Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A question I am curious about (Read 25793 times)
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A question I am curious about
Feb 8th, 2008 at 9:17pm
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I came across this site while I was searching information on a polygraph. I was curious as to what type of questions are asked and really just wanted to know what to expect. That is the only reason I have researched this subject.

I have read through several posts and came to the following conclusion. I do not know why one would attempt to "cheat" in order to beat a polygraph. Using these so-called countermeasures seems to me it would do more harm than good. Out of all the posts I read I could only find one or two where somebody claimed to use them and pass while lying. If one has that much to hide, they probably shouldn't be going into law enforcement anyhow. I am a believer (I may be wrong) that agencies are looking for integrity, not necessarily what you did wrong 20 years ago.

I also have an upcoming polygraph for a correctional officer position and plan on telling the truth. I wasn't exactly a saint in my teen years and I have nothing to hide, if I fail based on things I did 20 years ago then so be it. I am pursuing a law enforcement career simply because I have always wanted to and am now in a financial position that I can afford to.

Anyhow, after reading multiple posts, I am finding the polygraph to be very interesting as to what it measures to try and determine if one is lying. I am curious, if a person is raised to believe lying is ok and there is no harm in it would they pass? I haven't been raised that way in case you were wondering, I am just curious if this type of person would pass.
  
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Reply #1 - Feb 8th, 2008 at 10:12pm
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exrider,

pre-employment testing for a LE position usually consists of questions about whether you're withholding information about your past criminal activities, ie. are you withholding information about committing a serious felony crime? illegal drugs? serious theft? etc.  Polygraphplace.com has a good area for reading information concerning upcoming pre-employment testing issues.

It really is all about being honest and being forthright in your answers to prevent mental conflict when answering the test quetsions.

No dept wants to hire saints, but they do want honest people they can trust.  Generally speaking, non-federal agencies have lower hiring threshholds and will accept a wider, more "lively" past from their applicants.  

As for your hypothetical, let me preface my response with, I am a polygraph practitioner (examiner) not a researcher or academic.   I don't know where "those people" (ones raised to believe lying is OK) would come from.  Even the lowest of socialized humans have rules, especially about lying to each other, therefore, the basis for that type of action being inappropriate, would still exist.  

BUT, if they do exist, I believe their past would preclude them from hiring consideration well before the polygraph process.  BUT EVEN if they got through the background, they would still know they were lying when answering the questions.  At best, their reactions (might) be slightly diminished, versus a choir boy telling the same lie, but they would be found out, nonetheless.

There are many diverse opinions about the utility and applicability of polygraph.  I believe it works fine, others doubt it.  OK, this is America; well, for most of us.  Believe what you will.

But let's put it this way.  Do you (not you personally, I mean anyone) really want to begin a LE career by lying to get in?  How sound is that thinking?

Best of luck to you,

Sackett  
  
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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #2 - Feb 9th, 2008 at 1:58am
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exrider

From what I have read, corrections has the lowest hiring criteria of all LE positions and not all require polys. However, if you are unfortunate enough to get a puntitive operator, he will have you so jacked up by his stim test that you will show DI when confirming your name. I believe truthfulness goes both ways but, when he tells you that the poly is 90 to 95% accurate, he is lying to you. The truthful statement would be "this process is a long way from being perfect but it's the best we have". Just one example. If he/she asks you have you researched the polygraph and you answer yes, your road just became harder.

I do not pre-judge people. I take them at their word until I'm proven wrong. Therefore I wish you luck in your endeavor because I have to believe that you are the person that you say you are.

Please post the results of you test.
  
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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #3 - Feb 9th, 2008 at 2:58am
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I agree, just tell the truth.  But, don't be surprised if they fail you, even though you tell the truth.  A polygraph exam does not actually indicate if you are truthful or lying, but is simply the OPINION of the polygrapher as to if you are truthful or lying.  Good luck.
  

"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: A question I am curious about
Reply #4 - Feb 9th, 2008 at 2:43pm
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Thanks for the responses. I am not too worried about the test. I am in my mid 30's now and have never have used/trafficked drugs. Heck I have never even smoked a cigarette before. I have participated in theft but it all dates back to my early teenage years. Like I said in my original post, if they don't take me based on that, then so be it.

I didn't come here to learn how to beat a poly, I plan on being truthful on everything, I don't even know if they will dig that deep into the theft being it was so long ago. But I did disclose it on my application so I am sure there is a chance I will be asked about it.

I was more curious if somebody who believes by lying they are not doing anything wrong could pass. The reason I am curious about this is the polygraph is supposed to be scientific and VERY accurate. We have a friend of the family who is a compulsive liar, at least that is how I describe her. This woman lies about everything no matter how big or small and I swear she does it just to lie. She lies so much I really think she believes half the stuff coming out of her mouth. I would be curious if this type of person would pass or fail a polygraph.
  
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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #5 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:12pm
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Good to question, and be curious about polygrpahy.

A large amount of people fail the test for NOT knowing what the hec is going on in that quaint little interrogation room. Your knowingly, and willingly(to a degree) giving up your 5th ammendment rights to either gain employment, a part of your release program, or were dumb enough to agree to take one in a criminal investigation, or someone doesn't trust you in the first place.

The problem I see with a lot of people is
a. There stressed as it is (high BP off the bat), your not gonna calm down no matter what the polygrapher says. It's too late. Which means your gonna be one sweaty person, and your guilty conscious is gonna get the best of you. Good Luck

b. Your playing too much in the cards of a professional interrogator, and will be showing some signs of NVI, which during your preinterview is going to kill you. He/She will know when you slip up. Forget the fact of what the machine says. Your preinterview is a make or break. As far as I'm concern, your NVI's will show deception better then the machine as shrinks do use them, and if you didn't know better you thought the machine gave you away, because you were uneducated to believe otherwise.

c. I screwed up once on a polygraph. Got myself interrogated (I myself am an interrogator), for not researching the polygraph the first time I did it. I stated I never researched it, which I didn't before that day. When the results showed inconclusive(I never showed NDI, however my NVI's never showed deception either). Afterwards I ran online, and read both pro-anti sites. When I took the test again, I stated I did research more into the polygraph, and retook the test, with no issues at all. I didn't need to use CM, I just needed to calm down.

d. I don't feel your going to beat the machine, unless you have a horrible polygrapher, who sucked at interrogating. It's a prop. But you can do all the biting, mental thinking, combat breathing you want. But your NVI's will get you all the time. These people record everything. A video, and audio. If you think there not gonna look at that, and use it for determing another approach, then we all have some serious issues...

e. Cheating doesn't work. Getting caught is too disastrous.
  

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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #6 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:17pm
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exrider,

(You wrote)

“I also have an upcoming polygraph for a correctional officer position and plan on telling the truth.”


Telling the truth during a polygraph exam is no guarantee of a passing result. False positive results are not uncommon.

The use of polygraph countermeasures during a polygraph exam does not necessarily constitute (or confirm) deliberate and intentional deception for the sole purpose of concealing unfavorable behavior and/or prior criminal activity…

Keep in mind that honest candidates (with nothing to hide) may decide to employ polygraph countermeasures to reduce “the risk” of a false positive result.


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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #7 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:27pm
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However...

How do we know that people who tell the truth are actually telling the truth?

I've seem time and again on this site, people claiming they were wronged, but there posts on here proved otherwise.

I've seen time and again that polygraphers will tell you, it's not just the results of the box that they make their decision off of. It's the TOTALITY of the situation.

Using CM's may/may not help a indivual. If you get caught, your not gonna get much sympathy from anyone. It's cheating. If your not lying you will show no NVI. It's plain and simple. That's gonna show during the pre interview, and post interrogation. It's also how you answer the question as well. I'm not gonna give you all any hints on what to/not to say. But there are key words...  Cool

If your trying to get a job, and you haven't done anything to DQ yourself with. Be honest. It'll work out. Talk to your prospective employer beforehand about what is a DQ factor. It's not too difficult.

If you don't fit the criteria, and you wish you risk it. Well then, thats your decision, and you need to suffer the consequences if it didn't work out. You can't blame the polygrapher, you can only blame yourself.
  

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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #8 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:30pm
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nomegusto,

You wrote: "Cheating doesn't work. Getting caught is too disastrous."

Would it not be a greater disaster to tell the truth, and still fail a polygraph exam?

I agree with you that getting caught employing polygraph countermeasures would be less than ideal, however. I would certainly be devastated to say the least if I told the truth and was deemed dishonest.

To clarify… is it your position that false positive results do not occur and therefore are not a risk worth considering?


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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #9 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 4:41pm
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You didn't read my previous post did you.

I had a inconclusive. The machine said one thing, however with the totality of the situation, it was another IE: NVI's, how I answered etc etc. I retook the test, and passed with flying colors (afterwhich I actually did the research). Grant it, I was pissed that I had issues in the first place. But it was my own fault for not doing the research, and hell I was nervous. I wanted to try and gain employment with another agency. Which, in the long run I decided to stay where I'm at.

Nothing is perfect. Were humans. The polygraph is a tool. Mistakes are going to happen. However, there will be mistakes in a B/I, Psyche, Oral board etc etc. But to tell people to cheat is even more of a mistake. Especially when such people aren't doing everything by the book, and polygraphers are checking things after the test. Which is why most departments are not saying if you passed right away. There looking for the so called CM's.

Offenders as far as I'm concerned need no breaks. I don't feel sorry for saying that. If you violated your parole by going online, then you risk being bubba's friend again.

If your involved in a crime, and use this tool. Shame on you. However, if you feel your not going to pass, or if you have any doubts don't do it. Either way, your gonna look bad, and receive heat. Do you think that if there is any suspicion against your innocence there wont be heat against you. hmmmmmmm.......

So, no I don't believe that if you think you had a false positive it's bad. Talk to the polygrapher, and see where you messed up. Retake the test, or use a specific test. Do your research. Thats not illegal, and it's not a sign of deceipt.
  

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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #10 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 5:03pm
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nomegusto,

I have read all of your previous posts, however. You certainly seem overly defensive for no apparent reason. I simply asked you to clarify your position to specific subject matter, nothing more.

I’m certainly not in disagreement with anything you have posted. That said, I am trying to clarify your position with respect to a specific question.

Again, I ask you:

Is it your position that false positive results do not occur and therefore are not a risk worth considering?

A simple yes or no response will suffice.


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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #11 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 5:19pm
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Yes, it does happen.
No, it's not a risk worth considering.

Your question also is not a simple yes/no question.

Me, defensive. Nah...

  

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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #12 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 5:55pm
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triple x,

false positives do occur.  They do not occur at the frequency some would have you believe as justification for cheating on the test.

BTW, whenever you ask a question then demand/request or expect a yes or no answer, you're looking for a particular response that will either support your claim or give you authority to attack the response.  It is not a fair requirement/expectation when discussing something so diverse in nature as a polygraph examination.


Sackett
  
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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #13 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 7:07pm
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sackett,

Fair enough...

We could certainly debate the frequency at which false positive results reportedly occur. However, I was not trying to back nomegusto into a corner by asking for a simple yes/no answer. The question in which I posed is indeed a question that one can fairly answer yes or no.

My effort to clarify nomegusto's position on whether or not false positive results do not occur, and therefore are not a risk worth considering does not have to be a multiple paragraph essay type response.

It was a simple question which could be answered without a lengthy debate. I was asking for an opinionated response; not a supported position.


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Re: A question I am curious about
Reply #14 - Feb 11th, 2008 at 7:55pm
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In which case, I answered as such.

However, I answered it as a yes/no.

I don't believe using any CM would help in a situation where a known interrogator has been trained on evaluating a testee's NVI, and other technical skills attributed to interviewing, and LE questioning.
  

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