Normal Topic A Dissection of polygraphplace.com's assertions (Read 964 times)
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A Dissection of polygraphplace.com's assertions
Jun 22nd, 2006 at 10:56am
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This polygraphplace.com seems to be a wellspring of misinformation... so much so that I thought I would start a new thread on it.

Some quotes:

>>Polygraph examiners may use...<<

I think the word is "interrogator".

>>It is important to understand what a polygraph examination entails.<<

It's a great way to take your pulse and check for arrhythmias.  It's a BFB machine, nothing more, and anything else asserted is false.

>>A typical polygraph examination...<<

Interrogation, fellas.  Get it right.

>>In the pre-test, the polygraph examiner will... talk with the examinee about the test... and familiarize the examinee with the testing procedure.<<

Actually, the interrogator will, as evidenced by TLBTLD and other sources, deceive the subject as to what a poly does, tell them that it can divine the truth (or that the interrogator can), and likely misrepresent what the biofeedback of the human body can tell the former about the latter's truthfulness.

>>Following this (in-test phase), the examiner will analyze the charts and render an opinion as to the truthfulness of the person taking the test.<<

Complete with attempts at getting the subject to confess to one or more things- IF the opinion, speculation, and motives of the interrogator make it desirable to do so.

>>The examiner, when appropriate, will offer the examinee an opportunity to explain physiological responses in relation to one or more questions asked during the test.<<

See above.

Who uses Polygraph Examinations?

Not private enterprise, with few exceptions, and for good reason.  Mostly government, who likes to cast itself as an omnipotent overlord to begin with.

>>One of the problems in discussing accuracy figures... is the way that the figures are calculated.<<

Proponents of poly, already under attack, have a vested interest in pumping up the %age of accuracy, to include their livelihoods.  We in this community desire but to be treated fairly by our society, employer, and government.  Cui bono: who's more likely to be dedicated to the truth?

>>Critics, who often don't understand polygraph testing, classify inconclusive test results as errors.<<

Inconclusive means a hung jury, which is a MIStrial.  The subject either lied or told the truth, or some of both.  At the very least, the interrogator failed to gather what he claimed he could.  He also provisionally let off the liar and failed to clear the honest.  Not that he really could, anyhow.

In any case, we call the whole thing a comedy of errors.  I've never seen anyone here say anything about an inconclusive except that it's more junk, just like every other poly job.

>>In the real life setting an inconclusive result simply means that the examiner is unable to render a definite diagnosis.<<

Not that he ever could, anyhow.

>>Since those who use polygraph testing do not consider inconclusive test results as negative, and do not hold them against the examinee, to consider them as errors is clearly misleading and certainly skews the figures.<<

Tell that to the FBI, CIA, or anyone else who frowns on inconclusives.

>>While the polygraph technique is not infallible,<<

Thank you!  Took long enough.

>>(R)esearch clearly indicates that when administered by a competent examiner, the polygraph test is one of the most accurate means available to determine truth and deception.<<

I doubt anyone can be competent in reading sheep entrails.  In any case, this statement is false.


>>When asked to indicate what their reasons were for using polygraph screening, the great majority of the agencies indicated that it reveals information that cannot be obtained by other selection methods.<<

Sounds like the police and other such agencies don't want to do good background checks and rely on a machine, in whole or in part.

>>Closely following this item in order, was that polygraph testing makes it easier to establish background information...<<

Subjective traces on a piece of paper that could be caused by lying, a revulsion to a question, plain nervousness, or a cramp in the leg don't establish anything conclusive.

>>...and that it is faster than other methods of selection.<<

Quick and easy and a crutch.  A poor substitute for good investigation.

>>Over 90% of these agencies expressed either moderate or high confidence in their polygraph screening program...<<

Well, their hired or in-house polygraphers would exude such confidence... as would agencies if sold the bromide of polygraph well enough.

>>...and 80% of them reported that in their experience the accuracy of the testing ranged between 86%-100%.<<

That's the polygrapher talking.  Any agency has nothing to go on but what the polygrapher sends them as "passed".  In any case, the difference between 7 out of 8 tests accurate versus 8 out of 8 is statistically significant.  And no scientific thinker puts the accuracy of the poly at 7/8 correct.

>>The only procedure that was considered to be as useful as polygraph screening was a background investigation...<<

Hey, that's not a bad idea.  Works, too.

>>For example, 9% of the agencies said that polygraph screening detected involvement by some applicants in unsolved homicides; 34% indicated some applicant involvement in forcible rape; and 38% showed some applicant participation in armed robberies.<<

Are the polygraphers claiming that 1 out of 11 agencies (presumably police, fire, ambulance, government) has seen a killer try to apply?  That 1 out of 3 has seen a rapist apply, or that 2 out of 5 have had armed robbers apply?  I can't believe that.  Society in the United States may be dysfunctional, but not to that degree.  And why would so many murderers, rapists, and especially robbers want to get into fields where they could be outed or actually required to work honestly for their living?

>>Polygraph errors may be caused by the examiner's failure to properly prepare the examinee for the examination...<<

Read: failure to sensitize the victim by way of fear, deception(!), and trickery.

...or by a misreading of the physiological data on the polygraph charts.<<

No kidding, Sherlock!  One idiot can mark the spikes one score, the other another way.  Neither of which likely is completely right.

"Protective" Procedures (supposedly to reduce the chances of erroneous results):

>>an assessment of the examinee's emotional state<<

Nervous.  Concerned about failing, if they know anything about the poly.

>>medical information about the examinee's physical condition<<

If you can sit still and are conscious, you can sit for a poly.  They don't need anything else.

>>specialized tests to identify the overly responsive examinee and to calm the overly nervous<<

Sounds like the sacrifice relevant question, which is intentionally misrepresented.

>>control questions to evaluate the examinee's response capabilities<<

Control questions are an apples-and-oranges way of (allegedly) trying to see what a lie "looks like".  Nothing control about them per the scientific method, as they are as irrelevant as any R/I irrelevant is.  Remember, also, that the subject must lie or be "directed" to lie for the fallacy to make any sense.  And a fallacy by definition cannot make sense  ???

>>quality control reviews<<

That's a good one.

>>If a polygraph examinee believes that an error has been made, there are several actions that may be taken including the following:

request a second examination<<

Good luck.

>>retain an independent examiner for a second opinion<<

At high personal expense.  Results may be favorable, or not... but they likely won't matter.  The first polygrapher failed you.  Sorry, we just hired someone who "passed" (and may have been as honest as you were- they were just less nervous).

>>file a complaint with a state licensing board<<

Good luck.

>>file a request for the assistance of the American Polygraph Association<<

LMAO!!

>>NO EXAMINER SHOULD INQUIRE INTO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS DURING PRE-EMPLOYMENT OR PERIODIC EMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS:

religious beliefs or affiliations beliefs or opinions regarding racial matters political beliefs or affiliations beliefs, affiliations or lawful activities regarding unions or labor organizations sexual preferences or activities<<

Unless you're the CIA or FBI, in which case, there's really nothing off-limits.  See TLBTLD.

Whew, long article to critique.  I hope this helps everyone see in a nutshell how the polygrapher is a devotee of the Satanic Bible of the DoDPI (viewable via the front page of this site; q.v.)
  

I think polygraphers escaped among the evils of Pandora's box, which might have been an old analog polygraph... only God can tell whether you're lying or not, and He's got other things on His plate...
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A Dissection of polygraphplace.com's assertions

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