Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies) I Failed a Polygraph. Why? (Read 24511 times)
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I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Mar 10th, 2005 at 6:37pm
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Never been to this site before. Thank you for having it.

I was given a polygraph Monday relating to charges that I had sexually molested my daughter. The results reported to me were that my "reactions were consistant with deception" on 2 of the key questions.

The problem I have with that is it isn't true. I didn't lie. I never even seriously considered that I would fail the test because I have - zero - guilt or whatever about the questions.

Now a couple days later, and after getting over being totally mentally bowled over by this, I am trying to figure out why this happened. I guess the truth is I am still reeling over this because it is so damning, and so untrue.

The examiner used 4 monitors, the arm cuff, the finger probes, the chest monitor and the abdomen monitor. I have not yet received a copy of the written report so I can't yet report exactly what parameter or combination of parameters caused this test to be judged the way it was.

What I am wondering about specifically is what the contraindications are for giving someone a polygraph. I had pretty severe stomach cramps that day (and had had them for a few days, stomach flu) and I reported this to the polygrapher, along with the fact that I had taken over the counter medication for it (immodium) that morning. Does that contraindicate using the abdomen monitor? I also have been diagnosed with PTSD (untreated for several years). Should that have caused the polygrapher to take any specific action, or should it have affected his procedure?

I have surfed several polygraph certification and professional sites today and they all say someone should not be given a polygraph if they are not physically or psychologically suitable in the polygrapher's judgement but I cannot find anywhere that explains how they should procede to make such a judgement.

IE, if a testee has 'xyz condition', one should not give a him/her a polygraph that day. Is there such a set of standards?
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #1 - Mar 10th, 2005 at 9:44pm
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Trying to understand why one wrongly failed a polygraph "test" is something akin to trying to figure out why a coin toss came up "heads" rather than "tails." Polygraph "testing" has no scientific basis; it is not a valid test for truth versus deception.

You were probably subjected to a "probable-lie control question test," the most commonly used polygraph lie test. This technique is based on the "secret" assumption that everyone will lie in response to the so-called probable-lie "control" questions. Examples of such "control" questions include, "Did you ever lie to get out of trouble?" and "Did you ever think about hurting someone?" If a person reacts more strongly to the "control" questions than to corresponding relevant questions (such as, in your case, "Did you touch your daughter for purposes of sexual gratification?") then one passes. But if one reacts more strongly when asked such emotionally charged relevant questions, then one is likely to fail, whether or not one is answering the question truthfully. For a fuller explanation of polygraph methodology, see Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.

As for contraindications to polygraphy, there are no scientific studies of the effect of any medical condition on polygraphic lie tests. To the best of my knowledge, there is no generally accepted list of medical conditions that would contraindicate a lie detector "test." Polygraphers will happily "test" just about anyone with an arm and a pulse. However, it would not be unusual for a polygraph operator to decline to polygraph a person who is intoxicated, mentally incoherent, or so severely ill that he/she cannot sit still.
  

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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #2 - Mar 11th, 2005 at 5:25pm
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Thanks for the response.

I wish I had a copy of the polygraph so I could look at it and figure out what the interpreter is keying on.

The whole process was a joke. I can't believe I was stupid enough to do it.

I hope others will learn from my experience. Just because you tell the truth in the test don't assume the test will indicate that. Something is clearly wrong with this process or I wouldn't be in the position I am in.

I will never, ever, never voluntarily take a polygraph again. It cannot be trusted.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #3 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 12:04am
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[font=Verdana][/font][color=Blue][/color]
HI DRUM,
My family is going through a similar situation at this present time.  My husband was accussed of molesting my daughter in which they both deny any of the charges.  Here soon they are both to take a lie detector test and from what I understand if they stay relaxed everything should turn out the way it is supposed to.  My daughter (Age 10) fears that if she is nervous that she will fail the test and then her dad will go to jail, i really don't know what to tell her to ease her tension, other than to stay relaxed.  If anyone has any info that may help my daughter and my husband, it would be greatly appreciated. 

And Drum, I would really like to hear from you to discuss your situation some more, you know there is support out here and there is power in numbers.  Those falsely accussed need to stick together.  It is amazing how easy it is for other humans to ruin another humans life.  Please, let me know how to get in touch with you.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #4 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 12:22am
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Michelez32,

If your husband is innocent, I think he would be well advised to refuse the polygraph and get a lawyer. As noted above, polygraphy has no scientific basis. In criminal investigations, the offer of a polygraph "test" often serves as little more than a pretext for interrogating a suspect without a lawyer present. I think it would also be a terrible mistake for you to allow your 10-year-old daughter to be subjected to a polygraph interrogation under any circumstances.

Before going ahead with any planned polygraph "tests," you and your husband will want to read Chapters 1 and 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, which expose polygraph "testing" for the pseudoscientific fraud that it is.

I don't think I can overemphasize how important it is that your family have advice from a competent attorney. It would be a mistake to suppose that because your husband is innocent, you don't need legal counsel. Martindale's on-line Lawyer Locator service may be helpful in finding a lawyer in your area:

http://www.martindale.com
  

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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #5 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 1:42am
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Thank you so much for that helpful information, we do have an attorney, but I don't feel that secure with him.  But I do believe my daughter and my husband.  I think that what we will do is search for another attorney, one that will protect not only my husband's rights, but the rights of my daughter too.  Thank you for the information and I will check out the book.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #6 - Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:34pm
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My brother is being accused of sexual molesting is 13 year old step child. IT IS FALSE! She wanted to divorce him and for him not to be able to take custody of there son. The step daughter has been kicked out of school and suspended for lying. His wife has even been convicted of lying on the stand for abuse from him and she was  put on probation for it. His only mistake was staying with her. The step daughter had a medical exam done and the Doctor said she had never had entercourse before, after that the step daughters story changed saying it was oral. Everything for my brother adds up to innocense, but he is in a county and state where convictions are super high in these cases. He accepted a plea because none of us has the 15,000 it takes to get a good lawyer to help him. In this deal he has to take a polygraph test asking nothing about the case, just personal questions that he would have no reason to lie about and he failed. So he has one more chance to take it to be accepted into this program or else he has to go to trial and faces a minimum of 7 years in prison.

One,  why did he fail when this test is set up for him to pass and two, doesn't the system care about people's innocents? Is our system so messed up that another innocent man could face prison time for something he did not do?

Does anyone know of someone to contact for situations like these?
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #7 - Oct 3rd, 2008 at 2:34am
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Quote:
My brother is being accused of sexual molesting is 13 year old step child. IT IS FALSE! She wanted to divorce him and for him not to be able to take custody of there son. The step daughter has been kicked out of school and suspended for lying. His wife has even been convicted of lying on the stand for abuse from him and she was  put on probation for it. His only mistake was staying with her. The step daughter had a medical exam done and the Doctor said she had never had entercourse before, after that the step daughters story changed saying it was oral. Everything for my brother adds up to innocense, but he is in a county and state where convictions are super high in these cases. He accepted a plea because none of us has the 15,000 it takes to get a good lawyer to help him. In this deal he has to take a polygraph test asking nothing about the case, just personal questions that he would have no reason to lie about and he failed. So he has one more chance to take it to be accepted into this program or else he has to go to trial and faces a minimum of 7 years in prison.

One,  why did he fail when this test is set up for him to pass and two, doesn't the system care about people's innocents? Is our system so messed up that another innocent man could face prison time for something he did not do?

Does anyone know of someone to contact for situations like these?



Coy, tell your brother, welcome to the false positive family. Anyone with a conscious WILL have a reaction to a question regarding him molesting a child, especially when he has been falsely accused of it.
Unfortunately, I think the system is set up to find accused child molesters guilty.
IMO tell your brother to get a lawyer even if it has to be a public defender. He will be entitled to one if he is charged with a crime, if he's not then tell the police to pound sand.
This is just my opinion and he should check it with an attorney. But hoping that polygraph will clear him is 1st, a coin toss at best and 2nd, even if he did somehow pass it he would not be cleared of suspicion.
Good luck, I know he must be worried.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #8 - Nov 23rd, 2010 at 5:48am
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #9 - Nov 23rd, 2010 at 9:33pm
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Michelez32

As a polygraph examiner let me tell you this, in no way allow your daughter to be examined on a polygraph!  First, she is too young, and second, at this point she is looked at as being a victim and a victim of a sexual assault should not be polygraphed in almost any case if few exceptions.  As for your husband, good luck.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #10 - Jun 24th, 2015 at 6:53pm
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i have a question for you can u ask the question have u molested any child? I was told by somebody that you cant ask it that way. It is an emotion not an act is this true or false
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #11 - Jun 24th, 2015 at 10:25pm
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Quote:
have a question for you can u ask the question have u molested any child?


Yes it can be and is often asked.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #12 - Jun 29th, 2015 at 5:18pm
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Ex Member wrote on Jun 24th, 2015 at 10:25pm:
Quote:
have a question for you can u ask the question have u molested any child?


Yes it can be and is often asked.


When I was being "interviewed" by the Agency in '79, they only asked about adult homosexual acts, with no further specifications.  Roll Eyes
  

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and Office of Personnel drowns in the Potomac?   A great beginning!

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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #13 - Aug 3rd, 2015 at 1:29am
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I am in same boat as OP.  First test was inconclusive.  second indicated deception.  I was happy to take polygraph as I was sure I would finally be exonerated.  Now preparing to take polygraph w/new polygrapher and doing everything I can to prepare myself by practicing CMs.
  
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Re: I Failed a Polygraph. Why?
Reply #14 - May 29th, 2016 at 10:47am
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How did some of yall's cases come out with a failing lie detector? My husband is being accused of raping his ex wife's daughter from previous marriage. There is no evidence and she is saying happen in 2011. His ex wife is crazy, I have a binder full of things she has posted on fb about my kids and I. Not to mention the two faulse CPS reports and many police reports. This little girl who is  now i believe 17 has a lot of issues herself. She has been in therapy since she was 10. I am really hoping for a good outcome. Angry
  
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I Failed a Polygraph. Why?

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