Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies) Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations (Read 8298 times)
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Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Nov 30th, 2007 at 4:29pm
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Ok, so hear I am taking a break from work thinking of a good conversation topic. I enjoy a decent debate, so here's the question. Do you guys think that Polygraphs/VSA's should be prohibited during a criminal investigation? What are the reason's? 

I'll start off by saying, they should be used. It doesn't matter to me, nor the person being tested the scientific validity of the test. I've stated, and some other's also that the results aren't based on the squiggly lines on a computer, or a piece of paper. Albeit some polygraphers do have total faith, but thats there call. As the same with most leo's making an arrest were as another won't. Again, I'm not talking about pre-screening. Most are in agreement, that departments or agencies should do away with that(but thats the decision of such agency, not mine.
Honestly, if you have such an issue with prescreening, why not write to your represenatives (city council, state, congress) about changing the rules, or laws... I should follow my own advice. LOL
Let's be civil here. However, if were not being civil. I recommend this be the topic were people should be blunt. I can take a hit anyday... 
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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #1 - Nov 30th, 2007 at 5:08pm
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nomegusto wrote on Nov 30th, 2007 at 4:29pm:
Ok, so hear I am taking a break from work thinking of a good conversation topic. I enjoy a decent debate, so here's the question. Do you guys think that Polygraphs/VSA's should be prohibited during a criminal investigation? What are the reason's? 

I'll start off by saying, they should be used. It doesn't matter to me, nor the person being tested the scientific validity of the test. I've stated, and some other's also that the results aren't based on the squiggly lines on a computer, or a piece of paper. Albeit some polygraphers do have total faith, but thats there call. As the same with most leo's making an arrest were as another won't. Again, I'm not talking about pre-screening. Most are in agreement, that departments or agencies should do away with that(but thats the decision of such agency, not mine.
Honestly, if you have such an issue with prescreening, why not write to your represenatives (city council, state, congress) about changing the rules, or laws... I should follow my own advice. LOL
Let's be civil here. However, if were not being civil. I recommend this be the topic were people should be blunt. I can take a hit anyday... 
Be safe/Have fun.... THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!! Cool


I have known at least a hundred examiners---and I have never met one that would bet their morgage---much less the life of a child on a single polygraph test. We all know very well the limitations---as well as the oft demonstrated strengths. To the dismay of some of my colleagues, I believe there should be an overhaul of the present modalities of pre-screening polygraph exams. Then again, I am the kind of person who thinks things should be tinkered or overhauled endlessly for better results for all parties. However, this site isn't for positive changes---they are for complete abolishment of polygraph---which is to say the least, a lofty goal. Regardless of the endless search and destroy missions to look for errors, there are agents of change within the polygraph industry----agents that won't be phased by cries of criticism of this quirky practice of lie detection.
  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #2 - Nov 30th, 2007 at 6:16pm
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nomegusto wrote on Nov 30th, 2007 at 4:29pm:
Ok, so hear I am taking a break from work thinking of a good conversation topic. I enjoy a decent debate, so here's the question. Do you guys think that Polygraphs/VSA's should be prohibited during a criminal investigation? What are the reason's?


AntiPolygraph.org's top priority is the elimination of polygraph "testing" from the American workplace. We are not at this time advocating a legal prohibition on the use of polygraphs or voice stress analysis as an adjunct to interrogation in criminal investigations.

Nonetheless, law enforcement agencies should place no reliance on the results of polygraphic lie tests or voice stress analysis, as both techniques are completely without scientific basis. Too many in law enforcement attribute to these pseudosciences a validity that they do not possess.
  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #3 - Nov 30th, 2007 at 10:41pm
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Nice civil replies. Good way to start the weekend. 
Well, were in agreement sort of. I don't agree with the practice, but if it's use to weed out possible qualified candidates, then such agency has it's rights. However at the same time, they shouldn't be blackballed, or it shouldn't affect future tests. I'm sorry that you weren't successful in your goal of becoming a G man. 
I think at the same time, we (as a group) need to be careful about how we support anti polygraph. Making recommondations on how to utilize CM's for me is quite risky. Normally (Polygraphers please tell me if I'm wrong) a examinee is nervous. If you had someone persei cocky, what is the percentage you'd atleast be skeptical that such person used a CM? 
We know that if anyone googled polygraph this site ranks #1 (ironic eh). So unfortunatly the people that shouldn't read the information actually are quite able to.  I want to be pissed about it, but then I think the sentencing of predators are too lenient (call me an ass hole I dont give a damn, but I honestly feel you should be in prison for life). C'mon, you all physically, and psychologically traumitized a child... However, I'm not gonna blame this site, since the FOIA actually mandates that the information can be released to the public.  Tongue
Oh well, it's Friday. Tengo que tomar Guaro!!!!!! Pura Vida!!!!
  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #4 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 12:55am
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Nom:

From what I have read, most of the "heat" comes in two areas, pre-employment screening for LE and Govt', with false positives taking otherwise good people out of the jobs they are otherwise qualified for, resulting in many instances of being branded for life as a liar, and the false negatives resulting in criminals being removed as suspects, including the spies who take polygraphs and fool the polygrapher.  Mr. Johnson summed it up pretty well, he himself wouldn't bet his mortgage on the results of any given polygraph, but yet law enforcement officers are expected to do just that.   

I don't see much desire from anyone here to remove the polygraph and it's obvious benifical uses in criminal investigations.  It does appear to be a pretty good tool in that respect, at least for an uninformed portion of the criminal element that actually believes the polygraph capable of detecting deceit. 

The biggest problem in the whole field, is the polygraphers themselves being disingenious, deceitful and downright culpable in spreading disinformation about the reliability and accuracy of polygraphs.  Until the polygraph community changes their self-serving ways, there likely will be people wanting to discredit polygraphy.

  

"Although the degree of reliability of polygraph evidence may depend upon a variety of identifiable factors, there is simply no way to know in a particular case whether a polygraph examiner's Conclusion is accurate, because certain doubts and uncertainties plague even the best polygraph exams."  (Justice Clarence Thomas writing in United States v. Scheffer, 523 U.S. 303, 118 S.Ct. 1261, 140 L.Ed.2d 413, 1998.)
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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #5 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 4:58am
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Mr. Johnson summed it up pretty well, he himself wouldn't bet his mortgage on the results of any given polygraph, but yet law enforcement officers are expected to do just that.  

They are? Are you basing that statement on the 30-60 something cases of dismissed feds who now claim innocence----out of the hundreds of thousands of such tests? --Otherwise cops don't take polygraphs as a rule once they are hired. 
Quote:
I don't see much desire from anyone here to remove the polygraph and it's obvious benifical uses in criminal investigations.  It does appear to be a pretty good tool in that respect, at least for an uninformed portion of the criminal element that actually believes the polygraph capable of detecting deceit. 

You should really write a new Bible---as these comments are coming from your burning bush. This site has a sex offender section for Pete's sakes!
Quote:
The biggest problem in the whole field, is the polygraphers themselves being disingenious, deceitful and downright culpable in spreading disinformation about the reliability and accuracy of polygraphs.  Until the polygraph community changes their self-serving ways, there likely will be people wanting to discredit polygraphy.

I know plenty of honest, non-deceiptful examiners who are not selfish---DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LITTLE MONEY IS IN POLYGRAPH? Like ALL professions, the "polygraph community" has shortcomings---but we aren't all beating Rodney King---as you like to paint. Of all the wicked people on this troubled planet---you choose polygraph examiners. Your ad hom attacks (calling us ALL deceiptful, self -serving, culpable)----how dare you? 

« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2007 at 12:48pm by EJohnson »  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #6 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 7:34am
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nopolycop wrote on Dec 1st, 2007 at 12:55am:
Mr. Johnson summed it up pretty well, he himself wouldn't bet his mortgage on the results of any given polygraph, but yet law enforcement officers are expected to do just that.


Indeed, while polygraphers may not be willing to bet their mortgages on the accuracy of their results, they aren't called upon to do so. Polygraph examiners seldom personally face the consequences of their errors. When a polygrapher wrongly brands a truthful law enforcement applicant as a liar, it is the applicant who bears the costs. And when a polygrapher wrongly deems a deceptive person as truthful, it is others in society who bear the costs (for example, the additional victims of serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway after he passed his polygraph "test").

Quote:
I don't see much desire from anyone here to remove the polygraph and it's obvious benifical uses in criminal investigations.  It does appear to be a pretty good tool in that respect, at least for an uninformed portion of the criminal element that actually believes the polygraph capable of detecting deceit.


Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science, and thus they may well place undue reliance on polygraph results, resulting in investigative misdirection (again as occurred notoriously in the Gary Leon Ridgway case).

In addition, polygraphy's usefulness as an aid to interrogation depends on the examinee having a false belief in the validity of the lie detector. This puts government agencies that rely on the polygraph in the position of needing to promote public belief in a lie: the false notion that polygraphic lie detection is scientifically sound and highly accurate. It is ultimately corrosive of justice for government to promote public belief in pseudoscience.

Quote:
The biggest problem in the whole field, is the polygraphers themselves being disingenious, deceitful and downright culpable in spreading disinformation about the reliability and accuracy of polygraphs.  Until the polygraph community changes their self-serving ways, there likely will be people wanting to discredit polygraphy.


More than anyone else, the polygraph community depends on the public being misinformed about polygraphy. If polygraphers were to start publicly telling the truth about polygraphy, they would soon be out of business.
  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #7 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 3:33pm
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nomegusto wrote on Nov 30th, 2007 at 10:41pm:
Nice civil replies.


Oh well... Sad  Lips Sealed
  

"Although the degree of reliability of polygraph evidence may depend upon a variety of identifiable factors, there is simply no way to know in a particular case whether a polygraph examiner's Conclusion is accurate, because certain doubts and uncertainties plague even the best polygraph exams."  (Justice Clarence Thomas writing in United States v. Scheffer, 523 U.S. 303, 118 S.Ct. 1261, 140 L.Ed.2d 413, 1998.)
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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #8 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 5:36pm
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Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science, and thus they may well place undue reliance on polygraph results, resulting in investigative misdirection (again as occurred notoriously in the Gary Leon Ridgway case).


George
 I respect the information you give out. But to say the majority of LEO's place an undue reliance on polygraph results is ludacris. One, most of us believe it's a prop. A good one at that, a tool. There's a reason why in the case of local agencies. Once could pass the poly one day, then fail the poly the next day. Normally an applicant will be able to retake the poly after a DI test. However the majority of those applicants pass that test. Or are successful at a different agency. Here's an example to thiink about. If you have 1,00 + qualified competing for 100 open positions. Will the polygraph weed out candidates? Of course it will. That again is life. I think a good investigator knows who will pass, and who will not. The polygraph, or VSA (which I know a little about), is the extra stresser. Who do you want on the street? The one's who crack under pressure, or the one's who fair's well. I don't believe in cheating, I feel if you cheat then one it's something you'll have to live with. Also, what would happen if it showed up that in fact you have cheated to get that position. Polygraphers state there's training, and they don't want to tell us how to detect. I think some secrets are best to keep at secrets. I'm sure it's a secret for the examinee to use a CM. But again thats my thought. I of course would love to know how to use CM's, but then again there are the NVI issues. If someone is showing NVI's during the pre test, but show NDI during a test. In my humble agreement, I'd believe such person is using a CM, and would do a followup interrogation afterwards. But, I'm again NOT a polygrapher, so I don't know if thats the key there. But, thats common sense as far as I'm concerned. 
  Good people have gotten arrested not because of the poly, but because of a confession after countless hours of interrogation. Sometimes they are released. Is it acceptable? No. Is it the norm? No. Is it a perfect system? No. 
  There were a lot of good posts about the Lebanese FBI agent/CIA Officer whom passed her Polygraph but had a lot of secrets. A sort of good ammo for AP.org, however what about the Background Investigation? There were too many mistakes. 
  Now back to a Ridgeway type of scenario. If someone is good enough to beat the polygraph, and you question him/her for a serious crime, and there is no PC to make an arrest. The only thing we can do is let him go free. It's the same thing, if I interiview someone, and I don't get a confession, and I have no evidence, or if he laywers up. I have to let him go. It's not a polygraph thing, thats the Constitution.
  I too have questions about the Sexual Predator forum. We do put stringent measures on predators. My honest feeling is, if your convicted of being a predator, and hit a false positive. I won't feel for you. Why is this site helping them?

  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #9 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 6:04pm
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Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science,

Please site any sources for such widespread ignorance. Again George, your favorite tool is inductive reasoning and anecdotal varieties of heuristics. 
Quote:
And when a polygrapher wrongly deems a deceptive person as truthful, it is others in society who bear the costs (for example, the additional victims of serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway after he passed his polygraph "test").

Again you love to sing this tune----but Gary was a hard core psychopath--and studies show that such extreme types of psychopathy have diminished fear/ anxiety thresholds. No one could have known for absolute certainty that Gary or the Killer was a  psychopath---as not every serial killer is a psychopath. Perhaps you and others might step away from the dumbed-down A&E documentaries-----they are best left for lil 'ole ladies. Gary's charts were flat. Also remember, not all psychopaths are killers----just meet my health insurance agent. Thankfully polygraph has caught many serial killers by pointing investigations in the right direction. It is regrettable that your fervor for your cause blinds you to such positive outcomes. You critizise the robustness of polygraph modalities----but you yourself do not accept robust pictures of polygraph useage, which include the thousands of success features. This is what is known as intellectual sadism.
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In addition, polygraphy's usefulness as an aid to interrogation depends on the examinee having a false belief in the validity of the lie detector

Wrongo Georgie. Plenty of examinee's do not believe in the polygraph in any manner or shape. Makes no difference. 
Quote:
This puts government agencies that rely on the polygraph in the position of needing to promote public belief in a lie: the false notion that polygraphic lie detection is scientifically sound and highly accurate. It is ultimately corrosive of justice for government to promote public belief in pseudoscience.

Govt agencies don't rely on polygraph, they use polygraph in conjunction with other tools. Please stop the disinformation. Promote? Last I checked the government is promoting the search for even better ways of detecting deception. Additionally, I hardly think that to state that employment will not be denied based soley on a polygraph test is promoting public belief----rather it is an admission of very real occasional error rates. I sense that you hate when the polygraph community makes sensible adjustments to policy---as it de-demonizes those for which you sleeplessly attempt to demonize.
Quote:
More than anyone else, the polygraph community depends on the public being misinformed about polygraphy. If polygraphers were to start publicly telling the truth about polygraphy, they would soon be out of business.

I am unsure what misinformation you speak. Perhaps you speak of the CQ test. The CQ is a mechanism----a sort of norming, which in the world of testing ESPECIALLY IQ TESTING for example---contains a norming procedure. Who are the norms? These are valid questions. Like sleep analysis (polysomnograph)----there are dependent and independent variables. Does a person sleep the same in a lab knowing they are being watched? Is the lab, which is meant to calm and duplicate home a valid condition? What about artifacts? These are good questions. It is important that we not engage in inductive reasoning over common variables when tests are the subject.
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2007 at 7:05pm by EJohnson »  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #10 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 8:02pm
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nomegusto wrote on Dec 1st, 2007 at 5:36pm:
George
  I respect the information you give out. But to say the majority of LEO's place an undue reliance on polygraph results is ludacris.


Before calling my views "ludicrous," you should 1) read and understand them and 2) know how to spell "ludicrous." ("Ludacris" is the stage name of rapper Christopher Brian Bridges.) What I wrote (and you even quoted, evidently without comprehending) is:

Quote:
Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science, and thus they may well place undue reliance on polygraph results, resulting in investigative misdirection (again as occurred notoriously in the Gary Leon Ridgway case).


You continue:

Quote:
One, most of us believe it's a prop. A good one at that, a tool. There's a reason why in the case of local agencies. Once could pass the poly one day, then fail the poly the next day. Normally an applicant will be able to retake the poly after a DI test. However the majority of those applicants pass that test. Or are successful at a different agency. Here's an example to thiink about. If you have 1,00 + qualified competing for 100 open positions. Will the polygraph weed out candidates? Of course it will. That again is life. I think a good investigator knows who will pass, and who will not. The polygraph, or VSA (which I know a little about), is the extra stresser. Who do you want on the street? The one's who crack under pressure, or the one's who fair's well.


The purported purpose of polygraph "testing" is to determine whether a person has spoken the truth. But polygraphy has no scientific basis and is inherently biased against the truthful. A person who wrongly fails a polygraph examination hasn't "cracked under pressure." Making hiring decisions on the basis of an invalid test is utterly immoral.

Quote:
I don't believe in cheating, I feel if you cheat then one it's something you'll have to live with. Also, what would happen if it showed up that in fact you have cheated to get that position. Polygraphers state there's training, and they don't want to tell us how to detect. I think some secrets are best to keep at secrets. I'm sure it's a secret for the examinee to use a CM. But again thats my thought. I of course would love to know how to use CM's, but then again there are the NVI issues. If someone is showing NVI's during the pre test, but show NDI during a test. In my humble agreement, I'd believe such person is using a CM, and would do a followup interrogation afterwards. But, I'm again NOT a polygrapher, so I don't know if thats the key there. But, thats common sense as far as I'm concerned.


I do not see how it is in any way unethical for a truthful person to employ polygraph countermeasures to protect against the risk of a false positive outcome. I do not know what you mean by the acronym "NVI," but no polygrapher has ever demonstrated any ability to detect the kinds of countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, nor are there any articles or book chapters in the polygraph literature on how to detect them.

Quote:
   Good people have gotten arrested not because of the poly, but because of a confession after countless hours of interrogation. Sometimes they are released. Is it acceptable? No. Is it the norm? No. Is it a perfect system? No.


In numerous cases, such "countless hours of interrogation" followed a false positive polygraph outcome.

Quote:
   There were a lot of good posts about the Lebanese FBI agent/CIA Officer whom passed her Polygraph but had a lot of secrets. A sort of good ammo for AP.org, however what about the Background Investigation? There were too many mistakes.


No doubt. But among other things, the case of Nada Prouty is yet another example of the failure of the polygraph.

Quote:
   Now back to a Ridgeway type of scenario. If someone is good enough to beat the polygraph, and you question him/her for a serious crime, and there is no PC to make an arrest. The only thing we can do is let him go free. It's the same thing, if I interiview someone, and I don't get a confession, and I have no evidence, or if he laywers up. I have to let him go. It's not a polygraph thing, thats the Constitution.


The salient point is that law enforcement's misplaced reliance on polygraph results directed the investigation away from the true perpetrator (Gary Ridgway) while focusing investigation on an innocent man (Melvin Foster).

Quote:
   I too have questions about the Sexual Predator forum. We do put stringent measures on predators. My honest feeling is, if your convicted of being a predator, and hit a false positive. I won't feel for you. Why is this site helping them?


We created the Post-Conviction Polygraph Programs forum in response to public interest in this topic. I see no reason why public discussion of such polygraph screening programs should be suppressed.
  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #11 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 9:37pm
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EJohnson wrote on Dec 1st, 2007 at 6:04pm:
Quote:
Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science,

Please site any sources for such widespread ignorance. Again George, your favorite tool is inductive reasoning and anecdotal varieties of heuristics.


That too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science is demonstrated by the fact that many (perhaps most) law enforcement agencies in the United States continue to require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination.

Quote:
Quote:
And when a polygrapher wrongly deems a deceptive person as truthful, it is others in society who bear the costs (for example, the additional victims of serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway after he passed his polygraph "test").

Again you love to sing this tune----but Gary was a hard core psychopath--and studies show that such extreme types of psychopathy have diminished fear/ anxiety thresholds. No one could have known for absolute certainty that Gary or the Killer was a  psychopath---as not every serial killer is a psychopath. Perhaps you and others might step away from the dumbed-down A&E documentaries-----they are best left for lil 'ole ladies. Gary's charts were flat. Also remember, not all psychopaths are killers----just meet my health insurance agent. Thankfully polygraph has caught many serial killers by pointing investigations in the right direction. It is regrettable that your fervor for your cause blinds you to such positive outcomes. You critizise the robustness of polygraph modalities----but you yourself do not accept robust pictures of polygraph useage, which include the thousands of success features. This is what is known as intellectual sadism.


The point that I was making was that when polygraphers make mistakes, it is almost always others, and not the polygraphers, who suffer the consequences of their mistakes.

No doubt polygraphic interrogation has helped to solve criminal cases that could not have been solved without a confession. But polygraphy being without scientific basis, polygraph results are evidence of nothing, and should not be relied upon.

Quote:
Quote:
In addition, polygraphy's usefulness as an aid to interrogation depends on the examinee having a false belief in the validity of the lie detector

Wrongo Georgie. Plenty of examinee's do not believe in the polygraph in any manner or shape. Makes no difference.


Nonsense. It make a big difference. A polygraph subject who understands that polygraphy is a pseudoscientific fraud is much less likely to make admissions against interest than one who erroneously believes that polygraphy is a valid and reliable means of lie detection.

Quote:
Quote:
This puts government agencies that rely on the polygraph in the position of needing to promote public belief in a lie: the false notion that polygraphic lie detection is scientifically sound and highly accurate. It is ultimately corrosive of justice for government to promote public belief in pseudoscience.

Govt agencies don't rely on polygraph, they use polygraph in conjunction with other tools.


Again, nonsense. Numerous federal, state, and local agencies require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination. Those who fail to pass are not hired. Period.

While such agencies may not rely solely on the polygraph (applicants may also face a criminal records check, credit check, etc.), it isn't honest to say that they don't rely on polygraphy. They most certainly do.

Quote:
Please stop the disinformation. Promote? Last I checked the government is promoting the search for even better ways of detecting deception. Additionally, I hardly think that to state that employment will not be denied based soley on a polygraph test is promoting public belief----rather it is an admission of very real occasional error rates. I sense that you hate when the polygraph community makes sensible adjustments to policy---as it de-demonizes those for which you sleeplessly attempt to demonize.


Agencies that rely on polygraphy do indeed promote public belief in the validity of polygraphy, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence against it. For an example, see the discussion thread, FBI Lies About Polygraph Accuracy.

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Quote:
More than anyone else, the polygraph community depends on the public being misinformed about polygraphy. If polygraphers were to start publicly telling the truth about polygraphy, they would soon be out of business.

I am unsure what misinformation you speak. Perhaps you speak of the CQ test. The CQ is a mechanism----a sort of norming, which in the world of testing ESPECIALLY IQ TESTING for example---contains a norming procedure. Who are the norms? These are valid questions. Like sleep analysis (polysomnograph)----there are dependent and independent variables. Does a person sleep the same in a lab knowing they are being watched? Is the lab, which is meant to calm and duplicate home a valid condition? What about artifacts? These are good questions. It is important that we not engage in inductive reasoning over common variables when tests are the subject.


The misinformation of which I speak, propagated by the polygraph community, is manifold. Drew Richardson enumerated some of the key deceptions perpetrated by polygraphers in an earlier post:

Quote:
...Deceptions for the average examiner would include (but not necessarily be limited to) intentional oversimplification, confuscation, misrepresentation, misstatement, exaggeration, and known false statement. Amongst the areas and activities that such deceptions will occur within a given polygraph exam and on a continual basis are the following:

(1) A discussion of the autonomic nervous system, its anatomy and physiology, its role in the conduct of a polygraph examination, and the examiner’s background as it supports his pontifications regarding said subjects. In general, an examiner has no or little educational background that would qualify him to lead such a discussion and his discussion contains the likely error that gross oversimplification often leads to.

(2) The discussion, conduct of, and post-test explanations of the “stim” test, more recently referred to as an “acquaintance” test.

(3) Examiner representations about the function of irrelevant questions in a control question test (CQT) polygraph exam.

(4) Examiner representations about the function of control questions and their relationship to relevant questions in a CQT exam.

(5) Examiner representations about any recognized validity of the CQT (or other exam formats) in a screening application and about what conclusions can reasonably be drawn from the exam at hand, i.e. the one principally of concern to the examinee.

(6) A host of misrepresentations that are made as “themes” and spun to examinees during a post-test interrogation.

(7) The notion that polygraphy merits consideration as a scientific discipline, forensic psychophysiology or other…


I think that that which so pisses you off about AntiPolygraph.org that you spearheaded a trolling campaign on these forums is that we are publicly disseminating inconvenient truths about polygraphy.
« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2007 at 5:32am by George W. Maschke »  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #12 - Dec 1st, 2007 at 10:19pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
I wish I could figure out how to use the quote button... LOL...
Georege - You got me on the spelling of ludicrous. 

Now, about calling it ludicrous... I'm speaking on expierence. Now generally the polygraphers/VSA techs believe in there machine, or would like the examinee to believe in it. Now, as a interviewer, interrogator to I believe in it? No... Do I trust it? Not particulary. Will I let myself be examined to seek employment? Yes, been there done that on more then one occasion. Have I had problems? Yes. Quickly solved, and the agency was testing my response to a negative test result (I was pissed, I thought it was sneaky, and a little unprofesional), but followed through. 
Of course when talking to other colleagues about the issue at hand. Not one has ever told me that they enjoy, nor rely on the polygraph. Because one there's not much to base it on. It's really a game of chance, at the end if you slip through the cracks your still going to get a thorough background investigation. However, when a small agency doesn't have the manpower, and people are led to believe in the test and give a confession during the post interview. Who's fault is that? The polygrapher, or the applicant? 
NVI's = Non Verbal Indicators - When a person is showing deceptive behavior. When I'm conducting an interview I'm not writing down answers, thats what the recordings are for. I'm checking off possible NVI's. If that is present, I'll work on those possible indicators during the interrogation. If you watch COPS... Look at the subjects, you'll see right away what are possible NVI's. 
I'm sure that any decent polygrapher will use the same concept during the pretest interview. I've heard stories of people showing DI during the test, but passed because of the pre interview. Reason for DI was due to nervousness. I could be wrong, but interviews put into a lot of wieght. 



When it comes to telling lies to examinees or suspects. The supreme court has allowed that. In order to get a confession of a crime. Thats the whole idea when an LEO is empathetic towards a subject. I just can't make false promises, or physically abuse, and torture. But if it's to break a case then by all means it's game on. I'm sure a Polygrapher will do the same thing. Again, as far as I'm concerned game on for criminal cases. 


If no polygrapher has ever detected any CM why do you recommend not using the spinchter technique? Besides the fact some are using sensors? Like I stated earlier, I'm gonna bet that a polygrapher (who is a halfway decent interrogator) would be able to detect it through the initial interview... 1+1=2, not 1. 



Unfortunate that people were arrested after countless hours of interrogation. But people have confessed to a crime they didn't commit to without the polygraph. But, if there were evidence to support the arrest, then what can you do? LEO's are humans. We don't make many, but mistakes and wrongful convictions, have and will take place. We need to work on making them limited to non existant. 

True, but how many lives have we saved using the polygraph? I fault more the Background Investigator who didn't pick up the part that she was married to someone for convienence... We can blame the poly, but there's more to the story then a machine...

Besides the Poly. I'm sure there was more reasoning to go after Mr. Foster. 

Ok, good reasoning on the post conviction topic. I'm for one a great supporter of the US Constitution... 





  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #13 - Dec 2nd, 2007 at 1:29pm
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That too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science is demonstrated by the fact that many (perhaps most) law enforcement agencies in the United States continue to require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination.


This notion is not endorsed by the American Polygraph Association. The APA (paraphrased) states that the applicant screening exam resulting score should NOT be the sole deciding factor for hiring criteria.

Quote:
The point that I was making was that when polygraphers make mistakes, it is almost always others, and not the polygraphers, who suffer the consequences of their mistakes.


An obfuscation if there ever was such. Your point was to play on the public's fear that serial killer's are running around killing people while innocent men are falsly persecuted. You engaged in yet more inductive reasoning by cherry picking a famous error data point and painting the whole investigative field as erroneous and stupid.

Quote:
No doubt polygraphic interrogation has helped to solve criminal cases that could not have been solved without a confession. But polygraphy being without scientific basis, polygraph results are evidence of nothing, and should not be relied upon.


I don't need to be told that polygraph has "helped solve" criminal cases by the likes of you. Your gross understatement speaks volumes of pensiveness.
Quote:
Nonsense. It make a big difference. A polygraph subject who understands that polygraphy is a pseudoscientific fraud is much less likely to make admissions against interest than one who erroneously believes that polygraphy is a valid and reliable means of lie detection.


Again----you, a person who has never ran a test---or even passed a test---is telling me my business (former business.) Let me repeat. Many examinee's express great disbelief in the polygraph. The most common is the "well, they aren't good enough for the courts." I would say half of all examinee's don't trust the tests before and during their tests-----regardless of the acquantance test.  Distrust and cynicism are healthy human traits and are to be expected from intelligent people.
Quote:
Again, nonsense. Numerous federal, state, and local agencies require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination. Those who fail to pass are not hired. Period.

While such agencies may not rely solely on the polygraph (applicants may also face a criminal records check, credit check, etc.), it isn't honest to say that they don't rely on polygraphy. They most certainly do.


Well George, make up your mind. Do agencies rely soley on the polygraph for hiring decisions or not? I believe that you accidentally hedged your bets. I submit that in recent years agencies are moving away from lazy investigative tactics of using only one tool for investigations----a sort of be all/end all mentality. Agencies know that they need to diversify for more robust modalities.

Quote:
I think that that which so pisses you off about AntiPolygraph.org that you spearheaded a trolling campaign on these forums is that we are publicly disseminating inconvenient truths about polygraphy.


More "truthiness" eh. You have warned me against "taunting"---yet you taunt. I think what pisses you off is that you are you. I can impathize with that-----given your past circumstances with the polygraph.




  

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Re: Feelings concerning Polygraph for Criminal Investigations
Reply #14 - Dec 3rd, 2007 at 6:57am
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EJohnson wrote on Dec 2nd, 2007 at 1:29pm:
Quote:
That too many in law enforcement don't understand that polygraphy is junk science is demonstrated by the fact that many (perhaps most) law enforcement agencies in the United States continue to require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination.


This notion is not endorsed by the American Polygraph Association. The APA (paraphrased) states that the applicant screening exam resulting score should NOT be the sole deciding factor for hiring criteria.


Indeed. To its credit, the American Polygraph Association has formally come out against the widespread law enforcement practice of rejecting applicants based solely on polygraph results. For more in this regard, see American Polygraph Association Model Policy.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that law enforcement agencies (including all federal ones that require applicants to pass a pre-employment polygraph) do make decisions not to hire based solely on polygraph results. I would argue that polygraph results should play no role whatsoever in the decision to hire or not to hire anyone, and the protections of the 1988 Employee Polygraph Protection Act should be extended to all Americans.

Quote:
Quote:
The point that I was making was that when polygraphers make mistakes, it is almost always others, and not the polygraphers, who suffer the consequences of their mistakes.


An obfuscation if there ever was such. Your point was to play on the public's fear that serial killer's are running around killing people while innocent men are falsly persecuted. You engaged in yet more inductive reasoning by cherry picking a famous error data point and painting the whole investigative field as erroneous and stupid.


It is not an obfuscation to mention the Ridgway case in illustrating the fact that when polygraphers make mistakes, it is not they, but others who suffer the consequences. You had mentioned earlier that you don't know of any polygrapher who would bet his mortgage on the outcome of any one polygraph examination. The point I am making is that it is, figuratively speaking, other peoples' mortgages that polygraphers are betting.

Quote:
Quote:
No doubt polygraphic interrogation has helped to solve criminal cases that could not have been solved without a confession. But polygraphy being without scientific basis, polygraph results are evidence of nothing, and should not be relied upon.


I don't need to be told that polygraph has "helped solve" criminal cases by the likes of you. Your gross understatement speaks volumes of pensiveness.


My mention that polygraphic interrogation has helped to solve criminal cases wasn't meant as a revelation. Rather, my point is that despite the fact that the polygraph has at times proven useful for obtaining confessions, the results themselves are indicative of nothing. In the candid words of the late Len Harrelson (former director of the now defunct Keeler Polygraph Institute in Chicago):

Quote:
Polygrams [i.e., polygraph charts] are polygrams. They measure and record physiological reactions. And they do so very well, but one cannot look at a polygram and say, "That is a lie." It may be a reaction, but no one can say that it is a lie. An examiner may interpret a reaction to be a lie, but in actual practice, the examiner also is observing the subject, listening to verbal explanations, and making a judgment about the person's truthfulness. Some examiners are simply better than others.

Because of their experience in talking with people and their success in obtaining confessions, polygraph examiners may come to feel very confidant [sic] about making a determination of truth or deception based on their charts. Indeed, if a person is reacting, it is the examiner's job to determine why and to obtain a confession if they believe that deception is the cause of the reactions. But without a confession, polygrams are still just polygrams.


You continue:

Quote:
Quote:
Nonsense. It make a big difference. A polygraph subject who understands that polygraphy is a pseudoscientific fraud is much less likely to make admissions against interest than one who erroneously believes that polygraphy is a valid and reliable means of lie detection.


Again----you, a person who has never ran a test---or even passed a test---is telling me my business (former business.) Let me repeat. Many examinee's express great disbelief in the polygraph. The most common is the "well, they aren't good enough for the courts." I would say half of all examinee's don't trust the tests before and during their tests-----regardless of the acquantance test.  Distrust and cynicism are healthy human traits and are to be expected from intelligent people.


And people who fully understand that polygraphy is a pseudoscientific fraud are not likely to make admissions against interest because a polygraph chartgazer claims to have read deception in the charts.

Quote:
Quote:
Again, nonsense. Numerous federal, state, and local agencies require that applicants pass a pre-employment polygraph examination. Those who fail to pass are not hired. Period.

While such agencies may not rely solely on the polygraph (applicants may also face a criminal records check, credit check, etc.), it isn't honest to say that they don't rely on polygraphy. They most certainly do.


Well George, make up your mind. Do agencies rely soley on the polygraph for hiring decisions or not? I believe that you accidentally hedged your bets. I submit that in recent years agencies are moving away from lazy investigative tactics of using only one tool for investigations----a sort of be all/end all mentality. Agencies know that they need to diversify for more robust modalities.


Agencies that require applicants to pass a pre-employment polygraph examination (such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, U.S. Secret Service, DEA, etc.) make decisions not to hire based solely on polygraph results. Those who don't pass don't get hired.

Those who do pass the polygraph are not instantly hired simply because they passed the polygraph. As I mentioned, other checks (such as a background investigation) are also performed.

But my point remains, it is not honest to maintain that agencies with polygraph screening requirements are not placing reliance on polygraph results.

Quote:
Quote:
I think that that which so pisses you off about AntiPolygraph.org that you spearheaded a trolling campaign on these forums is that we are publicly disseminating inconvenient truths about polygraphy.


More "truthiness" eh. You have warned me against "taunting"---yet you taunt. I think what pisses you off is that you are you. I can impathize with that-----given your past circumstances with the polygraph.


It is not a taunt to point out that you coordinated a trolling campaign on these boards. As for Stephen Colbert's concept of truthiness ("things that a person claims to know intuitively or 'from the gut' without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts"), I think it pretty well characterizes the esoteric wisdom of the polygraph sages.
  

George W. Maschke
I am generally available in the chat room from 3 AM to 3 PM Eastern time.
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
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