Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!! (Read 26923 times)
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examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Jan 5th, 2007 at 3:23am
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Soon, I'll be taking a polygraph for local law enforcement agency.  I am concerned about the fact that my polygraph examiner knows I've been to this website.  I created a new profile (the one I'm posting under) and deleted my original one.   

I haven't posted here or even been to these message boards in over a year.  Before deleting my profile, I searched for my posts to see if I may have said something I wouldn’t want a BI or the examiner himself to read (like a very opinionated post about how I really feel about this whole polygraph process…). The search feature kept saying "please enter a string set" or something like that...so I just deleted the profile.   

Anyway, I was informed that during my background they found out I posted here.  I was asked why I would come to a website like this and I was honest that like every other phase of the process, I wanted to prepare myself for the polygraph because before my first polygraph, I did not know what to expect.   Before coming here, I could vaguely recall seeing a polygraph done on TV but never paid attention to how the examinee was strapped in or whatever...

I intend to be truthful when strapped to the box.   I've been polygraphed before and passed it without using the countermeasures suggested here.  But my concern now is this:

It’s been suggested here that if the polygraph examiner doesn’t “like” you or believes you’re being deceptive (which, coming to a site like this is probably viewed as a means to try and beat the box, before it’s thought of a harmless preparation for a test…) that an applicant is pretty much screwed before even being strapped in.   

Based on the above, what do you all think…am I screwed?   

If not, any suggestions on how I can fix this so I get a fair reading and administration of the exam.   

I’ve already got the conditional offer of employment, and of course, my upcoming polygraph is a condition of my employment.  I’ve come to far to allow my harmless internet activity & surfing that was performed with a reasonable expectation that it would not be an issue in my background, application, or worse yet, the polygraph itself, blow my chances at being the police officer!
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #1 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 5:21am
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sudeva wrote on Jan 5th, 2007 at 3:23am:
 

Anyway, I was informed that during my background they found out I posted here.


I would have asked how they were able to legally obtain that information (assuming you don't already know how).

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I intend to be truthful when strapped to the box.


Better hope you're not given a PLCQT then.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #2 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 9:17am
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sudeva,

Deleting one's profile does not delete one's posts. Your deletion of your profile may well have been counterproductive, as it might be construed as an eleventh hour attempt to "cover your tracks," as it were. The agency to which you are applying already knows about your posts here, so what did you hope to accomplish?

Moreover, if indeed the agency knows about your posts, and its polygrapher(s) are regular readers of this message board, they are likely to connect your present post under a new profile with your previous ones.

I think the best you can do is to be completely forthcoming about the fact that you've researched the polygraph and posted here. It is to be hoped that your honesty won't result in retaliation against you.
  

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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #3 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 5:08pm
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I don't know what my posts contained but I'm sure it wasn't anything "bad" but I could have made a few sarcastic comments that could be percieved as not being respectful of the entire procedure.

...At this point, I'm just mentally drained by the whole process...

For now, I'm letting it go and we shall see what happens.   

Worse case scenario is they don't offer me the job...not the end of the world...disappointing yes but not something to aim at the temple for. LOL! 

Thanks for your comments.  I'm still interested in reading more feedback, especially from an examiner, if available.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Bill Crider
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #4 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 5:09pm
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just tell them that it is one of the first sites that comes up when one Googles "polygraph".( Currently #2)
naturally, you found the premise of the site provactive and then you posted to the board because of your concerns about the accuracy of the polygraph.

I am certain that for the majority of people facing a polygraph for the first time with no knowledge of it, this is what happens and how they end up at the site. 

they are going to assume you were here anyway in the age of the internet unless you stone cold lie to them when they ask you if you had researched the polygraph.

  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #5 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 5:26pm
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just tell them that it is one of the first sites that comes up when one Googles "polygraph".( Currently #2)
naturally, you found the premise of the site provactive and then you posted to the board because of your concerns about the accuracy of the polygraph.

I am certain that for the majority of people facing a polygraph for the first time with no knowledge of it, this is what happens and how they end up at the site. 

they are going to assume you were here anyway in the age of the internet unless you stone cold lie to them when they ask you if you had researched the polygraph.


This was, and remains my thought process about it.  I've already admitted to being here for the very reason you just stated. 

I just pray the examiner doesn't fail me because he's a prick, for lack of a better term this early in the a.m. LOL!  I'll suck up and take some interrogation, I mean, I'M the one asking for a job.  As long as he's fair, it's all good...

I hope that goodness prevails and that all positive principles are practiced!!

...i'm feeling naive... Wink
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #6 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 6:42pm
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Happy New Year!

With the advent of a new year, one of my resolutions is that if I choose to continue posting on this forum I will try to be more objective and less rigid. EosJ, with his own objectivity, has been a positive influence on me in this way. I have honestly become quite bored with this forum lately after I achieved the title "Very Senior User," and part of that boredom is because it has become tedious to rigidly side with the pro-polygraph people simply because my experience gives me confidence in the polygraph process. My confidence may have more to do with my own skill as a polygrapher and interrogator than it does with polygraphers in general always performing at the same level across the board. The polygraph instrument is pure science.  It does exactly what it is designed to do: it monitors and records the various physiological changes extremely well. However, the polygraph process is as much art as it is science. I will admit that, while many polygraphers will just sit on the science part while they put the art in a closet off to the side where you aren't supposed to notice it. And when the art is on, the science follows, in my opinion. When the art is on, the damn process works, in my opinion, nearly 100% of the time. However, when the art is off, the science is at best questionable and at worst, well . . . finish that sentence yourself. But the point is, when I post here on this forum in this new year, I intend to be very candid with you and tell it like it is--or at least with more objecitivity--than other polygraphers heretofore have done on this forum. Fair enough?

All of that said, let me now be frank about the subject of this thread, because it caught my interest.

Whenever I conduct a polygraph exam, I am well aware that this is the age of the Internet, and that chances are very, very good that my examinee has read this forum. I assume that most examinees who come into my office have read much that is on this forum. What I can't assume is how they will react to what they have read. Will they simply brush it off and decide to be honest and let the chips fall where they may? Will they let the information on this site bounce around in their minds until they are so mixed up that they can't think straight? Will they buy into the advice that they must use countermeasures to ensure that they pass the exam, thereby either fooling me (slim chance) or getting caught (better chance)? I have no way of knowing how each examinee will react to what they have read here.

But one thing is for sure: when I hear that an examinee has been reading or posting on this forum, red flags are raised and my inner radar flips to high-alert mode. You see, I know that I have to work harder with a knowledgable examinee, whether the knowledge is good or the knowledge is crap, and there are both types of knowledge readily available on this forum. With the information so readily available, it makes my job more difficult. It has no affect on the science part of the polygraph process, but it can affect how well the art will work if I am not vigilant.

I understand the motivation behind this website. I think the intentions of the authors are good. Some of them failed a polygraph, and they genuinely want to try to help others through the process. They believe that they are doing a service in an attempt to de-mystify the polygraph process and to de-bunk what they think is "junk science." However, in doing so, perhaps they unwittingly do a disservice to many examinees who would have easily passed the polygraph (whether it be legitimate or junk science) if this website didn't exist. Admittedly (and you should commend me on this admission because you won't get it from many people in my line of work), the art part of the process works best on people who are ignorant of the process. And in my opinion again, when the art is on, the science is very close to 100%.

I worry about people like this topic starter. He/she sounds like the kind of person who has good intentions and not much of a dishonest or criminal past to hide. Yet, here he/she is, worried to death that his/her newly acquired knowledge--as well as the polygrapher's knowledge of that knowledge--may keep him/her from acquiring the desired goal of being a police officer. God bless such a person, and I wish such people much luck and success. I just hope that despite having now acquired both good and bad knowledge from this website that he/she will still make it through the process. I hope that the polygrapher who conducts his/her exam is sufficiently skilled in the art to make the science work as it can. And I hope the polygrapher will perform the process with the same objectivity as I have shown you here today.

  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #7 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 7:34pm
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THe main problem with the polygraph as I see it is the assumption that physioligcal reaction is a consequence of lying. THat is not a valid assumption. I think knowledge of the process can lead to people "recognizing" the relevant questions and reacting to them not because they are lying, but because they realize that these are the money questions. 

The underlying theory behind the polygraph I have never questioned, that people will "recognize" a question that is damaging to them and exhibit flight or fight response. THe question is, why do you feel it is damaging. Polygrpahers will assume because you are lying about it. But if you know there are 3 relevants on a test and you can pick them out when you hear them, reaction can be caused by a self defeating sort of performance anxiety. "Oh no. here come the 1 that counts, dont be nervous, dont be nervous......"

I believe this is what happened to me in my retests, which got progressively worse. However, I blame the faulty assumption of the polygraph for my failure because the polygraph community knows full well that there are no uniquely identifiable set of reactions attributable only to lying but in the case of screening exams at least, they dont seem to care.

the other big problem with the poly is the "probable lie". This can work in theory if the examinee is given control questions that hit his hot buttons. One of my control questions was about drinking and driving because I had mentioned pre-interview that I drink socially. However, I have always been, even as a teenaged underage drinker, very responsible about knowing my limit. Therefore what was supposed to be a vague, doubt raising question was for me a flatline answer on the polygraph only causing my score
« Last Edit: Jan 5th, 2007 at 8:12pm by Bill Crider »  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #8 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 8:14pm
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But if you know there are 3 relevants on a test and you can pick them out when you hear them, reaction can be caused by a self defeating sort of performance anxiety. "Oh no. here come the 1 that counts, dont be nervous, dont be nervous......"


Exactly, Bill. You hit the nail on the head with the words "self-defeating." Whether a person recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she is guilty with regard to those questions, OR he/she simply recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she has been abnormally sensitized to worry about those particular questions due to the information found on this website, the questions are going to be a problem for the examinee. Thus, I believe that many examinees who would have clearly passed the exam had they not been "screwed up" by this website end up failing the exam due to overconcern where there was originally very little or no concern over those issues.  This is why I believe examiners should approach each exam as if the examinee has already been "screwed up" by George and company's good intentions. The problem is whether an examiner is skilled enough in the art to overcome the examinee's having been poisoned by those good intentions and make the science work as it clearly should.
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #9 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 9:35pm
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LieBabyCryBaby wrote on Jan 5th, 2007 at 8:14pm:


Whether a person recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she is guilty with regard to those questions, OR he/she simply recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she has been abnormally sensitized to worry about those particular questions due to the information found on this website, the questions are going to be a problem for the examinee.

My friend, you have touched on a major reason why polygraph results are like, to quote Dr. Furedy, "entrails reading."  A person subjected to a polygraph interrogation session does not have to have visited this site and learned about relevant/control questions to respond to the relevant question, e.g., did you steal the money?  Any rational person would realize this is the operative question of the session.

Polygraphy is a sham.  Misplaced reliance on this pseudo-science endangers national security.   I applaud Mr. Maschke for his campaign to educate the public on the dangers of, what you call the "art" of interpreting polygraph lines.
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #10 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 10:02pm
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meangino wrote on Jan 5th, 2007 at 9:35pm:

A person subjected to a polygraph interrogation session does not have to have visited this site and learned about relevant/control questions to respond to the relevant question, e.g., did you steal the money?  Any rational person would realize this is the operative question of the session.

Polygraphy is a sham.  Misplaced reliance on this pseudo-science endangers national security.   I applaud Mr. Maschke for his campaign to educate the public on the dangers of, what you call the "art" of interpreting polygraph lines.


Meangino,

Part of the "art" of the polygraph is how the questions are presented to the examinee during the pre-polygraph interview. You assume too much when you say that any rational person would realize the "relevant" questions are the operative questions of the session. When the "art" is performed correctly with any rational examinee who has not been "poisoned" by some of the information found on this website, the examinee is going to be very convinced that the "comparison" questions are equally significant to the "relevant" questions, and the only thing that should make the examinee focus on the relevant questions more than the comparison questions is if the relevant issues have been violated by the examinee. How do I know this? Personal experience as both an examinee and as an examiner. I consider myself to be a rational person, and I don't recall ever having tested an irrational person, and the polygraph has worked multiple times on me and almost always on my examinees simply because the examinees' focus has almost always been directed to those questions, whether relevant or comparison, that were most significant to the examinees. There are only two ways that this should not be so: First, if the examiner focuses excessive attention to the relevant questions--which a skillful examiner will not do--OR, second, if the examinee has been told that certain questions matter and certain questions don't, thereby focusing only on what he or she has been told matters. If the latter is the case, then the "self-defeating" behavior described by Bill Crider comes into play.

I am tired of arguing over the validity of the polygraph. That's an endless argument between those with experience using it and those who, for the most part, have never used it, but who have failed a polygraph or simply jumped on the bandwagon of others who get their knowledge second-hand rather than through any personal experience.  What we are talking about here at the moment is how an examinee may be influenced by information on this site that draws his/her focus where it would not otherwise be focused, as well as the examiner's skill--or lack thereof--in applying the "art" of the polygraph process so that the science works as it definitely does.

The polygraph process' biggest potential weaknesses are poor examiners and misinformed or "poisoned" examinees. Both of these things can adversely affect the outcome of a polygraph exam. If you have a good examiner and a "healthy" examinee, the process will work almost every single time.
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #11 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 11:20pm
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while i will agree with you that this site and the knowledge gained therein could cause the issues previously discussed, I disagree that the blame should then fall onto the site. The issue is not that knowledge exists, but rather that the polygraph is not capable of discerning the cause of reaction, or that "having knowledge" puts you at greater risk of "failing" the test. If I know how a DNA test works inside and out, it doesnt help me change the results or hinder my ability to get an accurate result. 

I think it is a bit innacurate to refer to the science of polygraphy and the art of polygraphy. the science is a very simple set of devices one might find in a doctors office. Everything that makes polygraphy polygraphy is deceiving the examinee to attempt to produce physiological responses on cue, one way or the other. that is in no way science. Polygraphy is closer to car sales than science. I dont mean that in a demeaning way either, its just that the only scientific part of polygraphy is the verifiable accuracy of how well the instruments measure change. what differentiates 1 polygraph from another is the skill of the examiner of creating psychological set and getting confessions, skills more apt to be held by a car salesman than a scientist.
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #12 - Jan 5th, 2007 at 11:28pm
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LieBabyCryBaby wrote on Jan 5th, 2007 at 8:14pm:


Exactly, Bill. You hit the nail on the head with the words "self-defeating." Whether a person recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she is guilty with regard to those questions, OR he/she simply recognizes and reacts to the relevant questions because he/she has been abnormally sensitized to worry about those particular questions due to the information found on this website, the questions are going to be a problem for the examinee. .




Your recongition of this problem reveals the true problem behind polygraphy:  lying can result in a physiological response of some sort.  So too, though, can being anxious, being oversensitized to a question, because one's mind is racing, etc, i.e., physiological responses of the type recorded by the polygraph DO NOT NECESSARILY INDICATE an attempt by someone to deceive the polygrapher.   
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #13 - Jan 6th, 2007 at 12:34am
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If I know how a DNA test works inside and out, it doesnt help me change the results or hinder my ability to get an accurate result. 

I think it is a bit innacurate to refer to the science of polygraphy and the art of polygraphy. the science is a very simple set of devices one might find in a doctors office. Everything that makes polygraphy polygraphy is deceiving the examinee to attempt to produce physiological responses on cue, one way or the other. that is in no way science. Polygraphy is closer to car sales than science. I dont mean that in a demeaning way either, its just that the only scientific part of polygraphy is the verifiable accuracy of how well the instruments measure change. what differentiates 1 polygraph from another is the skill of the examiner of creating psychological set and getting confessions, skills more apt to be held by a car salesman than a scientist.


Well, I don't recall ever feeling the desire to confess to a car salesman.   Smiley

The "science" of polygraphy is more than just those simple instruments. The scientific justification for the polygraph is that when a person feels fear about getting caught in a lie, or when they feel guilt about a crime, or when something about a particular issue is signficant to them, an "orienting response" occurs, i.e., their attention is focused on that issue, which we know without a doubt causes physiological reactions to occur. The problem is that the strength of those physiological reactions vary from person to person, and even from question to question during a polygraph. For example, if you and I both participated in the murder of an individual, and we were both polygraphed, we would both have physiological reactions to the relevant questions about the murder.  However, each of our reactions to the relevant questions would vary--my reaction to the relevant question might "spike" right off the chart, while your reaction might be only halfway up the page. The reaction would be there in both cases, but it would not be indentical.  The reactions are easily predictable.  But the magnitude of the reactions is variable, and this is where we can run into problems. It's not a matter of anxiety or nervousness--those things don't affect the reactions. Rather, it's a matter of focus and orienting response variables.

I admit that polygraph is as much an art as it is a science. I also admit that knowledge of the art can affect the validity of the science. I maintain that if the art is conducted by a skilled polygrapher, AND the examinee isn't unduly influenced to focus his/her orienting response on any particular question--either by the polygrapher or by outside sources such as the opinions of people on this and other websites--the polygraph will work almost every single time.  I know that the polygraph process works. It truly does, but I also admit that there are variables that can affect it, and one of those variables is examinee knowledge of the art, which is where this website provides a disservice to the examinee.

You see, George and others here may very well have unjustifiably failed the polygraph for one or more than one of many reasons. It is understandable that they might want to help others avoid a similar failure. However, if knowledge of the art can cause an examinee to focus where he or she would otherwise NOT focus, thereby resulting in failure, good intentions turn out to be a disservice.

This topic starter's concerns that both his/her knowledge of the process and the polygrapher's knowledge of his/her knowledge are thus well-founded. He or she may still pass the exam. If so, it won't be because of the knowledge provided by this website, but rather in spite of it.
  
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Re: examiner knows I posted here!!!!!!!
Reply #14 - Jan 6th, 2007 at 2:02am
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LieBabyCryBaby,
Question 1...
If lie detecting with a polygraph machine is an art, what purpose does the polygraph machine serve?
Question 2...
If lie detecting with a polygraph machine is a science, then cite a single double blind scientific study that validates it.
  
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