Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) countermeasure frequency (Read 12170 times)
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #15 - May 24th, 2003 at 10:01am
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Hmmm, Batguy makes some interesting points, some of which I do agree with. The initial reason for me stumbling onto this site was the inaccuracy and unreliability of the polygraph, as a screening tool. I do, however, believe Batty may have a valid point in believing it has a place, when combined with good investigative techniques, in the LE sector.

Yes, I DO BELIEVE it should be eliminated as a screening tool, it is not nearly reliable enough (I beat it 3 times, with different agencies). I also believe that there should be more accountability on the part of the polygrapher and the agency that chooses to employ the poly in such capacities as employment screening, to help curtail abuse. At this point, however, I don't believe I fall in the same catagory as some on this site who feel the whole thing should be scrapped.

I understand that the polygraph, regardless of how it is employed, is not 100% accurate or even close to it. It appears that even the ProPoly people, for the most part, acknowledge this as well. Most also agree that it can be beaten, although not all agree how easily. My question is, should it be COMPLETELY scrapped because it is not 100% accurate? I am not totally convinced that it should. After all, if we started just scrapping everything that was not 100% reliable, what would we have left? I carry a firearm, radio, OC spray, a flashlight and various other tools, I drive a car, I have co-workers, NONE of which are 100% reliable 100% of the time. Does this mean they should all be scrapped? I understand the answer is obviously not.

George,
Do you, or any of your associates, feel there is any arena where the polygraph is well-suited? IF so, in what capacity? I know that your research in this area is far more extensive than mine and I would appreciate your input. I only ask out of curiosity, so please don't lump me in with the pro-poly crowd.  I'm still one of the "good guys"  Grin . Maybe some of my opinions here are simply based on ignorance, I concede that much. I guess maybe I am just looking for more "food for thought".

I am still in hopes that the day will come that the polygraph gives way to something more reliable and less susceptible to human error or to unethical examiners. Smiley

PK
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #16 - May 24th, 2003 at 10:38am
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Poly-Killer,

The argument against CQT polygraphy is not that it's less than 100% accurate, but rather that it has no validity whatsoever.

One of the main problems I see with its use by law enforcement in criminal and administrative investigations is that too many investigators attach to it a validity that it simply does not have. The undue significance attached to polygraph chart readings is explained in part by Lykken's Law, regarding which see pp. 74-75 of the 2nd edition of A Tremor in the Blood. The following passage sums it up:

Quote:
Uncertainty is painful to the decision maker. Complicated evidence can only be evaluated subjectively and subjectivity leads to doubt and disagreement. One longs for some straightforward, definitive datum that will resolve the conflict and impel a conclusion. This longing not infrequently leads one to invest any simple, quantitative, or otherwise specific bit of evidence with a greater weight than it deserves, with a predictive power it does not really possess. In decision making, the objective dominates the subjective, the simple squeezes out the complicated, the quantitative gets more weight than the nonmetrical, and dichotomous (yes/no, pass/fail) evidence supersedes the many-valued. This is Lykken's Law


A misplaced faith in polygraphy can easily result in serious investigatory misdirection. You'll find documented examples in Chapter 2 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.

In addition, criminals who understand the simplistic assumptions behind the "test" can exploit official faith in the polygraph. By using countermeasures and "passing," they can deflect suspicion away from themselves.

A second problem is that polygraph "testing" is often used as little more than a trick to lure a suspect into a hostile interrogation in the absence of counsel. This tactic may be useful in getting confessions, but it has also resulted in false confessions. As a safeguard, I think it's very important that polygraph interrogations be video or audio recorded.

A third problem with CQT polygraphy is that its usefulness depends on widespread public ignorance of how it "works." Once a suspect understands that the "test" is a fraud, the polygraph is unlikely to have any utility for getting admissions.

The main application for which I think the polygraph shows some promise is the "Concealed Information Test" (also known as the "Guilty Knowledge Test"). However, this technique is little used in the United States. For more on it, see the discussion thread Guilty Knowledge Test.
  

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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #17 - May 24th, 2003 at 10:05pm
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George,

I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree.  It is apparent that no matter what I say you are going to refute it, sentence by sentence, even when I readily admit the inherent weaknesses of polygraph.  It is also apparent you have one and only one goal, and that is to do away with polygraph at all levels under all situations. 

As for Mr. Lykken and his 'Tremor in the Blood', I do not agree with some of the points he puts forth in the passage you quoted.  First, "If a suspect passes the polygraph test, he will not be interrogated because the examiner firmly believes he has been truthful."  In my experience, this is not at all accurate.  Granted many times, if a suspect passes he may not be initially interrogated, however experienced examiners know full well that there are variables that could allow for a "guilty" person to 'pass', for example poorly worded relevant questions.  On multiple suspect investigations, I make it a rule to advise the investigator NOT to rule someone out as a possible suspect simply because they 'pass' the polygraph examination.  Lykken makes a very definitive statement that a suspect who passes a polygraph WILL NOT be interrogated as if that is how it is in all situations.

Second, Lykken states, "Note that the examiner's client or employer also hears about these same confessions and is also protected from learning about most of the polygrapher's mistakes."  Again, not at all accurate.  In a report of investigation the results of all polygraph examinations administered in support of that investigation are reported, therefore if someone is considered to have 'passed' and later is determined to be the primary suspect, or confesses, it is known to all who read the report or who are involved in the investigation.

Third, Mr. Lykken states, "If the suspect who was tested first is diagnosed as deceptive, then the alternative suspect--who might be the guilty one--is seldom tested at all because the examiner believes that the case was solved by that first failed test."  If this is done then it is a poor and incomplete use of the polygraph technique.  In a multiple suspect investigation, if one individual is polygraphed and opined to be deceptive but does not confess, then all the other suspects should be offered the opportunity to undergo a polygraph, and one should be administered if they agree.  Granted, if a confession is obtained, most likely the other suspects will not be polygraphed unless there is reason to believe they had some level of involvement in the crime under investigation.

You asked that I enlighten you as to the capabilities of polygraph that you are ignorant to.  This is a tough one.  I am somewhat handcuffed (no pun intended) by my current employment in that I can not discuss specifics of investigations in a forum such as this.  I know some will say that I am "hiding behind my job", however that is the reality for anyone involved in law enforcement who post on this site.  However, I can say, whether you chose to believe me or not, that I have administered polygraph examinations that have been crucial in restoring the careers and reputations of numerous individuals falsely accused, or wrongly suspected of a variety of crimes.  I have also administered polygraph examinations that have greatly assisted in the resolution of a multitude of investigations.  In other polygraph-related positions that I have held I have either witnessed or been indirectly involved in same.  These are the capabilities I speak of, however maybe 'capabilities' is not the correct word, but it's the one I happened to use.

As for countermeasures, I believe that polygraph is "robust" against their use.  I know you will ask that I show proof of this, however you know full well that I will not, for reasons that should be obvious, or at least will be to any polygraph examiners who post on this site.  But, whether or not polygraph is robust aginst the use of countermeasures is not the point I raise when I reference your willingness to provide countermeasure information to anyone who asks.  You can not possibly have any idea as to who you are helping, or  what circumstances bring them to this site.  However, it is rather obvious, you do not care.  That is my point on this particular issue.

As for my lack of patience, have you been talking to my wife?  I must ask you though, how can one have patience with the likes of Beech Trees, or Anonymous?  They too do not seem willing to engage in any logical debate; why not chastise them on occasion?

Lastly, regarding my "tactics of taunts, insults, and vulgarity", guilty as charged, but if I'm ever asked to take a polygraph pertaining to this, I'll be sure to bone up on my CM's.

Batman
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #18 - May 25th, 2003 at 6:13am
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Batman,

Eddie James Lowery.  10 years in jail.  False conviction.   Is his example another "supposed bad experience..?"

19 years.  I wonder how many people you accused falsely?  Let me guess, you never even thought about it.


  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #19 - May 25th, 2003 at 10:35am
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Batman,

No, I won't refute everything you say. For example, I think we both agree that polygraphy can be useful in convincing people to be more candid than they would absent the polygraph, and this can be helpful both in background investigations and in criminal and administrative investigations.

As for my "one and only one goal" of "do[ing] away with polygraph at all levels under all situations," I should clarify that my main concern is that polygraphy should be completely removed from the American workplace, and I support passage of a Comprehensive Polygraph Protection Act that would accomplish this goal.

As for the use of polygraphy in criminal investigations, my concerns are somewhat different. I have no per se objection to the use of ruses in criminal interrogations. But I am very concerned that many law enforcement officials attach to polygraphy a validity that it does not possess. I'm also concerned about the polygraph being used, as William Scott Stewart put it, as "an adjunct to the third degree" -- a ruse for conducting a hostile interrogation of a suspect in the absence of counsel, as occured in FBI polygrapher Michael Templeton's interrogation of Abdallah Higazy or NCIS polygrapher Robert Hyter's infamous interrogation of Navy petty officer Daniel M. King. Such cases speak to the need for routined recording polygraph interrogations.

I don't see a need for legislation banning the use of polygraphs in criminal investigations. The polygraph will continue to have some utility as an interrogational aid so long as some members of the public continue to believe in it.

But public belief in the polygraph cannot continue indefinitely in the absence of any proof that it is a valid diagnostic technique. Indeed, an inherent weakness of CQT polygraphy is that it depends on the ignorance and fear of the person being interrogated. Once a person understands the trickery behind the "test," the polygraph's utility as a confession-inducing machine evaporates.

Thank you for explaining how your experience of the use of polygraphy differs from that which Dr. Lykken describes in A Tremor in the Blood. I am glad that investigators in your agency don't place such great reliance on polygraph outcomes as Lykken has observed.

Thank you also for explaining what you meant by capabilities of the polygraph of which you believe some of us are ignorant. Perhaps "benefits" would have been a better word than "capabilities." I don't see any need for you to cite from your personal experience examples of cases that have been solved, or innocent people who have been exonerated, thanks to admissions/confessions obtained with the polygraph. This is part of the utility of polygraphy that I readily acknowledge. But this utility is not to be confused with validity (or any inherent "capability").

With regard to the robustness of polygraphy against countermeasures, the National Academy of Sciences concluded (at p. 8-2 of its report), "...the evidence does not provide confidence that polygraph accuracy is robust against potential countermeasures." Why should we believe you instead of the NAS?

You wrote:

Quote:
But, whether or not polygraph is robust aginst the use of countermeasures is not the point I raise when I reference your willingness to provide countermeasure information to anyone who asks.  You can not possibly have any idea as to who you are helping, or  what circumstances bring them to this site.  However, it is rather obvious, you do not care.  That is my point on this particular issue.


It is because of the waste, fraud, and abuse associated with employment-related polygraph screening that I (and others) see a compelling need for public dissemination of countermeasure information. I think the need for the truthful to protect themselves against polygraph abuse outweighs the polygraph community's need for public ignorance of polygraph procedure and countermeasures.

If there were a practical way to provide countermeasure information only to the well-intentioned, I would be inclined to adopt it. But there is no such way, is there? In order to reach those who legitimately need it, countermeasure information must be made available to all. Those in the polygraph community need to understand that "the genie is out of the bottle" when it comes to countermeasures, and it's not going back.
  

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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #20 - Jul 18th, 2003 at 10:11pm
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Poly-Killer,

A second problem is that polygraph "testing" is often used as little more than a trick to lure a suspect into a hostile interrogation in the absence of counsel. This tactic may be useful in getting confessions, but it has also resulted in false confessions. As a safeguard, I think it's very important that polygraph interrogations be video or audio recorded.


Interesting review of A&E's program on the Central Park Jogger false confessions.  Never underestimate the power of the psychological aspects of interrogation. Much of that clearly applies to to polygraphs as well, for both the the examiner and examinee - in spite of the best of intentions by LE.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2085811/

-Marty
  

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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #21 - Jul 19th, 2003 at 2:20am
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Marty,
Good article. I suppose certain polygraphers recently frequenting this site will tell you that all of them had raped a jogger, just not caught Wink
  

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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #22 - Jul 19th, 2003 at 2:58am
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Dear Marty,

One thing I have consistantly suggested is that all polygraphs be recorded (audio at a minimum) and tapes be readily available to the person being tested.  I could have shown anyone my polygraph procedings and they could make their own opinion about the conduct being professional and "scientific".

I have still not read any convincing posting on why this cannot occur.  Money and logistics have been mentioned. Anyone familiar with law enforcement knows that money is wasted on many other items deemed "mandatory" and file cabinets are filled with redundant information which is kept for a lifetime concerning trivial events.

Regards.
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #23 - Jul 19th, 2003 at 3:58am
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Orolan

I would be interested to see the background (police records) of those upstanding young people.  You might not be far off track.

Fair Chance

I concur with video taping polygraph examinations.  That way we (examiner's) wouldn't have to testify as much in court regarding confessions.  Although I still think the lawyers would whine about something.
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #24 - Jul 20th, 2003 at 1:55am
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bla bla bla bla bla.....geez....all 1young11 wanted was an answer and you guys just go on and on and on....
1young11, if you want to know how to pass the test send me a private message and ill help you.
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #25 - Jul 20th, 2003 at 9:38pm
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wombat,
I thought 1young11's questions were answered within the first 3 days after his post, which by the way was 2 months ago. I imagine he has had his exam by now Smiley
  

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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #26 - Jul 21st, 2003 at 5:50pm
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oops...my bad Embarrassed
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #27 - Jul 21st, 2003 at 7:12pm
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Saidme,

You really are diluted and biased aren't you.  Your last post put the nail in the coffin regarding how you view every civillian that crosses your path.  Check their records, they must all have a shady past of some sort.

have you ever sat back and scientifically inventoried and digested some of the points posted on this site.  The polygraph is not the be all and end all.  Just because it shows someone as being DI doesn't mean they must be a scum bag in some other aspect of their life.

It disturbes me that you sit in a position of authority and that your biased judgement of people is actually listened to and acknowledged by others.  Are all cops so judgemental of others or just the polygraphers?  I truely hope you fall off your pedestal one day, hit your head and wake up to approach your job with an unbiased open mind like all cops should.  Not everyone is a criminal.
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #28 - Jul 21st, 2003 at 7:21pm
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CC

If you think I'm going to create some type of database to evaluate all the bullshit on this website, think again!  I approach every examination with an open mind and as neutral as possible (no one is truly unbiased, not even NAS).  The pendulum swings both ways.  I've exonerated folks who law enforcement were certain to have committed the crime (confirmed later with other evidence and confessions) and obtained confessions which surprised case agents because they were certain that particular person was not involved.  I'm disturbed at how casual you and others on this website want to eliminate a valuable investigative tool based primarily on a few pre-employment polygraphs that didn't go their way.  Or are there other underlying issues we don't know about?  It's obvious many of the anti poly folks are former clients who now sit in a jail cell or on probation/parole for their crimes.  Of course they would like to see it go away, for polygraph was probably what put them away.  As to the young folks we discussed earlier in this thread, I do believe they all had extensive criminal histories (surprise, surprise). Wink
  
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Re: countermeasure frequency
Reply #29 - Jul 22nd, 2003 at 3:09am
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Saidme wrote on Jul 19th, 2003 at 3:58am:
Orolan

I would be interested to see the background (police records) of those upstanding young people.  You might not be far off track.

Fair Chance

I concur with video taping polygraph examinations.  That way we (examiner's) wouldn't have to testify as much in court regarding confessions.  Although I still think the lawyers would whine about something.


Dear Saidme,

I only have experience with the pre-screening process.  My appeal involved no lawyers.  A recording (and pictures in a video) would save both examiners and examinees alot of grief.  I have stated many postings ago that only unethical examiners ( or poorly executed polygraph procedures) and unethical examinees would protest recordings and it would solve alot of you said, I said, and Saidme said (couldn't resist that one!).

Regards.
  
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