Normal Topic Question for George or anyone who can help (Read 2219 times)
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Question for George or anyone who can help
Nov 14th, 2003 at 4:14am
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Last week I was polygraphed for the first time.  I was told by the examiner after the test that my I did show responses to the second type of questions (control questions) but that my charts were "within acceptable parameters."  In other words, I passed.  No post test interview, just a handshake and a smile and I was out of there with a smile on my face. 

Today, I got a call from my background investigator saying that the test was inconclusive and I will have to take it again.  Needless to say, I'm a little disturbed and upset.

Before I solicit advice, let me give details on the test.  I was completely honest on the relevant questions as I have nothing to hide and nothing to DQ me.  I easily identified the control questions and applied countermeasures to them (anal pucker and subtly accelerated my breathing).  Right before the actual in-test portion, the examiner laid what looked like a pressure sensor on the seat of the chair.  I figured it was probably a bluff and even if it wasn't, I was only going to tense the inner muscle so it would still work without detection.  At no time during the test did he accuse me of countermeasures.

On to my questions:

1) What is your assesment of my situation?

2) If a review of my charts or the possible sensor on the seat indicated the use of countermeasures, would it be acceptable to use the same countermeasures on my retake?  What I mean is, if I use different CM's (or don't use CM's at all) and the chart reads differently the 2nd time, won't it indicate that I am doing something differently and give me away?

3) What if my second test is deemed inconclusive?  Do you think they would pass me or not?

4) Was the examiner likely being honest when he said I passed, or do they tell everyone that so as not to create a scene?

5) My background investigator told me prior to taking the polygraph that it wasnt uncommon for applicants to have to retake the poly, almost to the point of telling me that I should expect to retake the poly.  Is making applicants taking two polys a planned move by agencies?  I can't help but think that that might be a way into tricking people who used CM's and passed into thinking that they were wrong to do so and the poly is unbeatable.  Do you guys think this may be a strategy they intentionally use as a counter-countermeasure?
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Question for George or anyone who can help
Reply #1 - Nov 14th, 2003 at 9:48am
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With respect to your questions:

1) It's possible that another polygrapher reviewed your charts and suspected countermeasures. If that's the case, you'll no doubt be questioned about it on the re-test.

One way of assessing whether the sensor on the seat pad is just a bluff or actually used for measuring pressure changes is to note whether it is connected to the polygraph instrument.

2) Polygraphers have no demonstrated ability to distinguish between reactions caused by an anal sphincter, tongue-biting, or mental arithmetic (or, for that matter, reactions induced by fear of detection, fear of not being believed, anger, embarrassment, etc. ).

However, if the sensor pad in the seat of the chair was real, it may have recorded some changes in pressure distribution associated with the "control" questions. Thus, it might be advisable to switch to mental countermeasures or tongue-biting.

3) Typically, agencies that rely on the polygraph require that the applicant pass.

4) It is highly unlikely that a polygrapher would routinely tell all applicants that they passed "to avoid creating a scene." As a rule, when the charts "indicate deception," polygraphers interrogate.

5) Agencies like the CIA and NSA frequently make applicants return for repeat polygraph examinations. But the purpose for this seems to be to increase psychological pressure during questioning, in an effort to get more admissions.

It seems doubtful that an agency would go to the expense of telling everyone they passed their first polygraph (foregoing any post-test interrogation), and then scheduling them for "re-tests," as some kind of counter-countermeasure (or "anti-countermeasure," as some in the polygraph community might term it).
  

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Re: Question for George or anyone who can help
Reply #2 - Nov 14th, 2003 at 9:59am
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25 cent,

Your experience sounds intense.  I have a polygraph coming up and I hope I only have to do it once.  As for the pressure sensor, was it connected to anything that you can remember?  I have a thought on that type of countermeasure: being female, there is more than one, er, sphincter down there.  I wonder how that can be used to my advantage.  Any thoughts anyone?
  
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Re: Question for George or anyone who can help
Reply #3 - Nov 16th, 2003 at 1:21am
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You can produce physiological reactions by using only your mind (think of how feel when you almost trip, or get that "scared" rush). Thoughts that produce those feelings cause enough physiological changes (blood pressure, heart rate, GSR) without having to revert to overt physical measures (anal pucker).

Sit in a chair, relax, and think, "Oh my God, I'm on fire." You can produce that little rush at will, and that's all it takes to beat the polygraph. Pick a control question to spike, make up a good story about why that question bothered you, stick to it, and don't cave in from any guilt you may have about having used CM's. Stick to your story, be consistent, and act sincere.

The seat sensor is a prop. Sure, it may detect shifts in weight, but so what?  Whether the sensor is hooked up to the computer or not, don't let it deter you from using CM's that are internally generated or produced. All the polygraph does is detect changes in your state of being. Not to be crude, but let's say during a panel of questions, you feel the mother-of-all-farts coming on. What are you going to do, Ranger? Let it rip or hold it in? So that's your alibi for any claims that the seat sensor "detected" your employment of a countermeasure. I seriously doubt a polygrapher is going to say, "You go ahead and fart next time, let me worry about the smell." 

The bottom line is this: you can control how you react to questions. If there is a relevant question you have to lie about, practice asking yourself the question and giving a response so you become desensitized to the question. The polygraph, as related to the art of lie detection, is a fraud.
  
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