Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures (Read 28748 times)
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A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Apr 27th, 2008 at 4:19pm
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No good social purpose can be served by inventing ways of beating the lie detector or deceiving polygraphers.  As the above example shows, the most avid students of such developements would be professional criminals rather than the innocent subjects and the truthful job applicants who now fall victim to the trust that we Americans invest in this technology.

David Thoreson Lykken 
A Tremor in the Blood   page 241
  

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: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #1 - Apr 27th, 2008 at 4:53pm
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There is reason to believe that the late David Lykken's views on this matter changed over time. He is among those who graciously read and provided constructive criticism on the first edition of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, including the chapter on polygraph countermeasures. By no means did he try to discourage us from publishing such information.

Because our government continues to ignore the scientific evidence on polygraphs, and because thousands of law abiding citizens are annually falsely branded as liars based on the pronouncements of polygraph chart gazers, there is a compelling public interest in the publication of information that can help to reduce the risk of a false positive outcome.
  

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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #2 - Apr 27th, 2008 at 9:00pm
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George W. Maschke wrote on Apr 27th, 2008 at 4:53pm:
There is reason to believe that the late David Lykken's views on this matter changed over time. He is among those who graciously read and provided constructive criticism on the first edition of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, including the chapter on polygraph countermeasures. By no means did he try to discourage us from publishing such information.

Because our government continues to ignore the scientific evidence on polygraphs, and because thousands of law abiding citizens are annually falsely branded as liars based on the pronouncements of polygraph chart gazers, there is a compelling public interest in the publication of information that can help to reduce the risk of a false positive outcome.


No, there is no reason whatsoever to believe Dr Lykken ever changed his belief in this regard.  Perhaps Mr Maschke could show us all where Dr Lykken authored a document in which he changed his opinion.  Dr Lykken’s review of the first edition of TLBTLD is hardly evidence of any such change in opinion.  That is merely Mr Macshke’s opinion of what he thinks Dr Lykken may have thought.   Dr Lykken was a well known professor who opposed the CQT, but I don’t recall ever reading anything he wrote where he believed it would serve a good social purpose to assist criminals.  I believe he had more sense than that, which is more than can be said for Mr Maschke who has for a long time provided support to criminals and enemies of the United States who are hell bent on killing Americans.  

You’ll have to excuse me now.  I need to go and peer through my telescope to determine the alignment of the planets so I know how to make my chart gazing calls this week. Grin
« Last Edit: Apr 27th, 2008 at 11:18pm by yankeedog »  
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #3 - Apr 27th, 2008 at 11:35pm
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yankeedog wrote on Apr 27th, 2008 at 9:00pm:
George W. Maschke wrote on Apr 27th, 2008 at 4:53pm:
There is reason to believe that the late David Lykken's views on this matter changed over time. He is among those who graciously read and provided constructive criticism on the first edition of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, including the chapter on polygraph countermeasures. By no means did he try to discourage us from publishing such information.

Because our government continues to ignore the scientific evidence on polygraphs, and because thousands of law abiding citizens are annually falsely branded as liars based on the pronouncements of polygraph chart gazers, there is a compelling public interest in the publication of information that can help to reduce the risk of a false positive outcome.


No, there is no reason whatsoever to believe Dr Lykken ever changed his belief in this regard.  Perhaps Mr Maschke could show us all where Dr Lykken authored a document in which he changed his opinion.  Dr Lykken’s review of the first edition of TLBTLD is hardly evidence of any such change in opinion.  That is merely Mr Macshke’s opinion of what he thinks Dr Lykken may have thought.   Dr Lykken was a well known professor who opposed the CQT, but I don’t recall ever reading anything he wrote where he believed it would serve a good social purpose to assist criminals.  I believe he had more sense than that, which is more than can be said for Mr Maschke who has for a long time provided support to criminals and enemies of the United States who are hell bent on killing Americans.  

You’ll have to excuse me now.  I need to go and peer through my telescope to determine the alignment of the planets so I know how to make my chart gazing calls this week. Grin


Mr Maschke providing facts regarding this "tea leaf" technology is no more helping criminals than presciption drugs help drug attics.
When will you learn that Americans are smarter than that?
If a technology does not work ( such as polygraphs) then, it needs to  be eliminated, not keep in the silly belief that somehow if we keep the public ingrorant we can catch criminals and ememies of the US.
Please get off your high horse or..... better yet stay ther so that intelligent Americans can see the lie and the nonsense behind it. Wink
  
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #4 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 12:32am
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From Lykken's own autobiography found here: http://www.psych.umn.edu/faculty/lykken/Autobiography.pdf

Quote:
I was approached to write a chapter on the lie detector in collaboration with David Raskin, the leading polygraph proponent who had scientific credentials. Raskin was then a professor of psychology at the University of Utah where he managed to hang Ph.D.s on about five additional polygraph enthusiasts who, collectively, constitute nearly the entire subset of “scientists” who claim that the lie detector is valid (I call them the Raskals). I had testified against Raskin in a number of cases and considered him to be wholly unscrupulous; there was no way in which he and I could collaborate on anything.

In the end, therefore, Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (1997), contained a long two-part chapter on the lie detector, comprising the case for, by the Raskals, and the case against, by Iacono and Lykken. (Because Bill had taken over my testifying activities, and because he was now arguably the leading scientific critic of the polygraph, and also because he did most of the work on our chapter, it seemed to me appropriate that he be the first author.) Bill and I managed to anticipate and to refute most of the Raskal’s arguments and I believe that our chapter will play an important role in finally weeding the lie detector out of American jurisprudence.


And also:

Quote:
There is no credible scientific evidence indicating that failing the lie detector indicates deception. There is good evidence, however, that guilty suspects can pass the lie test if they augment their physiological reactions to the “control” questions by covertly biting their tongue or clenching their toes after answering. Yet our federal
government—the FBI, CIA, NSA, the military services, the new anti-terrorism agencies—employ hundreds of polygraph examiners and now, alas, this pseudoscience has spread throughout Canada and most of Europe. It is especially discouraging when, not just the uneducated, but the actual leaders of government continue to believe in disproven mythologies.


And this gem:

Quote:
In the first edition, I had tried very hard to impart an air of scientific impartiality, letting the facts make the case. I was apparently quite successful in this because a number of professional polygraphers, including Norman Ansley, former head of the polygraph section at NSA and the editor of Polygraph, asked me to autograph their copies of the book. After all the battles of the 15-plus intervening years, however, I found I could no longer do this with a straight face so I let myself say what I thought from the Introduction on.


Looks like George is correct about Dr. Lykken...
  
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #5 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 4:27am
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Quote:
...which is more than can be said for Mr Maschke who has for a long time provided support to criminals and enemies of the United States who are hell bent on killing Americans. 



These same enemies are probably laughing their asses off at the fact that the U.S. is STILL relying on such a bogus test, knowing it's faulty underpinnings and the fact that so many people like Alrich Ames, the Green River Killer...etc, have passed the test!

Precisely the type of creeps the process is suppose to catch.  Rather than innocent, law abiding citizens.

TC
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:02am by T.M. Cullen »  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #6 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:08am
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It's quite possible that George has done more than any other single person to disseminate information on the unreliability of the polygraph; however I think his role is often over-stated by polygraphers looking for a scapegoat or public enemy.  If not for George it's quite possible that another person would have replicated at least part of his efforts, although possibly not as well, and the information would still be out there, although possibly more difficult to find.

In any event, if, as some polygrapher's who need a scape goat and public enemy claim, one person can cause such problems for a test with dubious accuracy under ideal conditions, perhaps the problem is with the test and not with said person?
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #7 - Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:23am
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As I pointed out in another post, it is always bad for polygraphers when subjects use countermeasures:

Lethe wrote on Apr 24th, 2008 at 6:28pm:
In any event, people using countermeasures is always a bad thing for polygraphers.  If a dishonest person uses them successfully polygraphers lose for passing someone who should fail; if an honest person uses them unsuccessfully polygraphers lose for failing someone who should pass; if a dishonest person uses them unsuccessfully polygraphers are slightly worse off than if they'd found the subject deceptive; and if an honest person uses them successfully it discredits the polygraph in his or her mind, reduces it's deterrent value, and makes it more likely that others will use countermeasures in the future.  It's a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for polygraphers.


The PLCQ test predicts that people will use countermeasures if they think it will improve their chances of passing.  Just as it presumes they will lie (to the control questions) if they think doing so will help them pass.  It's the same exact thing.

Now, maybe using countermeasures won't help an examinee, that is a logical possibility that cannot be ruled out a priori and need not concern us here.  But even if true, if an examinee thinks that using countermeasures will help him pass the test (regardless of whether or not he is truthful on the relevant questions), polygraph doctrine assumes that he will use them.  Now, if it is false that countermeasures would help him, it would behoove the polygraph community to explain that in convincing fashion to the subject; once he thinks that not using them will help his chances more he won't use them.  Simple.

Of course, that sounds great, but really isn't possible.  If the PLCQ test could be conducted on informed subjects as easily as on ignorant subjects polygraphers would cut the B.S. which drives so many people into the waiting arms of the antis.  But, despite what they are told to claim, the B.S. cannot be eliminated because informed subjects do not produce results that are as accurate as those produced by ignorant subjects.  Thus, curious people who do their homework and realize the polygraph is built on crap are quite likely to use countermeasures.  So, polygraphers lose, lose, lose, or lose.  Why can't they figure this out?

P.S. Is anyone going to offer a defense for Skip Webb?
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #8 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am
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Lethe wrote:  "As I pointed out in another post, it is always bad for polygraphers when subjects use countermeasures"

Not hardly, BUT it IS mostly bad for those who use them, don't need to and lose their job opportunity because they listened to the likes of those on this board.

"...It's a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for polygraphers."

I do not think I have ever read such rationalization in my life.  I can't even begin to think of a way to respond to such warped thinking.

"The PLCQ test predicts that people will use countermeasures if they think it will improve their chances of passing."  

Where the hell do you get that from?  You make many assumptions, wrongly I might add, and truly see you as a dangerous influence to "lurkers" on this board.

"Now, maybe using countermeasures won't help an examinee, that is a logical possibility that cannot be ruled out a priori and need not concern us here."  

So let's get this straight, "Lethe" DOES NOT CARE about those who would improperly use or misapply CM's and fail in their applications.  Got it!

No, you wouldn't think that important to address the fact that every day, good examinees are caught using what is promoted here and lose their opportunity for their dream job... but no, let's not address that here, huh?!


"Now, if it is false that countermeasures would help him, it would behoove the polygraph community to explain that in convincing fashion to the subject; once he thinks that not using them will help his chances more he won't use them.  Simple."

More to the point that CM's will hurt the honest examinee, not that it is false they will help.

"Of course, that sounds great, but really isn't possible.  If the PLCQ test could be conducted on informed subjects as easily as on ignorant subjects polygraphers would cut the B.S. which drives so many people into the waiting arms of the antis.  But, despite what they are told to claim, the B.S. cannot be eliminated because informed subjects do not produce results that are as accurate as those produced by ignorant subjects.  Thus, curious people who do their homework and realize the polygraph is built on crap are quite likely to use countermeasures.  So, polygraphers lose, lose, lose, or lose.  Why can't they figure this out?"

Maybe because your logic is repeatedly flawed, ill applied and assumes TLBTLD is the cure to the polygraph "science."

"P.S. Is anyone going to offer a defense for Skip Webb"

What needs to be defended?  He said what he had to say!

I guess in your case, stupid is as lemmings do...



Sackett
  
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #9 - May 2nd, 2008 at 7:40am
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sackett wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am:
Lethe wrote:  "As I pointed out in another post, it is always bad for polygraphers when subjects use countermeasures"

Not hardly, BUT it IS mostly bad for those who use them, don't need to and lose their job opportunity because they listened to the likes of those on this board.

"...It's a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for polygraphers."

I do not think I have ever read such rationalization in my life.  I can't even begin to think of a way to respond to such warped thinking.


LOGICAL FALLACY ALERT: Sackett has made an argument from personal incredulity

I will try to break this down into smaller steps so that it presents no difficulties to anyone's understanding.  First, let me tighten up my statement.  My claim is as follows: there is an inverse relationship between the number of people within a population of polygraph examinees who attempt to use countermeasures and the confidence which can be put in the data derived from polygraphing that population and this relationship is irrespective of the number of honest people within the population.  (That is, as the percentage of people who use countermeasures goes up the amount of confidence that you can have in data generated from polygraphs goes down.  We are dealing in aggregates, not individual cases.)

To begin, there are two possibilities in an polygraph exam: either the examinee is honest on all the relevant questions or the examinee is not honest on all the relevant questions (i.e. is deceptive).  And there are two other, independent, possibilities: the subject uses countermeasures or the subject does not use countermeasures. 

This gives us four total possibilities regarding the subject:
    (1) honest examinee doesn't use CM
    (2) honest examinee does use CM
    (3) deceptive examinee doesn't use CM
    (4) deceptive examinee does use CM

I trust everyone follows at least this far.  Please note that I do not claim that one fourth of all subjects will fall into each group; in most cases, I imagine there are more honest than dishonest people and, while you would know better than I how many examinees attempt countermeasures, there is no reason why it must be 50%.  These are merely the four possibilities and every examinee will fall into one and only one of these four categories, though the precise population of each, while very interesting, is irrelevant for the present discussion.

Now, it is (2) and (4) which concern my claim--which you deny--that "it is always bad for polygraphers when a subject uses countermeasures." Both of these possibilities produce three possible outcomes: subject ruled honest, subject ruled deceptive, or no conclusion.  These can be listed as follows:
    (2a) honest subject uses CM and ruled truthful
    (2b) honest subject uses CM and ruled deceptive
    (2c) honest subject uses CM and no conclusion given
    (3a) dishonest subject uses CM and ruled truthful
    (3b) dishonest subject uses CM and ruled deceptive
    (3c) dishonest subject uses CM and no conclusion given

Again, there is no reason to suppose that each category will be equal in population to all the others; while a very interesting question, it likewise does not concern us presently.

Obviously, a person either is or is not honest (rule of the excluded middle) so there is an answer to the question of whether he or she is being honest; if the exam does not produce a conclusion--as in (2c) and (3c) it is, by definition, a failure as a polygraph exam, though it might turn up other leads which could help the investigation.  I know this last item is of the utmost importance to you and is a major reason why you are displeased with the advice of this website for subjects to never make any negative admissions whatsoever.  Note that I do not claim that it would be bad for such admissions to be made.

(2b) honest subject uses CM and ruled deceptive and (3a) dishonest subject uses CM and ruled truthful, are more serious failures of the polygraph, for reasons that I don't think require explanation.

(3b) dishonest subject uses CM and ruled deceptive is the least bad outcome; I am indeed prepared to call it a neutral outcome.  However, since countermeasures can increase the chances of a deceptive person passing, it is still to the advantage of polygraphers to get subjects to not use countermeasures; the more deceptive people who use countermeasures the more deceptive people who will pass, even though a majority of them may still fail, fewer will fail than otherwise would be the case, as you have admitted.

(2a) honest subject uses CM and ruled truthful, is perhaps the most interesting possible outcome--to me, at least.  As you know, where it is used to periodically screen employees (but not really when used in a criminal investigation) part of the polygraph's value comes from it's deterrent effect: people are scared into doing the right thing for fear of being found out later and punished (incidentally, these is generally regarded as the least advanced stage of moral development).  This deterrent effect is lessened when the subject believes that he or she could defeat the polygraph if necessary.  An honest person who uses CM and passes also may pass on his or her testimonial which could encourage others, including deceptive people, to use CM in the future, or it may just degrade the public's perception of the polygraph's utility.  Both of which are bad for the polygraph.

So, Sackett, now do you understand my claim that it is always bad for polygraphers when a subject uses CM?  If not, please let me know where your confusion lies.  If you understand my argument but disagree with it, that is another matter; I invite you to post your rebuttal.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #10 - May 2nd, 2008 at 7:52am
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sackett wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am:
[Me:]"The PLCQ test predicts that people will use countermeasures if they think it will improve their chances of passing." 
Where the hell do you get that from?  You make many assumptions, wrongly I might add, and truly see you as a dangerous influence to "lurkers" on this board.


I can't blame you for not picking up on this one; it is a subtle point which requires abstract thinking and which your training has encouraged you to ignore.  Let me try to explain.

I will start by increasing the precision of my language.  My claim is as follows: the reasoning on which the PLCQ exam is based indicates that examinees will probably attempt to use CM if they think doing so will significantly increase their chances of passing.  It is very unlikely that this would ever present itself to the mind of a trained polygrapher, but I believe my reasoning is sound, though you will be disinclined to accept it; please, follow me carefully and read through this post twice--with an open mind each time--before responding.

To start with, the probable lie exam presumes that most people will probably lie on the control questions.  To be sure, some people may tell the truth on at least some of the control questions, but polygraphers themselves presume that most people will lie to a control question if he or she thinks that doing so is necessary to pass the exam.  It is not necessary to demonstrate that it is possible to pass the exam without lying, I am merely pointing out that polygraphers assume that most people will lie.  Establishing that is Step One of this argument.

Step Two (and there only are two) is to demonstrate that an informed subject using CM involves very similar moral and ethical considerations to the ignorant subject lying on the control questions such that it is natural to assume that most people will use CM if they think doing so is necessary to pass.  (Indeed, one could argue--see below--that the ignorant subject who lies on a control question is more culpable than the honest informed subject who attempts CM). 

This is the step you will find distasteful.  You are socialized to consider  people who use CM to be detestable; this is necessary; if you didn't view them that way you may not be as strongly opposed to countermeasures as you need to be (and you need to be opposed to them since it is always bad for you and your fellow polygraphers when they are used--see above post).  But, you don't give a second negative thought to a person who lies on a control question ("Have you ever lied to get out of trouble?")  For you, to think that a user of countermeasures who is truthful on the relevant questions and a person who lies to a control question but is honest on the relevant ones have gone through precisely the same reasoning will seem... wrong.

But I think it is true.  Both are attempting to influence the outcome of the test in ways that they think the polygrapher would disapprove of (the user of countermeasures knows that the polygrapher would disapprove).  Of course, you don't disapprove of people lying to the control questions; in fact you want them to do so, but you need to act like it's wrong and you definitely need them to think that it is wrong to lie to those questions. 

As I said, I think the case can be made that the honest ignorant examinee who lies on a control question is actually more morally culpable than the honest informed examinee who attempts CM (but not, of course, the dishonest examinee who attempts CM).  To understand my point you must view things from the point of view of the examinee; please attempt to do so.

The honest ignorant examinee will believe that he should fail the test if he has "ever lied to get out of trouble" (to use one common control question).  So far as he is concerned, the result of the test corresponds with reality it should be that he fails.  He is trying to manipulate the test to produce a result (he passes) that he believes should not be produced.

The honest informed examinee, on the otherhand, knows that she should pass, since she is honest on all the relevant questions.  By using CM she can likewise be said to be manipulating the test, but she is attempting to produce a test result (she passes) that she does believe should be produced (and she believes it should be produced, not because she wants it to be produced, but because she knows that people who are honest on the relevant questions should pass and that she was honest on the relevant questions and therefore she should pass).

Like I said, it is a complicated argument and requires subtle and abstract thinking--of precisely the sort that the polygraph discourages even in it's own practitioners (it is not a benign god that you worship, you polygraphers).  You are trained to concern yourself with the process of the exams; if the exam was conducted correctly and the results are defensible, that is all that can be asked of you.  However, society must be more concerned with the results than the process.

sackett wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am:
[Me:] "Now, maybe using countermeasures won't help an examinee, that is a logical possibility that cannot be ruled out a priori and need not concern us here." 

So let's get this straight, "Lethe" DOES NOT CARE about those who would improperly use or misapply CM's and fail in their applications.  Got it!

No, you wouldn't think that important to address the fact that every day, good examinees are caught using what is promoted here and lose their opportunity for their dream job... but no, let's not address that here, huh?!


Your claim is wrong and if you don't know that I would pity you except for the fact that you are a polygrapher.

Nothing I said could be interpreted as indicating I don't care if honest people are harmed by using CM.  I pointed out that it was possible that they could be, but that for the discussion I was then engaged in it was not necessary for me to demonstrate that point in order to prove my argument; I wanted to stay on the one argument and not get side tracked.  That may have thrown you off since polygraphers are trained to, among other things, throw out red herrings (a type of logical fallacy) and otherwise get the discussion off track to distract an interlocutor away from a negative conclusion about the polygraph.  (If you deny this claim I'll not argue it at this point in time since it is not necessary for me to do so in order to demonstrate the arguments I am making)

On the other hand, you yourself, Sacket, said the following:

sackett wrote on Apr 23rd, 2008 at 3:29am:
The more you think you know, the "better" the information provided to the masses, the easier it is to catch those who would otherwise pass ... [they] will fail or go N/O and not get the job anyway... I don't care, I have a job!


You "don't care" if people "who would otherwise pass" fail.  That's what you said.  That's a rather beastly thing to say--irresponsible, too; your employer should be concerned if you don't care about failing people who are honest on the relevant questions.  I invite you to retract the statement.  Please do so.

sackett wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am:
[Me:]"Now, if it is false that countermeasures would help him, it would behoove the polygraph community to explain that in convincing fashion to the subject; once he thinks that not using them will help his chances more he won't use them.  Simple."

More to the point that CM's will hurt the honest examinee, not that it is false they will help.


Okay; I'll accept your rewording.  But the point remains, if the examinee will be harmed by using CM, polygraphers should be prepared to explain that in convincing fashion to the examinee; if they did so, everyone--everyone--would benefit.  Polygraphers have not done so, and this tells us something.  Namely:

sackett wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am:
[Me:]"If the PLCQ test could be conducted on informed subjects as easily as on ignorant subjects polygraphers would cut the B.S. which drives so many people into the waiting arms of the antis.  But, despite what they are told to claim, the B.S. cannot be eliminated because informed subjects do not produce results that are as accurate as those produced by ignorant subjects.  Thus, curious people who do their homework and realize the polygraph is built on crap are quite likely to use countermeasures.  So, polygraphers lose, lose, lose, or lose.  Why can't they figure this out?"

Maybe because your logic is repeatedly flawed, ill applied and assumes TLBTLD is the cure to the polygraph "science."


I have demonstrated my arguments in detailed, step-by-step fashion.  If they are flawed as you claim, you should have no trouble refuting them.  (You need not refute every point, just show that one premise is materially incorrect or that the logic of the argument is faulty).  I don't think you'll be able to do this.  I think your most likely responses are the following:
  • It's not your job to refute me;
  • You don't have time to refute me; and/or
  • Even if you did refute me I wouldn't accept that fact.

I invite you to consider my arguments.  Even if they are wrong, if I have no reason to think they are wrong you cannot hold me culpable for holding them to be valid. 

Also, it is eminently possible for you to admit my two points (that it is always bad for polygraphers when subjects use CM and that using CM is equivalent to lying on control questions)  and for you to still believe that the polygraph should be widely used.  I have not herein presented my argument for modifying the way the polygraph is employed in our society; but the arguments adduced above become premises in that larger argument.

I look forward to seeing your considered response(s).

Best wishes.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #11 - May 2nd, 2008 at 11:14am
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Lethe

To help me better understand your agrument, could you please state the reasoning on which the PLCQ exam is based?
  

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: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #12 - May 2nd, 2008 at 11:51am
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Lethe

Your stated assumption that we are socialized to consider people who use CM to be detestable is false.  As much as you detest us, we are trained to recognize CM, but never anywhere in any of our polygraph instruction are we advised  or socialized to detest anyone, in point of fact, I recognize and respect every subjects right to employ the CM of their choice.   After all, a well told lie is still the best CM yet devised.
  

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: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #13 - May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am
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Lethe,

After reading your lengthy post, I will address those issues which I feel should be addressed.  If in my response I omit an issue, it is intentional and there is no need to point it out on a later response.

I agree that polygraph training is not very abstract.  It is a developed application requiring proper and specific actions in order to assure validity and accuracy in results.  However, much of the peripheral sciences related to polygraph is (abstract).  Human nature, speech and behavioral sciences, interviewing, etc are some of those that require not only quick and fluid thought but abstract application as well.  

Regardless of reasoning or rationale, you indicate that examinees will "probably attempt to use CM if they think doing so will significantly increase their chances of passing."  Perhaps, but at the root of the aplication of CM's is that it is cheating the process, specifically designed to identify truth or non-truth (and associated consience activities like minimalization, etc).

The PLCQ test provides the honest and truthful examinee a place to focus their psychological interest.  Honest/innocent, etc examinees will not focus on relevant questions is they do not pertain to them in any way.

I do not consider the honest examinee equally repugnant or immoral  to those using CM's because the honest examinee is simply focusing on the comparison questions rather than the relevant ones.  Conversely, those trying to enhance their reactions for the purpose of passing an exam because "they should" are CHEATING!  It is no different than those who would bring a cheat sheet into a written test or excuse themselve to the restroom to review hidden material in their clothes each time they run into a difficult subject.

You also suggest state, "that the ignorant subject who lies on a control question is more culpable than the honest informed subject who attempts CM."  This argument is flawed for the reasons stated above.  The focus on the probable lie is not damning except to the examinee during the exam.  Trying to beat the examination process defeats the purpose of the test (which of course is what this site is trying to do).

IOW, if an honest suspect of say, child molestation focuses on the comparison questions, then that is what I want.  Opposingly, the suspect who tries to enhance their reactions because they "should pass" and are convinced they need to help themselves because they "should pass" will get caught and appear to be attempting to thwart the process.  Why would anyone want to do that, if they're honest?  So, they will be deemed guilty or deceptive (you choose) and subsequently pursued more vigorously.  This is the inherent flaw with TLBTLD.  It convinces honest people to act in a way that is contrary to their best interest and once caught, misidentified as cheating, equal to guilty.

On a side note, your position that people use CM's because they're honest and that  they "should" pass oftentimes gets rationalized into  the use of CM's because they followed the propaganda here, provided no information about their past behaviours during the interview and they have worked hard for it, so they deserve the job.

Further, your rationale seems to be in following TLBTLD that one MUST help themselves through the exam in order to avoid being falsely identified as guilty or lying.  The problem with this theory is that false positives are minimal and catching CM's is on the rise, despite and many thanks to the propaganda here.   Rationalizing immoral behavior, i.e. manipulating the charts is wrong and will be seen as wrong (outside the room); whereas focus on comparison questions and reactions thereto will not.

I know you would like to cause serious cerebral conflict with this issue, but it is still quite simple.  The research supports the PLCQ test and refutes the success of CM's which are counter productive for the honest exmainee.

You previously wrote, ""Now, maybe using countermeasures won't help an examinee, that is a logical possibility that cannot be ruled out a priori and need not concern us here."  

I responded with, "So let's get this straight, "Lethe" DOES NOT CARE about those who would improperly use or misapply CM's and fail in their applications."

Now it is you turn to pay attention.  My point is simple.  The convincing promotion of CM's (i.e. cheating on a test) by this board to ignorant readers who then use them, find themselvs either faulty or caught and dismissed, should not be a concern for you?  I would think it would be a great concern because the misinformed readers will want to know why they have been told one thing, used their knowledge, finding it "less than" and leaving them to their own wits to figure out what happened, why they failed or were not hired?  Not very supportive of you.

I previously wrote, "The more you think you know, the "better" the information provided to the masses, the easier it is to catch those who would otherwise pass ... [they] will fail or go N/O and not get the job anyway... I don't care, I have a job!"

My meaning was clear.  In the context of applicant testing that if they listen to the propaganda spewed here attempt to use what they read here and fail or go N/O, I do not care if they were otherwise honest and truthful.  THEY WERE TRYING TO BEAT THE TEST AND ME!  They didn't follow instructions and they were being deceiptful by their actions.  I do not want someone like that to be in LE or working with me.

Then you said, "Now, if it is false that countermeasures would help him, it would behoove the polygraph community to explain that in convincing fashion to the subject; once he thinks that not using them will help his chances more he won't use them.  Simple." then,  "More to the point that CM's will hurt the honest examinee, not that it is false they will help. [/quote]"

That is exactly why I am here (well, one of the reasons)... I also explain that to each and every examinee in my suite.

Finally, you wrote "I have demonstrated my arguments in detailed, step-by-step fashion.  If they are flawed as you claim, you should have no trouble refuting them.  (You need not refute every point, just show that one premise is materially incorrect or that the logic of the argument is faulty).  I don't think you'll be able to do this.  I think your most likely responses are the following:
  • It's not your job to refute me;
  • You don't have time to refute me; and/or
  • Even if you did refute me I wouldn't accept that fact.


I have now responded and explained.  I do like your last reason why I shouldn't though.  Undoubtedly it applies appropriately.  Despite our disagreement in meaning and theory, I appreciate your thoughful discussion.  It leaves it up to the reader to make up their respective minds.

Sackett
  
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Re: A thought for the antis regarding Countermeasures
Reply #14 - May 5th, 2008 at 5:18am
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Sackett,

I am truly impressed that you have responded at such length as you have.  As will be no surprise to you, I believe your reasoning is faulty and will attempt to demonstrate where and how.  To sum up quickly, you fail to do two things:
  • Explain why it is okay to lie on the control questions; and
  • Explain why an informed examinee would be significantly more concerned with the comparison questions than with the relevant questions.

Without addressing those two points--especially the first one--you don't have an argument.  It seems to me that you're just assuming it is okay to lie on the control questions, when, in fact, that is tautological and question begging since the whole debate we're having is on whether in fact is is okay to lie on the control questions.

You are simply arguing that it is bad to use CM.  I am not arguing that it is not bad or that it is good to use them, I am arguing that it is at least as bad to lie on the control questions as to use CM.

Okay, to a few specifics:

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
The PLCQ test provides the honest and truthful examinee a place to focus their psychological interest.  Honest/innocent, etc examinees will not focus on relevant questions is they do not pertain to them in any way.


Note that this explanation only works when dealing with ignorant subjects, but I think it usually will work with them.  However, it does not apply to informed subjects.  An informed subject will be about as concerned with the control questions as with the relevant questions making the difference between her responses to control questions and relevant questions very small, if present at all.

If the question just needs to pertain to the subject and it doesn't matter if she has done the activities mentioned in the control questions ("have you ever lied to get out of trouble?") why not tell the truth and use "Do you ever breathe oxygen?" and "Do you live on a planet orbiting the Sun?" as control questions?  Those clearly pertain to the subject!  The answer is obvious: it is important that the subject make an actual, bona fide attempt to deceive the examiner, and this is simply not possible with an informed subject.

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
I do not consider the honest examinee equally repugnant or immoral  to those using CM's because the honest examinee is simply focusing on the comparison questions rather than the relevant ones.  Conversely, those trying to enhance their reactions for the purpose of passing an exam because "they should" are CHEATING!


Um... how is lying not cheating?  And how is lying to get a job morally better than trying to cheat on a test that you know is flawed?  Unless you can answer that, I think your whole defense falls apart.

Also, you seem to be suggesting a counter measure yourself: just focus more on the control questions and you'll pass.  Does it matter if one doesn't have any particular reason to pay more mind to those questions?  What if you were up front with examinees and told them straight out which questions were for comparison and which were relevant and you tell them to focus more on the comparison questions?   Presumably that would indeed be easier for an innocent than guilty person.  Why don't you do that?  If you did, use of CM would drop considerably because people have more faith in someone who tells them the truth than in someone who tells ridiculous lies.

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
It is no different than those who would bring a cheat sheet into a written test or excuse themselve to the restroom to review hidden material in their clothes each time they run into a difficult subject.


There are material differences.  The polygraph is, under ideal circumstances, probably no better than 90% accurate and with an informed subject--a very not ideal circumstance--the accuracy is far below that, probably only a little above chance.  On the other hand, most math tests are pretty damn accurate at demonstrating who knows the stuff.  The polygraph is not a valid test under the circumstances described.

However, my argument is not that it is okay to use CM because the polygraph isn't a valid test if you know enough about it to know how CMs work.  If I did that, I'd also have to argue that the BS polygraphers use is valid because the polygraph isn't valid without them.  This argument doesn't help you because I'm not arguing that it is okay to use CM, I'm arguing that it is as bad to lie on the control questions.  This doesn't address that point.

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
You also suggest state, "that the ignorant subject who lies on a control question is more culpable than the honest informed subject who attempts CM."  This argument is flawed for the reasons stated above.  The focus on the probable lie is not damning except to the examinee during the exam.  Trying to beat the examination process defeats the purpose of the test (which of course is what this site is trying to do).


It is valid, for the reasons that I state above.  The knowledgeable examinee has no reason to focus more on the control questions than the relevant ones.  If the test were as accurate on informed and ignorant subjects you'd have no reason to try to keep people ignorant when your attempts to do so are what cause so many people to use CM in the first place (an outcome you claim to want to discourage).

Furthermore, the ignorant examinee who lies (on any question) is trying to produce a result not consistent with reality whereas the truthful informed examinee who uses CM is trying to produce a result that is consistent with reality, albeit by dubious means.  I think the former is more culpable than the later.  Apparently, you think lying to get out of trouble is perfectly okay.  The fact that the examinee in fact faces no consequences for lying on the control questions is meaningless; the ignorant examinee thinks there will be consequences and lies anyway.

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
IOW, if an honest suspect of say, child molestation focuses on the comparison questions, then that is what I want.


And why should an honest informed subject be more concerned with the control questions than the relevant questions?  Is it the mere fact that she is lying, irregardless of the perceived consequences of the lie or the perceived wrongness of the activity lied about?  The ignorant subject fears failing the test if he doesn't lie, what does the informed subject fear?  Pretty much the same thing that she fears on the relevant questions, right?  It's not the fact that the subject is making certain sounds in response to certain sounds produced by the polygrapher; it is that the subject is attempting deception and fears the consequences of being found out--things that don't apply to informed subjects.

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
Opposingly, the suspect who tries to enhance their reactions because they "should pass" and are convinced they need to help themselves because they "should pass" will get caught and appear to be attempting to thwart the process.  Why would anyone want to do that, if they're honest?


Because they think the test is wildly inaccurate and doing so will increase their odds of producing a result that is consistent with reality.  Why would anyone want to lie on the control questions?

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
On a side note, your position that people use CM's because they're honest and that  they "should" pass oftentimes gets rationalized into  the use of CM's because they followed the propaganda here, provided no information about their past behaviours during the interview and they have worked hard for it, so they deserve the job.

Further, your rationale seems to be in following TLBTLD that one MUST help themselves through the exam in order to avoid being falsely identified as guilty or lying.  The problem with this theory is that false positives are minimal and catching CM's is on the rise, despite and many thanks to the propaganda here.


I haven't said people must use CM to pass, not even that informed subjects must do so.  You're getting off argument.  We're discussing why it's okay to lie on control questions but not okay to use CM. 

Anyway, given the information that polygraphers withhold and the obvious lies they tell, a reasonable person could conclude that he or she has a better chance of passing if he or she uses CM.  You think it is okay for people to lie if they think it will increase their chances of passing, what is the difference between lying and "cheating"?  Isn't lying a form of cheating under these circumstances?

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
Rationalizing immoral behavior, i.e. manipulating the charts is wrong and will be seen as wrong (outside the room); whereas focus on comparison questions and reactions thereto will not.


I'm not rationalizing the use of CM; I am explaining it.  You are the one who is assuming that it is okay to lie to get a job, an activity that most would consider immoral, but you don't attempt to provide any explanation for that view.  You're begging the question: why is it not viewed as wrong to lie on control questions?  You can't demonstrate that it's okay by saying it is regarded as okay. 

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
Now it is you turn to pay attention.  My point is simple.  The convincing promotion of CM's (i.e. cheating on a test) by this board to ignorant readers who then use them, find themselvs either faulty or caught and dismissed, should not be a concern for you?  I would think it would be a great concern because the misinformed readers will want to know why they have been told one thing, used their knowledge, finding it "less than" and leaving them to their own wits to figure out what happened, why they failed or were not hired?  Not very supportive of you.


Where have I ever said it is not a concern of mine?  I said it was a logical possibility, and indeed it is a real possibility, but that wasn't an issue in the discussion then going on, so I didn't address it in order to focus on the real argument then going on.

If people are misinformed that is largely the fault of the polygraph community for not making accurate information available to them.  You try to quash the information provided on sites like this (much of which is presumably accurate because it comes from polygraphers themselves).  What you don't get is that the answer to inaccurate conclusions drawn from good data (the polygrapher documents) is to provide accurate conclusions and explanation (NOTE: not arguments from authority or question-begging tautologies).

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
My meaning was clear.  In the context of applicant testing that if they listen to the propaganda spewed here attempt to use what they read here and fail or go N/O, I do not care if they were otherwise honest and truthful.  THEY WERE TRYING TO BEAT THE TEST AND ME!  They didn't follow instructions and they were being deceiptful by their actions.  I do not want someone like that to be in LE or working with me.


How is a person who lies not trying to beat the test?  Is a person who lies on the control questions following instructions?  Obviously, they are not.  Is a person who lies on the control questions being deceitful by his or her actions?  Obviously, they are.  Therefore, you shouldn't want people who lie on the control questions to work in law enforcement or with you.  Lying on the control questions is as bad as attempting CM. QED.  How have I not produced the superior arguments here?

sackett wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:14am:
That [telling people that using CM will hurt them] is exactly why I am here (well, one of the reasons)... I also explain that to each and every examinee in my suite.


You explain no such thing.  You merely present arguments from authority and tautologies.  You just make a stupid claim and expect people to believe it, just because you said it.  Well, it doesn't work like that in the real world (i.e. the world outside of polygraph school classrooms).  You have to have better arguments than the next guy and, frankly, you don't.  You can't explain how the polygraph works on knowledgeable subjects except by raising the question of why the workings of it are kept secret if knowledge of them doesn't hurt accuracy and your ham handed attempt to conceal said knowledge are the best ways to push people into using CM.

It's obvious that you're setting yourself up to play the polygrapher's trump card: "Gee, look at how much I've already written arguing with you, Lethe.  It may all be bad arguments, red herrings, and dodges, but hey, the fact that I've written so much while saying so little of substance proves I've done my part and that you, by not accepting said bad arguments, are unreasonable.  I need not talk with you further."

You know that's what you're going to try pulling.  Be a man (if indeed you are a man, and it seems about 90% of polygraphers are) and give us a real explanation of why it is okay to lie in order to get a job.  C'mon, why is that okay?  Because there are no consequences for doing so?  Uh, yeah.  But why are there no consequences?  Because you say so?  Okay.  Why do you say so?  Because the polygraph wouldn't work if people who lied on control questions were failed just like people who don't lie on them probably will?  Aha!  Now we're getting somewhere!
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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