Normal Topic The Polygraph Paradox (Read 6539 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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The Polygraph Paradox
Mar 22nd, 2008 at 7:35am
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Today's (22 March 2008) Wall Street Journal features a front-page article about post-conviction polygraph screening by Laurie P. Cohen titled, "The Polygraph Paradox." A PDF copy is attached to this post for discussion purposes. The central argument of this article is that polygraphy doesn't have to be scientifically sound to have utility for deterring violations of parole or probation.

Unfortunately, the Journal's editors did a poor job fact-checking this article (if they did so at all). The numerous inaccuracies begin with a glaring mis-statement in the second paragraph: "Confessions made under polygraph aren't admitted as evidence in a vast majority of U.S. courts without the consent of the accused." The opposite is true.

My key criticism of this article, however, is that while it focuses on the utility, as opposed to the validity of polygraphy, it devotes no space to consideration of the disutility of reliance on a pseudoscientific technique that is inherently biased against the truthful yet easily passed by liars using simple countermeasures that polygraphers have no demonstrated ability to detect.
  


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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #1 - Mar 22nd, 2008 at 12:58pm
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George,

Quote:
"Confessions made under polygraph aren't admitted as evidence in a vast majority of U.S. courts without the consent of the accused." The opposite is true.


I read the same article and I agree that the above statement is not accurate.  Confessions, if obtained in accordance with the law, are admitted as evidence against the defendant.  Is it not amazing that confessions are made after the implementation of a test that you incorrectly claim does not work! Grin.

Quote:
...easily passed by liars using simple countermeasures that polygraphers have no demonstrated ability to detect.


Please provde specific peer reviewed research to support you assertion.  Also, please answer the other question I asked of you about a month ago, which is, "What do you think is the purpose of a pre-employment polygraph examination?"  This is not a trick question.  I merely would like to know your opinion of the purpose of the pre-employment test.
  
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #2 - Mar 22nd, 2008 at 1:13pm
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excellent questions ydog
  

No good social purpose can be served by inventing ways of beating the lie detector or deceiving polygraphers.   David Thoreson Lykken
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #3 - Mar 22nd, 2008 at 8:21pm
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George W. Maschke wrote on Mar 22nd, 2008 at 7:35am:
Today's (22 March 2008) Wall Street Journal features a front-page article about post-conviction polygraph screening by Laurie P. Cohen titled, "The Polygraph Paradox." A PDF copy is attached to this post for discussion purposes. The central argument of this article is that polygraphy doesn't have to be scientifically sound to have utility for deterring violations of parole or probation.

Unfortunately, the Journal's editors did a poor job fact-checking this article (if they did so at all). The numerous inaccuracies begin with a glaring mis-statement in the second paragraph: "Confessions made under polygraph aren't admitted as evidence in a vast majority of U.S. courts without the consent of the accused." The opposite is true.

My key criticism of this article, however, is that while it focuses on the utility, as opposed to the validity of polygraphy, it devotes no space to consideration of the disutility of reliance on a pseudoscientific technique that is inherently biased against the truthful yet easily passed by liars using simple countermeasures that polygraphers have no demonstrated ability to detect.


There is a reason the term utility is used a lot now. It keeps examiners protected from what may be a false + or -. It also gives the examiner the ability to call an NDI chart an inconclusive chart when the examiner has a "gut feeling" they the examinee isn't telling the truth or may have engaged in CM's but the examiner can't prove it.

I was in a class once where a prominent polygraph examiner in the community who is billed as one of the foremost authorities said; "if you get an NDI chart and you have a gut feeling, judge it DI or inconclusive. Then mark the folder with the words utility test".

I believe it was someone in the DFW area with the initials E. H. that coined this stupid term, “utility test”. Yet as an examiner I see nowhere in the APA or JPCOT guidelines that approve the use of a “utility test”. I wonder how many truthful people went back to prison or jail based on a “utility test”.

Things that make you say hmmmmmmm.


  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #4 - Mar 23rd, 2008 at 9:26am
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yankeedog,

Peer-reviewed research supporting my statement that lie detector tests are easily passed through the use of simple countermeasures is cited in Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.

Regarding you statement, "Is it not amazing that confessions are made after the implementation of a test that you incorrectly claim does not work!" No, not really. You would agree that voice stress analysis is junk science, yes? And yet voice stress operators obtain confessions.

Both the polygraph and the voice stress analyzer depend on the same basic deception: duping the examinee into believing that he has been caught in a lie. The examinee who knows the truth about these bogus tests is unlikely to make any admission to a polygraph/voice stress operator that he wouldn't make to an interrogator not using these interrogational props.
  

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.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
Threema: A4PYDD5S
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2008 at 2:58pm
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George W. Maschke wrote on Mar 23rd, 2008 at 9:26am:
Peer-reviewed research supporting my statement that lie detector tests are easily passed through the use of simple countermeasures is cited in Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.


No, it is not.  Chapter 4 of TLBTLD are merely discussions of the types of rudimentary countermeasures one may attempt.  

Quote:
You would agree that voice stress analysis is junk science, yes?


The research would suggest that it is.  
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #6 - Mar 23rd, 2008 at 3:15pm
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yankeedog,

If you think that Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector lacks citations to peer-reviewed research, you evidently haven't read it carefully.
  

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.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
Threema: A4PYDD5S
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box TheNoLieGuy4U
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Re: The Polygraph Paradox
Reply #7 - Mar 23rd, 2008 at 4:35pm
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Both the polygraph and the voice stress analyzer depend on the same basic deception: duping the examinee into believing that he has been caught in a lie. The examinee who knows the truth about these bogus tests is unlikely to make any admission to a polygraph/voice stress operator that he wouldn't make to an interrogator not using these interrogational props.

There is a clear distrinction between the polygraph and voice stress analysis.  The polygraph records universal physiology; the tracings of which are in ALL human beings (other mammals too).  Differences in language and culture are easily overcome with either a native speaker or translator.  When done properly and to tried and true formats, results have reached levels of statistical significance depending on the application used for.

The supposed voice stress analyzer has no ability to account for cross cultural deviation is linguistic patterns, and the presence or absence of frequency modulation (Their resting premise) can NOT be shown to have coralation to Truth or Deception.  The school is four days long.

I NOTED that the author mentioned that the polygraph is further being used to monitor those convicted of Domestic Violence which is sure to catch on in other jurisdictions with repeat offenders.  Further, I believe that low level drug dealers may be next as we use this valued tool as a real knight in the war on drugs.  



  
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The Polygraph Paradox

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