Normal Topic Control or relevant? Quick question (Read 2907 times)
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Control or relevant? Quick question
Sep 13th, 2006 at 2:52am
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Hey guys,
I took the poly the other day for a law enforcement position and it came back unreadable?  I was invited back to take it again this month.  There were only two control questions - Probable Lie- in the whole test ; However there was one question I was unsure about.
Have you ever committed an illegal sex act?  I was unsure so I made no reaction,  He continued to ask the  same question about 5 times throughout the test?  Should I have reacted to this question as a control rather than relevant?

Keep up the good work
Thanks in advance
  
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Re:  Control or relevant? Quick question
Reply #1 - Sep 13th, 2006 at 8:05am
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An illegal sex act would definately be a relevant question.  They are most likely referring to some pretty sick stuff like rape, incest, sex with children or animals etc.  but depending on what state you live in sex with animals may be legal.   Grin
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Bill Crider
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Re:  Control or relevant? Quick question
Reply #2 - Sep 13th, 2006 at 1:00pm
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It could be either. "Illegal sex act" is a vague wording, leading me to believe it is a control question. For example, if you were 18 and had sex with a 17 yr old or 16 yr old, in many states this is an illegal sex act but hardly an uncommon occurance. Or prostitution is an illegal sex act, except in certain parts of Nevada. If this sort of info was developed during the pre-test interview, then the question may have been designed as a control question if the interviewer finds it likely that you have engaged in technically illegal, but fairly common occurances.
  
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Re:  Control or relevant? Quick question
Reply #3 - Sep 14th, 2006 at 2:20am
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Thanks for the help guys,

That is exactly what I was thinking, I'll pay close attention during the interrogation to see if I can get a feel for that question.  If I cant get a feel I'll play it safe and have no reaction.  I'll let you know how it went.
  
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Re:  Control or relevant? Quick question
Reply #4 - Sep 15th, 2006 at 6:50am
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It could be either. "Illegal sex act" is a vague wording, leading me to believe it is a control question.


It is vague, and it could be either.  TLBTLD warns against trying to read into such questions and advises you to treat them as relevant.  The last thing you want to do is spike the chart against yourself  Shocked  If it's control, well, there will be other control questions to spike- or if not, well, you just saved yourself a giant "guilty-looking" trace.

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For example, if you were 18 and had sex with a 17 yr old or 16 yr old, in many states this is an illegal sex act but hardly an uncommon occurence.


Better, even: you could have received oral sex before the Bowers Supreme Court decision was overturned (say, in 1995), and in a state that proscribed such conduct.  If you were aware that such a law existed and engaged in such activity anyhow, you would know that you committed an "illegal sex act" for legal purposes.  You could have been prosecuted at that time; in fact, such a chain of events led to Bowers' overturning.  This is because the decision of SCOTUS in Bowers held until 2003.  Your conscience -could- make you render a trace that indicated illegal activity when in fact you really did nothing wrong, and certainly not in retrospect.

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Or prostitution is an illegal sex act, except in certain parts of Nevada. If this sort of info was developed during the pre-test interview, then the question may have been designed as a control question...


Prostitution is also legal in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan (in certain situations), Thailand (de facto), etc.  So you go to Paris, consume the forbidden fruit as part of your joie de vivre, and come home.  You committed an act that would be illegal here, but was perfectly licit given where you were.  You -know- that certain subjects are going to hear that question as "...if committed here".  They'll read that into it.  And some won't.  Again, treat as relevant if you're not sure.  I would almost surely call it relevant out of an abundance of caution.

What wonderful vagaries...
  

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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