than what I was given, that might possibly be used to further discredit my examiner.
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #7 - Apr 20th, 2003 at 9:48am
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orolan wrote on Mar 12th, 2003 at 4:02am:
The biggest problem is that the PSOT is given to sex offenders in Florida as a part of their treatment program, ostensibly to combat their "denial mechanisms". [quote]


The polygraph is basically applied psychology, a utilitiy used to help someone break down there denial mechanisms. And it has been found to "WORK".

So in this context, used as a tool or a big stick to break down someone in denial, is not the problem. The results of these test should be taken with a grain of salt however and not be factored into the decision making process of what next to do with an offender.











  
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Re: Test types
Reply #8 - Apr 21st, 2003 at 6:08am
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Sie,

The nature of the questions scored in a PSOT don't lend themselves well to therapy or denial relative to the offender's offense. They are geared towards the offender's thoughts and actions since the last poly, or the last 4 months if this is the first one. This makes the polygraph an investigative tool rather than a psychology utility, seeking only to find out if the offender is re-offending. Now if the test questions were specific to the offense and included the question "Did you commit the crime you were convicted of?", then it would be a good denial mechanism utility. An offender denying their offense would be forced to come to terms with responses to relevant questions. On the other hand, the therapist and probation officer would find themselves in a quandary if the offender showed no response to relevant questions and scored truthful on the above-stated question. No doubt they would accuse him/her of using countermeasures, kick him/her out of treatment and have him/her put on the next bus to prison.
Of course all of the above is moot, because the polygraph is legalized fraud no matter how it is used. If it causes an offender to come clean it is only out of fear, not because of any scientific validity. And it has been my experience that peer pressure in group therapy is what works with sex offenders. The people in the group are ruthless when grilling a "newbie" who claims to be innocent, and they will quickly determine by consensus the validity of such a claim.
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #9 - Apr 30th, 2003 at 10:10am
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Quote:
If it causes an offender to come clean it is only out of fear, not because of any scientific validity



As i said it has been found to "Work" and that the results should not be used in the decision making process of what next to do with the offender but:

If i were your therapist, after cafeful review of the police report, victim statement and your testimonies in group, I would be able to formulate questions that you would find very stimulating. How you react to this stimuli hopefully will provide some insight to what level of threat you pose to society if any at all. Thats the hypothesis anyway.

So from your posts:

You answered ever question with a lie. Interesting that You lied. Perhaps the complete honesty technique would have been better. At least it won't appear that your trying to hide something.

About your story:

The girlfriend of your younger brother, (he is 17 and she 15) run away and now was in your custody. She revealed to you that she was having sexual relations with your brother.

You the adult advised her that at 15 you feel she is not prepared emotionally to be involved in a sexual relationship. You discussed the consquences of her actions such as pregnancy, STDs and than contacted her family. For this you were convicted? Come on. Angry

You were after very specfic details about her sexuality and history, which she found offensive and inappropriate.



  
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Re: Test types
Reply #10 - Apr 30th, 2003 at 5:30pm
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Sie,

"As i said it has been found to "Work" and that the results should not be used in the decision making process of what next to do with the offender but:", the results ARE used in the decision making process. Those who "fail" are expelled from therapy and subsequently have their probation violated and get sent to prison. The polygraph itself is not used as grounds for the revocation since that is prohibited by statute, but the resulting expulsion from therapy is a condition violation.

"If i were your therapist, after cafeful review of the police report, victim statement and your testimonies in group, I would be able to formulate questions that you would find very stimulating. How you react to this stimuli hopefully will provide some insight to what level of threat you pose to society if any at all. Thats the hypothesis anyway." Great hypothesis, if it were done that way. First, APA regulations strictly prohibit the offender's therapist from performing the PSOT. Second, the questions on the PSOT are the same for everybody from a peeping tom to a serial rapist, and everyone in between.

"You answered ever question with a lie. Interesting that You lied. Perhaps the complete honesty technique would have been better. At least it won't appear that your trying to hide something." Not quite. If you will recall, I lied on certain questions on the questionnaire itself. I then lied again when asked while on the machine "did you tell the truth on the questionnaire?" by answering yes. If the polygraph did what it is claimed to do, this question would have scored a significant response, since I lied. Since I haven't seen the charts, I can't tell you what response, if any, there was. As for the honesty approach, that doesn't work. I simply would have been labeled as deceptive or using countermeasures.

"The girlfriend of your younger brother, (he is 17 and she 15) run away and now was in your custody. She revealed to you that she was having sexual relations with your brother."  No. I was aware of the sexual relationship for 6 months prior to her running way. I was also aware of her other liasons with local boys prior to my brother. In every case, I admonished her to stop. You may ask "Why do you care?". Two reasons. One, I have daughters of my own. Two, I had known this girl and her parents since she was 8.

"You the adult advised her that at 15 you feel she is not prepared emotionally to be involved in a sexual relationship. You discussed the consquences of her actions such as pregnancy, STDs and than contacted her family. For this you were convicted? Come on."  Not quite that simple. In Georgia it is illegal to discuss ANYTHING of a sexual nature with a child not your own, unless you are a medical or mental health professional. So yes, I was convicted of discussing sexual acts with a minor.

"You were after very specfic details about her sexuality and history, which she found offensive and inappropriate." You are WAY, WAY, WAY out of line here. You have no business making such an accusation. You have no knowledge of the topics discussed between me and her. And you have no idea what she found offensive or inappropriate. I will point out to you that the girl's father filed the complaint, over the protestations of both the mother and the girl. The girl's statement consisted of an admission that she had called me to announce her intentions to run away and an admission that I was aware of her sexual activities and had discussed them with her. That's it.

I respect your right to have an opinion, and your right to state it in this forum. But when you do so, please be sure to point out that it is "in my opinion", rather than stating it as a plain fact or accusation.
  

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Re: Test types
Reply #11 - May 1st, 2003 at 11:43am
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Understand that we are not seeking employment with the FBI, CIA, SS nor are we employed at the DOE. Nah, we are sex offenders in recovery.

I'm not propoly and I've been where you are now and can tell you that the polygraph really is a non issue, unless you make it one. The real issue is you and why your in Sex Offender Treatment in the first place.

Its just a tool.

Quote:
So yes, I was convicted of discussing sexual acts with a minor.


Enough said.

Good Luck.


  
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Re: Test types
Reply #12 - May 1st, 2003 at 6:19pm
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Sie,
I'm not in Sex Offender treatment. Haven't been since February 1998, 11 months after my conviction. My therapist discharged me from the program when she and her fellow psychologists determined that since I was not "sick", I could not be "cured". I was found to have no sexual thoughts, fantasies, desires or deviancies towards minors. This is why I am allowed to have custody of two of my three teenage daughters.
As for discussing sex, so what? Discussing someones sexual habits is not the same as enticing them to have sex with you.
  

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." &&U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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