Normal Topic I was put through 7 polygraphs, request advice. (Read 2221 times)
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I was put through 7 polygraphs, request advice.
Dec 5th, 2004 at 4:31pm
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I work at the US postal service and have been employed there for the past 10 years.

I work in the registry unit, which is a highly secure area that involves high value mail.  This includes gold, bonds, diamonds, cash and other valuable mailing.

A piece went missing about a month ago, which happens from time to time.  They always turn up, having been missent or simply missplaced.

US postal inspectors wanted to ask me some questions because I was the person who dispatched the station's mail for the piece in question.

While I was entitled to a union steward, I did not request one because I wanted to be helpful in any way possible.  I sat through 4 hours of "discussion" and then agreed to a polygraph.

The first 3 turned up inconclusive, so I agree to take another.  So, they gave me 4 more.

I was given 7 polygraphs in a row, at which point they told me I was obviously lying about the missing piece.

I realize now that I made 2 mistakes in the test.  First, I declared I hadn't stolen anything before the age of 25.  While I couldn't think of anything, my answer of 'no' was bad.  Also, I was asked if I had stolen anything from a previous employer.  I said 'no' to this as well because I didn't recall anything.

please advise

thank you

Tom
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: I was put through 7 polygraphs, request advice
Reply #1 - Dec 5th, 2004 at 4:56pm
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Tom,

The questions that trouble you ("Before the age of 25, did you ever steal anything?" and "Did you ever steal anything from a previous employer?") are both "probable-lie control questions." You were secretly expected to have considerable doubt about the truthfulness of your answers to these questions, or even to blatantly lie in response to them.

The "test" is scored by comparing reactions to these probable-lie control questions to your reactions to corresponding relevant questions (for example, "Are you responsible for the non-delivery of that missing piece of mail?")

If you react more strongly to the "control" questions, you are deemed to be truthful regarding the relevant questions. If you react more strongly to the relevant questions, you are deemed to have answered them deceptively.

Thus, your having doubts about your answers to the two questions you mentioned would have tended to "help" you to pass the "test." The problem is that polygraph "testing" has no scientific basis to begin with. Fear of the consequences of not being believed when truthfully answering the relevant questions can easily result in a false positive outcome.

For more on polygraphs, see our e-book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, especially Chapters 1 & 3.

Since you are evidently now suspected of a felony crime, I think it would be wise not to speak further with investigators without a union steward and/or lawyer present.
  

George W. Maschke
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I was put through 7 polygraphs, request advice.

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